Remaking connections. Refugees and the development of "emotional capital" in therapy groups

Journal title INTERAZIONI
Author/s Caroline Garland
Publishing Year 2018 Issue 2018/2 Language Italian
Pages 17 P. 113-129 File size 188 KB
DOI 10.3280/INT2018-002009
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The paper describes the Tavistock Clinic’s use of psychoanalytic therapy groups for the treatment of traumatised refugees and asylum-seekers. A three-stage treatment is outlined: 2 or 3 preliminary individual interviews are followed ‒ for those who have little or no English ‒ by Specialist Refugees’Group, in which the traumas of life can be addressed in simple language, for a limited period of time (not more than one year). Translators are not used, in order to foster language-development. The third stage arrives when the refugee can move to a heterogeneous out-patient group which, in London, often includes a variety of nationalities, religions, cultures and psychological difficulties. Groups foster in their members the crucial element of "emotional capital", implying the capacity for sentient relationships; it thus complements the sociological and anthropological concept of "social capital", which involves belonging to an established and available social and cultural grouping. Clinical material illustrates the shift from a desperate and persecuted state to a more workable stance towards life, work, and the new society that constitutes the refugees’ new home.

Keywords: Groups, psychoanalysis, refugees, society, trauma.

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Caroline Garland, Remaking connections. Rifugiati e sviluppo del "capitale emotivo" in terapia di gruppo in "INTERAZIONI" 2/2018, pp 113-129, DOI: 10.3280/INT2018-002009