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Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section Conference & AGM

Working with Refugees - what we need to know

Friday 9th September 2016 at Ambassadors Hotel Bloomsbury

Working with refugees and asylum seeking people requires the usual expertise of an applied psychologist but also an understanding of a wide range of additional factors. These include working with an interpreter, developing culturally relevant practice, the legal context, an appreciation of the potential impact of multiple traumatic experiences on refugees but coupled with an awareness and recognition of resilience.

This conference brings together a group of internationally recognised psychologists who have worked for many years with asylum seeking and refugee children, unaccompanied minors, families and other adults. There will not only be a focus on therapy but also on the legal context and the integration of refugees into the world of work. Speakers will present current views on the psychology of working with refugees.

The event will be particularly interesting to practitioners engaged in working with asylum seeking people and refugees, both those new to the field and those with more experience, including clinical, counselling, educational and social psychologists and those with an academic interest in this area.

The learning outcomes and objectives of the CDT Conference are:

1. Learning some of the key concepts about Migration
2. Knowing about the different models of working with interpreters
3. Hearing about the factors which can affect the credibility of people’s asylum claims
4. Understanding what therapeutic interventions are recommended with refugee children
5. Hearing about the evidence base of therapeutic work with adults
6. Learning about the process of integrating refugees into work

Registration for this event closed at 17:00 on Monday 5th September. If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224506.


Friday 9th September 2016

09:00Registration and coffee
09:30Welcome, Professor William Yule, Chair of BPS Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Section
09:45Migration, Illness & Healthcare, Dr Jenny Altschuler, Clinical/Family Psychologist, One to One Children's Fund & Refugee Trauma Initiative
10:30Models of working with an interpreter, Professor Rachel Tribe, University of East London
11:15Refreshment Break
11:35What influences the credibility of claims for Asylum in children and adults?, Dr Zoe Given-Wilson, Clinical Psychologist/Researcher, Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law
12:15Panel Q & A
13:00Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Section AGM
14:00Therapeutic Interventions for Refugee Children: Recommendations and Challenges, Dr Kimberly Ehntholt, Clinical Psychologist, Traumatic Stress Clinic, London
14:40Therapy with adult asylum seeking people and refugees in Scotland, Dr Anne Douglas, C Psychol Clinical, OBE, Honorary Secretary, BPS Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Section
15:20Refreshment Break
15:40Integrating refugees into the workforce, Professor Rosalind Searle, Chair in Organisational Behaviour and Psychology, Coventry University
16:20Concluding remarks
16:30Conference Close

Speakers and Facilitators

Dr Jenny Altschuler

Dr Jenny Altschuler is a Clinical Psychologist and Family Psychotherapist who has considerable experience of working with people facing life threatening illness, and with refugees and other migrants. For much of the time she worked at the Tavistock Clinic which included setting up a project for families facing illness, establishing a course for health care professionals on working with families facing illness and running the Masters in Family Psychotherapy. She is currently working independently, seeing individuals and families as well as supervising health care professionals working in a range of inpatient and outpatient settings. Jenny is also the clinical director of the One to One Children’s Fund, where her work has included setting up counseling centres for people affected by the war in Kosovo and developing an accredited course for counselors, as well as contributing to projects aimed at addressing the consequences of political conflict in the Middle east and paediatric HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, she helped set up the Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI), an organization aimed at alleviating the potentially traumatizing effect of living in a refugee camp, which has included establishing a project providing refugees in Northern Greece psychosocial support as well as mentoring volunteers, many of whom are struggling to deal with the consequences of what they have seen and heard.

Jenny has published widely on the impact of illness and migration on fami

Dr Anne Douglas

Dr Anne Douglas is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist who has specialized in the field of Trauma for over 25 years. She has set up NHS Trauma services for a wide range of populations with complex trauma histories including adolescents and adults with psychological problems linked to a history of childhood sexual abuse, homeless people and asylum seekers and refugees. She has been a board member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society since 2010 and is also honorary secretary of the British Psychological Society’s Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section.

