Book Review: Counselling and Psychotherapy with Refugees


Dick Blackwell, Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 1843103168,


The experiences of refugees are little known outside their
communities, especially the trauma that can result from
displacement, writes Tracey Bolger.

Dick Blackwell considers these issues which he backs up with
important information on providing psychotherapy.

The different experiences of refugees and therapists are documented
in separate sections, which make it easy to read. I also like the
fact that the author addresses the important and often overlooked
challenges of working with interpreters and the dilemma for
therapists of becoming advocates. These ongoing challenges are
clearly outlined and discussed in a straightforward manner, with
useful insights given from the author’s own experience.

The book is written in a factual and easy-to-follow manner and is
accessible enough to be used as a tool in the therapy process as it
could be given to a client to enable them to understand the
experience of psychotherapy.

I found this book to be extremely useful, well laid out and a good
basic manual to have on hand when trying to understand the
experiences of refugees. I would highly recommend this book as a
reference for those working with refugees and as a basic
information pack for those who are in training or preparing to
begin psychotherapy work with refugees.

Tracey Bolger is a regional manager, Irish Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and provides therapeutic
services to the traveller and Roma communities

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