Our Therapeutic Care Service Model
Over the last fifteen years of working with asylum seekers and refugees we have been developing a unique therapeutic model which responds to the totality of our clients’ needs. We acknowledge that they have already shown great courage and skill in managing their situations, and work in partnership to affirm their achievements and sense of identity which can help promote mental well-being.
Our model is based on three core principles:
1.Establishing a warm and nurturing therapeutic relationship
Our work has shown us that it is vital to provide a warm environment where together we can identify and respond to our clients’ immediate needs. We recognise that many of our clients come to us with complex issues which we respond to by providing practical orientation and signposting; and this is a first step to normalising their situation in order to bring stability. In this way we can start to build up trust between us on which we can base our emotional and psychological work together with short-term counselling of up to 12 sessions.
“I now know my strengths and weaknesses. I learnt how to be understanding of others strengths and weaknesses.”
2. Bearing witness
Our therapists come from many different cultural backgrounds and recognise the need to acknowledge the different traditions and world views our clients bring. We accept that our clients are the experts in their own personal history. We provide the support for them to take charge of telling their stories in their own way, with the emphasis on identifying their strengths, their positive assets and wealth of experience. As their narrative emerges, we work collaboratively to find ways to manage their distress and to hold their difficult, often painful memories and feelings, putting their experience into a meaningful perspective.
“Made my mind to overcome the mentality that ‘why problems occur only to me’. Made me understand ‘I’m not the only one facing hard times.’ “
We acknowledge how challenging it can be sometimes to settle into a foreign country. Our psychoeducational and psychosocial groups facilitate the clients’ process of acculturalisation into their present lives here in the UK, offering social support and education as well as practical orientation where wanted.
We are aware that different cultures offer different understandings of mental health symptoms and our groups create space to share these understandings and develop and enhance new perceptions which can be empowering and enabling, offering clients more options to make healthy choices. We also offer appropriate referrals to other disciplines.