Announcement: Upcoming ONLINE four-day Training Module on “Working Therapeutically with Refugees and Migrants”

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The Cyprus Refugee Council in conjunction with the Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees of the University of Essex (UK) and the Babel Day Centre for the Mental Health of Refugees and Migrants (Athens, Greece), organise an 

ONLINE four-day Training Module on “Working Therapeutically with Refugees and Migrants”

2-5 November 2020 from 09.00 -13:00

This training module provides participants (a) with the key and basic concepts to understand and formulate correctly the specific and typical situations and phenomena of adversity that involuntarily dislocated people experience as well as (b) with the appropriate approach to address them effectively. More specifically, this approach is characterized by ‘Synergic Therapeutic Complexity’ insofar as it emphasizes (i) the conceptualization of phenomena and human reactions in their complexity (e.g. negative and positive effects of adversity), thus avoiding oversimplification and polarization, (ii) the empowerment of our beneficiaries, so that we collaborate with their own strengths synergically, thus avoiding ‘treating’ them as if they are damaged mechanisms, and (iii) the therapeutic nature of our contact with them, thus avoiding a stance that is based purely on administrative forms of assistance.

Therefore, this approach is not limited to the traditional interventions of psychotherapeutic or even psychosocial techniques. Making a crucial distinction between being therapeutic in our overall engagement and interactions with our beneficiaries as opposed to offering psychotherapy, this approach provides substantial assistance for every worker who is involved (in any form and under any remit) with the involuntarily dislocated people. 

Learning Outcomes

On satisfactory completion of this training module participants are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the discerning complexity (as opposed to confusing complexity) in conceptualising the key phenomena and processes of involuntary dislocation
  2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate their own specific work within the framework of ‘Synergic Therapeutic Complexity
  3. Demonstrate an ability to translate theory to practice and implement, at an elementary level, the learning gained from this training module.



Renos Papadopoulos

Renos Papadopoulos, PhD. is a professor in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. Founder and Director of the ‘Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees’, founder and Course Director of the MA and PhD in ‘Refugee Care’. A member of the ‘Human Rights Centre’, of the ‘Transitional Justice Network’ and of the ‘Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub’ all at the University of Essex. Honorary Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Family Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic. He is a practising Clinical Psychologist, Family Therapist and Jungian Psychoanalyst, who also has been involved in the training and supervision of these three specialists. As consultant to the United Nations and other organisations, he has been working with refugees, tortured persons and other survivors of political violence and disasters in many countries. He lectures and offers specialist trainings internationally and his writings have appeared in 16 languages. Recently, he was given Awards by the European Family Therapy Association for Life-time ‘Outstanding contribution to the field of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice’, by the University of Essex for the ‘Best International Research Impact’, and by two Mexican Foundations for his ‘exceptional work with vulnerable children and families in Mexico’.

Nikos Gionakis

Nikos Gionakis graduated from the University of Padua (Italy) in Applied Psychology and then obtained his MSc degree in Social and Child Psychiatry at the University of Ioannina (Greece). In 1988 he started working in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation of chronic psychotic patients, and has been actively involved in the reform of the mental health system  in Greece, both in management and training. In 2007 he co-founded, the Babel Day Centre, in Athens, the only specialist state-funded mental health unit for migrants and refugees in Greece. He is the scientific director of the Centre, also involved in therapeutic work (especially with survivors of extreme violence and other extreme adversities), training (nationally and internationally), and supervision of various professionals and volunteers. He is the author of several scientific publications on psychosocial rehabilitation, mental health services implementation, quality assurance, as well as on various topics of migrant and refugee care.

Continuous Professional Development

The Training Module is open to anyone who is actively engaged in work with refugees and migrants (or has serious and proven intentions of embarking on such work), regardless of their academic qualifications, professional background and experience or work remit.

On completion of the Training Module, a Certificate of Attendance will be issued only to those participants who attended the entire programme.

***For any inquiry please call Cyprus Refugee Council on 22205959

You can register using the link below in order to receive the agenda and the ONLINE link for the day of the training: