This paper will discuss using some key ideas from psychoanalytic psychotherapy in work with refugee survivors of torture and trauma, in the context of working in a refugee agency (STARTTS.) The relevance of psychoanalytic work will be discussed through case studies and will be the main theme of the paper. The paper will introduce cultural and political dimensions of the work, and brief information about the current world refugee situation. Some of the issues to be explored will include tolerating intense projections of raw traumatic material, bearing witness to atrocities, maintaining a containing reliable presence and trying to sustain an open thinking mind in a complex situation.
At the conclusion of this activity, participants will have gained knowledge of working with refugees and psychoanalytical thinking about processes of:
- projections of traumatic material
Robin is a clinical social worker and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Robin works with STARTTS and has a strong background working with refugees.