Psychological approach to Albanian Kosovar refugees with considerations for brief post-crisis services in general
This article focuses on an interesting experience in working with Albanian Kosovar refugees last year in a refugee camp in Hemer, Germany. The authors, though highly trained and proficient traumatologists, worked with a large number of clients for a brief amount of time who had to rely on poorly trained interpreters who were themselves refugees in need of traumatology services (and eventually received it). They describe how Western educated practitioners were forced to adopt their methods of treatment ("standard EMDR model") to fit the requirements of the context. Among other things, they had to represent their work as educational ("information focus groups") and not "treatment" (due to the stigma), skip the time-consuming activities of assessment and rapport building, and accepted the direction of the camp psychologists as to who should or should not receive assistance. The bulk of their report focuses on the their information focus: the focus group content. They most often utilized a solution-focused approach (using eye movements to reinforce positive self-referencing statements) when working with individuals, although EMDR was used successfully with the few who requested it. The latter portion of the report includes three case studies. The authors concluded what worked best is a combination of group and individual work that relied on psychoeducation, accessing positive as well as negative material, and not initially focusing on the trauma. This information should be useful to any practitioner who must overcome similar challenges.
Original Work Citation
Lipke, H., & Glang, C. (2000, December). Psychological approach to Albanian Kosovar refugees with considerations for brief post-crisis services in general. Traumatology, 6(4), 295-305. doi:10.1177/153476560000600404
“Psychological approach to Albanian Kosovar refugees with considerations for brief post-crisis services in general,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 8, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17447.