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Bhui, K. (2004). Therapeutic Care for Refugees: No Place Like Home edited by Renos K. Papadopoulos. Tavistock Clinic Series (London, Karnac). 319 pp. £16.99.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 18(2):240-242.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 18(2):240-242

Therapeutic Care for Refugees: No Place Like Home edited by Renos K. Papadopoulos. Tavistock Clinic Series (London, Karnac). 319 pp. £16.99.

Review by:
Kamaldeep Bhui

This impressive volume presents a panoply of experience, honest exploration, contradictions, paradoxes and obstacles to the understanding of mental health issues and providing therapeutic environments for refugees. The authors come from a range of disciplines, interests and experiences, but all share the tenacity to explore difficult territory in full acknowledgement of the uncertainty that they themselves experience while navigating the internal worlds presented to them. The book is organized into four sections: delineating the context, clinical, research and field projects. There are contradictions and paradoxes expressed both across and within chapters. For example some authors demonstrate remarkable innovation and modification of existing technique and method to deliver social interventions in order to allow therapeutic work to take place (Garland), while others lament at the modification and loosening of technique and question therapeutic effectiveness. Similarly there continues to be tension between the universal application of interventions irrespective of individual biography juxtaposed with more relativistic positions looking for a mini-ethnography of each individual's worldview before intervening.

The authors have been courageous in expressing honest views about the limitations of existing techniques and processes for providing therapy. These uncertainties themselves reflect the overwhelming and fragmented world of refugees, as well as recognition by therapists of the very different ways of experiencing, expressing and understanding distress in differing cultures.

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