Systemic Support for People Displaced by War and Opression

“Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”

As thousands of displaced individuals and families come into this country seeking asylum and refuge from the many war zones and areas of oppression in the world, the Association for Family Therapy (AFT) has been developing ways in which it can contribute to the work being done by local authorities and refugee agencies.

What we offer Host Families

  • Workshops to prepare potential host families for the psychological aspects of having guests that are displaced from home, country and family and may be traumatised.

  • A follow up consultation group 3 to 4 weeks after guests have been with families

The workshops will comprise 3 x 1-hour online groups for up to 12 (adult) families to run over 2-3 weeks, (or where preferred and possible, one live 2- 3-hour workshop) and a follow up meeting, online. These will cover areas such as:

  • boundaries and house rules
  • negotiating differences around issues of culture
  • language and family style
  • balancing children’s needs and different parenting styles
  • talking about difficult stuff
  • understanding and managing distress and trauma
  • when and how to seek help

Any prospective hosts who would like to join a workshop in their area should complete our Host Workshop form or use our contact form.

What we offer Agencies working with refugees

  • Specific training in working with families

  • Supervision for anyone working with families

  • Referrals can be made for a consultation should difficulties arise with hosting arrangement.

Why we may be able to help

  • AFT membership comprises registered professionals working in the NHS, Social Services, charities and education with children, adults, older adults and families of all nationalities.

  • Systemic family therapists are experienced in working with relationships of all kinds, often cross-culturally and with the different, sometimes very challenging contexts that inform people’s lives. We regularly work to help improve communications and relationships, especially when groups and individuals have encountered difficulties negotiating ways forward together.

  • In many cases, people who flee war in sudden circumstances experience a sense of dislocation from their own culture and tradition. Feelings of guilt about leaving loved ones and friends can surface, with worrying news evoking trauma behaviours, and language barriers testing the hosting arrangement stillfurther.

  • In offering constructive support through workshops and consultations we aim not only to prevent breakdown of these hosting arrangements, but also to help them become successful experiences for all concerned.

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