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Title: An exploration of outcomes of psychological therapy for refugees
Author: Stuart, Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 244X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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Refugees seeking asylum in this country have undergone multiple traumas. Many are fleeing persecution or have lived in war zones where there is a constant fear for one's life or safety. Some have lost loved ones, friends, or members of their community in brutal circumstances. Torture has been a factor for many, where the physical, psychological and social outcomes are far-reaching. All have fled their country of origin seeking refuge in a foreign land, where perhaps the language and culture is unfamiliar to them. The UK government has stated that refugees should be offered therapy in a psychology service once they arrive in the UK and a number of such services exist today. It is difficult to ascertain what psychological help might be useful for refugees and asylum seekers from the current literature due to a number of difficulties with the research. Some have argued that a qualitative methodology is appropriate to use when conducting research with different cultures, as it allows the emergence of unexpected material and can privilege indigenous knowledge, rather than quantitative research, which forces expression within the categories provided by the researcher, thus imposing ideas by dominant cultures. This research set out to explore how refugees and asylum seekers describe their experience of psychological therapy. The aim was to give a voice to those who are generally marginalised, with the hope that the information participants provide can be used to develop future therapeutic services for refugees and asylum seekers. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse interviews with eight participants who had attended an NHS primary care psychology service. Themes relating to being 'stuck in the past', 'searching for solutions', 'helping me to move on' and 'moving on' were discussed and implications of these themes on service improvements, clinical psychologists, and further research were considered. Conducting this research has led to the conclusion that despite the experience of extreme events people show the strength, determination and resilience to find solutions to their problems thereby enabling them to 'move on' and to find lives that are meaningful to them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral