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Psychosocial Interventions References and Links on Refugees & Asylum Seekers

This section provides access to evidence-based psychosocial research conducted and psychological interventions and tools developed by expert mental health care professionals, academic and research bodies with experience and expert knowledge of working with diverse refugees and asylum seeking populations across the globe.

The psychosocial interventions links have been grouped into four categories including Ethnic Background, Children and Young People, Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Trauma & Torture to facilitate ease of access.

These psychosocial interventions website links have been compiled by Dr Farkhondeh Farsimadan, a chartered counselling psychologist who is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an HCPC registered Psychologist.

Please use the categories and links provided below to view the research papers.


  • Colucci, E., Minas, H., Szwarc, J., Guetra, C., & Paxton, G. (2015).  In or out?  Barriers and facilitators to refugee background.  Young people accessing mental health services.  Transcultural Psychiatry, 52, 6, 766 – 790.
  • Ehntholt, K., Smith, P., & Yule, W. (2005).  School-based cognitive behavioural therapy group intervention for refugee children who have experienced war-related trauma.  Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 10, 2.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Ellis, B. H., Miller, A. B., Abdi, S., Barrett, C., Blood, E. A., & Betancourt, T. S. (2012). Multi-tier mental health program for refugee youth. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81,129-140.
  • Ellis, B.H., MacDonald, H.Z., Lincoln, A.K., & Cabral, H.J. (2008). Mental health of Somali adolescent refugees: The role of trauma, stress, and perceived discrimination. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76,184-93.
Trauma-Informed Interventions.  Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees, TST-R. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, NCTSN. www.NCTSN.org.
http://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/tstr_general_090816_final.pdf
  • Fazel, M., Karunakara, U., Newnham, E.A. (2014).  Detention, denial and death: migration hazards for refugee children.  Lancet Glob Health, 2, 313 – 314.
  • German, M., & Ehntholt, K. (2007).  Asylum 2 – working with refugee children and families.  The Psychologist, 20, 152 – 155. (www.thepsychologist.bps.org.uk).
  • Heptinastall, G., Sethna, V., & Taylor, E. (2004).  PTSD and depression in refugee children: associations with pre-migration trauma and post-migration stress. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 13, 6.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Hodes, M., O’Shea, B., Dawn, G., & Bramley, J. (2000).  A school-based mental health service for refugee children.  Clinical & Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 5, 2.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/718).
  • Howard, M., & Hodes, M. (2000).  Psychopathology adversity and service utilisation of young refugees.  Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 3.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/718).
  • Leavey, G., Hollins, K., King, M. (2004).  Psychological disorder amongst refugee and migrant school children in London.  Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 39, 3.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/718).
  • Michelson, D., & Sclare, I. (2010). Psychological needs, service utilisation and provision of care in a specialist mental health clinic for young refugees: a comparative study.  Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 2009, 14, 2, 273 – 296.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Tyrer, R., & Fazel, M (2014).  School and community based interventions for refugee and asylum seeking children: a systematic review.  PLOS ONE 9(2): e89359. (www.plosone.org) or (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). 
  • Bhui, K., Mohamud, S., Warfa, N., Curtis, S., Stansfield, S., l& Craig, T. (2012).  Forced residential mobility and social support: impacts on psychiatric disorders among Somali migrants.  BMC International Health & Human Rights, 12, 4.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Bogic, M., Ajdukovic, D., Bremner, S., Franciskovic, T., Galeazzi, G.M., Kucukalic, A., Lecic-Tosevski, D., Morina, N., Popovski, M., Schutzwohl, M., Wang, D., & Priebe, S. (2012).  Factors associated with mental disorders in long settled war refugees: refugees from the former Yugoslavia in Germany, Italy and the UK. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 200, 216 – 223. (Dol: 10.1192.bjp.bp.110.084764).
  • Drozdek, B., Kamperman, A., Tol, W., Knipscheer, J., & Kleber, R. (2013).  Is legal status impacting outcomes of group therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder with male asylum seekers and refugees from Iran & Afghanistan?   BioMed Central Psychiatry, 13:148. (Dol:10 1186/1471 – 244X-13-148).
  • Farsimadan, F. (2011).  The effects of a Middle Eastern (Iranian) heritage.  In C. Lago. (Ed.).  Handbook of Transcultural Counselling & Psychotherapy.  (pp. 278 – 289).  Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Gerritsen, A.A., Bramsen, I., Deville, W., Van Willigen, L.H., Hovens, J.E., & Van der Ploeg, H.M. (2006).  Use of health care services by Afghan, Iranian and Somali refugees and asylum seekers living in the Netherlands.  European Journal of Public Health, 16, 4, 394 – 399.  (Dol: 10.1093/eurpub/ck1046).
  • Griffiths, P. (2001).  Counselling asylum seekers and refugees: a study of Kurds in early and later stages of exile.  European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health, 4, 2. (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/719).
  • Jackson, C. (2015).  The migrant crisis: helping Syrian refugees.  How well prepared are mental health services to help Syrian refugees we are welcoming to our shores?  Therapy Today, 26, 8, 6 – 10, The BACP.  (www.therapytoday.net). 
  • Laban, C.J., Gernaat, H.B., Komproe, I.H., Schreuders, B.A., & De Jong, J.T. (2004).  Impact of a long asylum procedure on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Iraqi asylum seekers in the Netherlands.  The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 192, 12, 843 – 851. (Dol: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000146739.26187.15).
  • Palmer, D. (2007).  Caught between inequality and stigma: the impact of psychosocial factors and stigma on the mental health of Somali forced migrants in the London Borough of Camden.  Diversity in Health & Social Care, 4, 3.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Peel, M., & Salinsky, M. (2000).  Caught in the middle: a study of Tamil torture survivors coming to the UK from Sri Lanka. Freedom from Torture (formerly Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture), Research Report.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/738).
  • Sommerfield, D. (2003).  War, exile, moral knowledge and the limits of psychiatric understanding: a clinical case study of a Bosnian refugee in London. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 49, 4.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/719).
  • United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR (2015).  Culture, context and the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Syrians: a review for mental health and psychosocial support staff working with Syrians affected by armed conflict.  (www.unhcr.org).



