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Dawson, H. (2003). Therapeutic Care for Refugees—No Place like Home Renos Papadopoulos (ed.)Tavistock Clinic Series London: Karnac, 2002. 319 pp. £16.99. J. Child Psychother., 29(3):437-439.

(2003). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(3):437-439

Therapeutic Care for Refugees—No Place like Home Renos Papadopoulos (ed.)Tavistock Clinic Series London: Karnac, 2002. 319 pp. £16.99

Review by:
Hilary Dawson

Renos Papadopoulos has provided in the form of this book a collective home for a range of thinking on the therapeutic care of refugees. As the editor and a substantive contributor he is very much at the helm and yet manages with considerable skill to allow the voices of his contributors to speak out with clarity and remarkable honesty.

The book represents the fruits of the work undertaken at the Tavistock Clinic by a broad spectrum of clinicians and researchers drawing on psychoanalytic and systemic perspectives. Yet it would do an injustice to the scope of the book to leave it there, for one of the pleasures in reading the many contributions is the way in which the refugee experience demands that old, parched differences be dug over to allow the complex issues to resurface and be explored anew. There are many resonances here for child psychotherapists.

The book is divided into four sections, the first of which is entitled ‘Delineating the context’. This contains a comprehensive assessment of the two main themes running throughout the book, that of the meaning of ‘home’ and what might be understood by its loss, and the notion of trauma.

I was particularly interested in the discussion on frozenness, which I found very helpful and has, I think, important implications for clinical application. Papadopoulos warns us rightly of the dangers of over zealous practice and pathologization, drawing our attention to the need for a subtle balance between therapeutic care and respectful withholding, not uncommon concerns.

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