Approaches to Counselling Resettled Refugee and Asylum Seeker Survivors of Organized Violence

Lara di Tomasso


The number of resettled refugees and asylum claims in minority world countries continues to grow. Some of the individuals and families who arrive in Western countries through the refugee process are survivors of organized violence. Despite the recognition in destination countries that counselling resettled survivors of organized violence necessitates a sensitive and responsible approach, the mental health field is polarized about responsible practice. An increasing number of mental health professionals challenge Western biomedical approaches to counselling, and seek to disrupt dominant notions of trauma and disorder. This article is a review of the literature on the topic of refugee mental health, the current debate in the field, and how this has led to divergent approaches to working with survivors of organized violence.

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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