Approximately 860,000 refugees and immigrants entered Greece without appropriate travel documents over the last three years. The traumatic events of their lives can be numerous and prolonged as they can be part of their past, current interpersonal relationships, or journey. Trauma has a great impact on the refugees’ mental health, and may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. The numbers of mental health practitioners who work with refugee populations are small provided the recorded needs of the refugees who come to Greece. Moreover, professionals who apply psychosocial interventions with this population often lack specialized trauma training. The present study aims at delineating the training, professional, as well as personal development needs of the practitioners working in two large NGO’s in Greece who are charged with implementing psychosocial interventions with refugee adults, children and families. In this mixed methods research design, data was obtained by 33 participants of a two-day training seminar focused on increasing the understanding, assessment, and treatment of traumatic stress reactions. The participants completed a questionnaire developed by the researchers. In addition, 12 of these professionals from the two NGO’s participated in two focus groups. The questions aimed at recognizing the needs of the professionals given their every-day experience of working with refugees in various contexts. The results present the struggles and difficulties the professionals face, the challenges they have to overcome in order to provide their services, as well as reflections on policies and procedures on a systemic level. The participants highlighted conceptual adaptations, and practical difficulties in implementing techniques as well as the resourceful ways with which they have dealt with these challenges. Both quantitative and qualitative research results will be presented. The research and clinical implications of the study will be discussed.
Fragkiadaki, E., Ghafoori, B., & Triliva, S. (2019, February). Working with trauma: personal and professional development needs of psychosocial intervention practitioners working with refugees in Greece. Paper presented at 3rd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Edinburgh, Scotland