Therapist and Counsellors’ Experiences of Working with Asylum Seekers in the context of asylum-seeking processes in the UK

Avin Partavian, Alex Kyriakopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although there is a plethora of research exploring the impact of working with trauma on therapists limited attention has been paid on the impact of working with traumatised asylum seekers specifically. Furthermore, recent evidence shows that socio-political factors and asylum-seeking processes are acknowledged as major inhibitors of positive wellbeing and therapeutic effectiveness in mental health practitioners working with this population. Despite this, there is very limited research focusing on the impacts and consequences of asylum legislative framework upon the therapeutic process. This study aims to explore the impact of the UK asylum legislative framework upon the psychotherapeutic process and relationship. Nine Psychotherapists and Counsellors who worked with traumatised asylum seekers with an average of 8 years of experience were interviewed. Transcripts were analysed by employing Braun and Clarke’s (2020) reflexive thematic analysis. Three major themes were identified related to the impact on therapeutic work: 1) Moving away from the traditional therapeutic frame, 2) Adjustments to the therapeutic process, and 3) Impact on the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. The findings revealed that the UK asylum legislative framework penetrates all aspects of the psychotherapeutic process including the therapeutic relationship because it may affect the power imbalance in the therapeutic dyad. Practice and policy implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Nov 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Therapist and Counsellors’ Experiences of Working with Asylum Seekers in the context of asylum-seeking processes in the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this