What can we as psychologists do in the face of the current refugee crisis?

Renos Papadopoulos will talk about his experience of work with refugees at our upcoming Psychology Cultures Seminar.

This will be on February 8th 2.30-4.30, the Garendon Room, 4th Floor of the Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester (this event is free but please register your attendance with Carl Gudgeon at cmg16@le.ac.uk).

We are confronted daily by images of refugees attempting to seek refuge in European countries fuelled by conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Faced by these it can feel as if the world’s systems for protecting refugees have broken down. There are currently as many as 19.5 million people worldwide who have been forced to seek sanctuary abroad. Although governments have a duty to help people seeking refuge, many rich European countries seem to treat refugees as somebody else’s problem. Rather than provide humanitarian assistance, they are instead spending billions on border control. An increasingly dominant narrative represents Europe as “flooded” by refugees, although in fact it is the poorer, mainly Middle Eastern, African and South Asian countries, which have hosted 86% of all refugees.

In response to the current crisis our speaker , Professor Renos Papadopolous, has been offering training and supervision in Turkey, the Middle East and Greece (and particularly the Greek islands) in his role as consultant to the War Trauma Foundation and the UNHCR. This presentation will attempt to systematise his reflections of these experiences, combining theoretical considerations with fieldwork realities. Renos is Professor of Analytical Psychology at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies and a training analyst there; he is Director of the Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees, a member of the Human Rights Centre and of the Transitional Justice Network (all at the University of Essex); he is also Honorary Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Family Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic and a systemic family psychotherapist in private practice. As consultant to the United Nations and other organizations, he has been working with refugees and other survivors of political violence, torture and disasters in many countries. He is the founder and director of the MA/PhD in Refugee Care, which is offered jointly by the University of Essex and the Tavistock Clinic.

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