Reflexivity in the everyday lives and work of refugees and therapists

Jemmott, Rukiya and Krause, Inga-Britt (2020) Reflexivity in the everyday lives and work of refugees and therapists. In: Working with refugee families: Trauma and exile in family relationships. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 249-264. ISBN 978-1108429030

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In this chapter we (two systemic psychotherapists) write about our work with refugees and asylum seekers in which we aim to help rekindle trust and find a way of living on in a social world often without political protection. This context poses particular challenges to therapists, because for refugees and asylum seekers ordinary everyday events point to extraordinary ruptures and violations in the past. Drawing on the idea of Veena Das of ‘the everyday work of repair’ and on her use of Wittgenstein’s notion of ‘turning back’, we argue that these ideas are useful in understanding how violent ruptures, betrayal, displacement and loss may be revisited so that persons can go on living with these experiences, not in the past but in the present, without erasing the past and at the same time keeping the potentiality of the future. Using examples, we show how we enter this territory through the use of our understanding of what we call ‘the human condition’ and our own reflexivity.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Race and Culture > Refugees
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Systemic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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