Training paraprofessionals in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq


The sudden influx of traumatized refugees and migrants into Europe presents acute challenges to the whole field of public and private trauma therapy. But the challenge is greater than Europe alone. There is a huge and increasing global burden of trauma, especially in the developing world. At the same time there is a chronic shortage and mal-distribution of mental health professionals worldwide. Increasing the pool of mental health professionals is necessary but not sufficient. The only way to bring the benefits of evidence-based trauma therapies to the millions who need it now is to create a new cadre of well-trained and well-supervised paraprofessional personnel to undertake well-defined tasks. Examples of scaling up health services using paraprofessional workers will be presented. Ethical dilemmas and their resolution will be highlighted. A working conference is proposed (i) to collect and review available evidence of effectiveness of various paraprofessional models recently tried out in different contexts; and (ii) to define preconditions, safety standards, training curricula and further research needs to guide this new paraprofessional development.






Rolf Carriere

Original Work Citation

Carriere, R. (2016, June). Training paraprofessionals in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq. In Refugee crisis in Europe and its implications for EMDR therapists (Udi Oren, Chair).  Keynote/Roundtable presented at the at the 17th EMDR Europe Association Conference, The Hague



“Training paraprofessionals in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 24, 2021,

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