  • De Haene, L., Rober, P., Adriaenssens, P., & Verschureren, K. (2012).  Voices of Dialogue and Directivity in Family Therapy with Refugees: evolving ideas about dialogical refuge care.  Family Process, 51, 391 – 404. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22984976)
  • El-Bialy, R., & Mulay, S. (2015).  Two sides of the same coin: factors that support and challenge the wellbeing of refugees resettled in a small urban centre. Health & Place, 35, 52 – 59.
  • Faith, P. (2012).  Mothering from a distance: the impact on mental health and integration of migrant mothers who left children behind in their country of origin. Research Report, Evelyn Oldfield Unit.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Farsimadan, F., Khan, A., Draghai-Lorenz, R. (2011). On Ethnic Matching: a review of the research and consideration for practice, training and policy.  In C.
    Lago. (Ed.).  Handbook of Transcultural Counselling & Psychotherapy, (pp. 65 – 80).  Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Fazel, M., Wheeler, J., & Danesh, J. (2005).  Prevalence of serious mental disorder in 7000 refugees resettled in Western countries: a systematic review.  Lancet, 365, 1309-14.
  • Giacco. D., Matanor, A., & Priebe, S. (2014).  Providing mental healthcare to immigrants: current challenges and new strategies.  Current Opinion Psychiatry, 27, 282 – 288.
  • Herlihy, J., Scragg, P., & Turner, S. (2002).  Discrepancies in autobiographical memories: implications for the assessment of asylum seekers.  British Medical Journal, 324.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Ibrahim, F. (2016). Social justice and cultural responsiveness in counselling psychology interventions: using cultural assessments.  In F. A. Ibrahim, &.  J.R. Heuer, Cultural and Social Justice   Counselling: Client – Specific Interventions, (pp 1-13).  Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.  
  • Karpuk, D., Cunningham M., Kaur, R., Short, S., Cannon, C., Odunukew, D., & Beech, J. (2011/2012).  Understanding how asylum seekers and refugees access and examine mental health support in Leeds.  A Report on PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) / Touchstone Action Research Project commissioned by NHS Leeds.
  • Lindert, J., Ehrenstein, O.S., Priebe, S., Mielck, A., & Brahler, E. (2009).  Depression and anxiety in labor migrants and refugees: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Social Science & Medicine, 69, 246 – 257. (Dol: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.04.032).
  • Llosa, A.E., Ghantous, Z., Souza, R., Forgione, F., Bastin, P., Jones, A., Antierens, A., Slavuckij, A., & Grais, R.F. (2014).  Mental disorders, disability and treatment gap in a protracted refugee setting.  British Journal of Psychiatry, 204, 208 – 213. (Dol: 10.1192/bjp.bp.112.120535).
  • Maslin, J., & Shaw, L. (2003).  Clinical psychology and asylum seeker clients: the therapeutic relationship.  South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, Barnet, Enfield & Haringey NHS Trust.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/719).
  • Murray, K., Davidson, G., and Schwitzer, R. (2010).  Review of refugee mental health interventions following resettlement: best practices and recommendations. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 4, 576 – 585. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
  • Priebe, S., Matanov, A., Schor, R., Strabmayr, C., Barros, H., Barry, M.M., Diaz-olalla, J.M., Gabor, E., Greacen, T., Holcnerova, P., Kluge, U., Lorant, V., Moskalewicz, J., Schene, A.H., Macassa, G., & Gaddini, A. (2012).  A good practice in mental health care for socially marginalised groups in Europe: a qualitative study of expert views in 14 countries.  BMC Public Health, 12, 248. (www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12248).
  • Rees, M., Blackburn, P., Lab, D., & Herlihy, J. (2007).  Asylum 5 – working with asylum seekers in a clinical setting.  The Psychologist, 20, 162 – 163. (www.thepsychologist.bps.org.uk).
  • Sandhu, S., Bjerre, N.V., Dauvrin, M., Dias, S., Gaddini, A., Greacen, T., Ioannidis, E., Kluge, U., Jensen, N.K., Lamkaddem, M., Puigpinosi Riera, R., Kosa, Z., Wihlman, U., Stankunas, M., Strabmayr, C., Wahlbeck, K., Welbel, M. & Priebe, S. (2013).  Experiences with treating immigrants: a qualitative study in mental health services across 16 European countries.  Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology.  (Dol: 10.1007/s00127-012-0528-3).
  • WHO (2015).  WHO Europe Policy Brief on migration and health: mental health care for refugees.  WHOEU.
  • Woodcock, J. (1997).  Group work with refugees and asylum seekers.  In T. Mistry, & A. Brown, (Eds.).  Race & Group Work, (pp 254 – 277).  London: Whiting & Birch. (www.freedomfromtorture.org).







