The work of the Refugee Therapy Centre is focused on helping children, young people and their families. Parents may want to talk to someone about concerns they have about their child; parenthood in a strange environment may be quite challenging. They might want to bring their child to meet one of our therapists and arrange help for their child - we can also provide help for the family as a whole.
Unresolved marital difficulties can overspill into family life or can rumble on without being discussed, leading to difficulties in other family members which sometimes cannot be voiced because of their status as children. The Centre receives referrals for children experiencing problems of adjustment either at school, or at home. In their struggle to cope with their past experiences these children often exhibit feelings of anger, what is usually called 'challenging behaviour' such as lack of attention and concentration, or worrying symptoms of withdrawal.
The therapeutic approach we use can help all the members of the family to see how and why they may project their feelings of persecution on to those around them. With ongoing therapeutic intervention, we help them to deal with the emotions that lie beneath their behaviour and with the reactions it provokes in other people, and help them to learn how they can cope with their experiences. After an initial assessment, the therapist plans an intervention for the family where necessary.
This may involve seeing only the child on their own, or seeing other members of the family either separately or all together. In some circumstances, the child may be best helped if we work intensively with and alongside, for example, a relative with a mental health problem.