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Title: An investigation of mental health professionals' attitudes towards asylum seekers
Author: Atcheson, Lucy
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2002
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Asylum Aid (1999) believes that asylum seekers tend to be represented as either victims or frauds. Papadopoulos (2001) believes that the majority of psychological literature constructs asylum seekers as 'traumatised victims' because most research involves NHS service users. From the available research it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions about the experiences of relatively well functioning asylum seekers. To date this appears to be the first study that attempts to understand this group of asylum seekers. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 adult asylum seekers who had been in the UK for at least one year. Participants were asked about their life stories, issues concerning life-changing events, coping strategies and external support and influences. The participants' personal narratives were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The analysis yielded three themes: comparison with others, finding a voice in UK systems, and relating to others. The first theme had three sub-themes concerning the subject of their comparisons: in the beginning, lost selves, and rebuilding their lives. From the second theme two distinct sub-themes emerged: silenced even in crisis, and heard and supported. The final theme concerned relating to family, and relating to social networks. All of the themes pertain to the emphasis of asylum seekers on present and future relationships rather than dwelling on past traumatic events. The asylum seekers in this study presented as hopeful rather than hopeless. Papadopolous (2001) believes this is an identity with which they are not often associated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Psy.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available