In 2006 she received the British Psychological Society award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity in the UK. In 2012 she was awarded an OBE for services to the health of asylum seekers and refugees. Most recently she accompanied a group of MP’s on a ‘bearing witness’ visit to the refugee camps in Calais and Grand-Synthe. She is now involved with a working party looking at how best to support the volunteers in these camps.

Dr Kim Ehntholt

Dr Kim Ehntholt is a Clinical Psychologist who has specialised in the assessment and treatment of severely traumatised individuals who have experienced multiple traumatic events, including war, torture and childhood sexual abuse. After qualifying from the Institute of Psychiatry in 2001, Kim helped to set up and run a clinical service specifically for refugee children, families and unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors which was funded by the Department of Health and based within the Michael Rutter Centre, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. She then went on to disseminate her knowledge and skills as the Lead Psychologist for Young Refugees within Lambeth CAMHS SLAM from 2004-2008. Kim is currently the Deputy Manager at the Traumatic Stress Clinic, Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, where she has been assessing and treating individuals with complex PTSD and co-morbid mental health difficulties since 2005.

Kim is on the international advisory board for the Children and War Foundation. She has been employed by UNICEF to provide training overseas to mental health professionals in the assessment and treatment of children affected by trauma. She acts as an expert witness for solicitors representing psychologically distressed asylum-seeking children, unaccompanied minors and their families. Kim has published peer-reviewed research and book chapters related to the mental health of refugees and asylum seeking children, including the impact of immigration detention

Dr Zoe Given-Wilson

Zoe Given-Wilson: Child psychology postdoc researcher.

Zoe is a clinical psychologist. At the Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law (CSEL) she researches psyhological and developmental issues pertinent to decision making in young people's refugee status claims. She has worked with organisations including UNHCR, EASO and the Law Centre's Network to provide psychological perspectives on asylum processes for under 18 year olds. Alongside her CSEL post she also works at a Tier 4 adolescent mental health service in East London.

She has both research and clinical experience working with people from a range of cultures and backgrounds including complex trauma and with forced migrants. Zoe's research also includes developmental psychopathology such as attachment difficulties, non-suicidal self-injury,and personality disorder.
Zoe completed both a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and MSc. in Medical Anthropology at University College London, England. She gained her Bachelor of Psychology at Macquarie University, Australia.

Professor Rosalind Searle

Rosalind Searle is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Psychology at Coventry University and co-founder of the University’s research centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. She is a chartered Occupational Psychologist and internationally acknowledged expert on trust in organizations, focusing on how systems and relationship can be used to help create, sustain and repair stakeholders trust. As an active researchers and author of a number of journal articles, chapters, books, and special reports, she focuses on the topics of organizational trust, especially HR processes, and the use of controls. Ros works with organisations, trade unions and regulators to make employers more aware of trust and why it matters. She is a charity board member of Coventry’s centre for migrants & refugees.

Secretary General: Alliance for Organisational Psychology


Professor Rachel Tribe

Professor Rachel Tribe is Professor of Applied Psychological Practice at the School of Psychology, University of East London. In 2014 she was awarded the British Psychological Society Award for Challenging Social Inequalities in Psychology. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She has over 30 years experience of developing clinical services and conducting research both in the UK and abroad. She is active in national and international consultancy and training work. She has experience of working in the private, public, charity and academic sectors. She has worked clinically with a range of diverse communities.

She has published widely on migration and mental health, refugees and asylum seekers, community psychology, critical psychology, social justice, professional and ethical practice, ageing and trauma. She was a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ expert panel on Improving Services for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers and the World Psychiatric Association’s Task Force on Migration and Mental Health. She is currently a member of the BPS Presidential Task Force on Refugees and Asylum Seekers. She co-wrote the BPS guidelines with Dr Kate Thompson on Working with Interpreters in Health Settings. Professor Tribe also co-edited a book on Working with Interpreters in Mental Health with Dr Hitesh Raval, re-issued in 2014. In 2011 with Dr Pauline Lane she produced a DVD and guidance notes on Working with Interpreters in Mental Health for the Department of


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