  • D’Ardenne, P., Capuzzo, N., Ruaro, L., & Priebe, S. (2005).  One size fits all?  Cultural sensitivity in a psychological service for traumatised refugees.  Diversity in Health & Social Care, 2, 1.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/719).
  • D’Ardenne, P., Ruaro, L., Cestari, L., Fakhoury, W., & Priebe, S. (2007).  Does interpreted-mediated cognitive behaviour therapy with traumatic refugee people work?  Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy, 35, pp 293 – 301.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Gardiner, J., & Walker, K. (2010). Compassionate listening: managing psychological trauma in refugees.  Australian Family Physician, 39, 4, 198 – 203. (www.racgp.org.au).
  • Hosin, A., More, S., & Gaitanou, C. (2006).  The relationship between psychological well-being and adjustment of both parents and children of exiled and traumatised Iraqi refugees. Journal of Muslim Mental Health, 1, 2.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).
  • Shannon, P., O’Dougherty, M., & Mehta, E. (2012). Refugees’ perspectives on barriers to communication about trauma histories in primary care.  Mental Health in Family Medicine, 9, 47 – 55.
  • Slobodin, O., & De Jong, J. (2015).  Mental health interventions for traumatised asylum seekers: what do we know about their efficacy? International Journal of social psychiatry, 61, 1, 17 – 26. (http://isp.sagepub.com/content/61/1/17.short).
  • Tucker, S., & Price, D. (2007). Finding a home: group psychotherapy for traumatised refugees and asylum seekers.  European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 9, 3.  (www.researchasylum.org.uk/taxonomy/term/720).