Opportunities for reflective practice and support
The book's final chapter considers the experience of working with people seeking asylum, and the importance of reflection. It can be downloaded here.
Opportunities for reflection on clinical work will ideally be provided through the organisations for which clinicians work. For those seeking external opportunities, the following could be considered:
Mustafa Alachkar, a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist working in the NHS, facilitates a monthly online Balint group (reflective practice case discussion group) with a group of healthcare professionals working with refugees and asylum seekers.The group is free to join. If you'd like to know more, or are interested in joining, please make contact through our website here.
The Balint Society itself offers mixed on-line and face to face groups to support health and social care professionals to gain a better understanding of the emotional content of their relationships with clients or patients.
The ‘Witness-to-Witness’ programme offers free on-line peer support groups with a clinical specialist to clinicians across the world. It is provided through the American Family Therapy Association and the Migrant Clinicians Network, a US non-profit organisation that provides support, technical assistance, and professional development to clinicians working with refugees and other vulnerable clients, as well as virtual case management directly to clients.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has an on-line peer group for psychiatrists working with refugees and people seeking asylum. The book ‘Seeking Asylum and Mental Health’ arose from discussions in that group.
Some organisations offer reflective practice opportunities to those who work for them. For example, Medical Justice organises regular Peer Support Groups for their volunteers. These meetings take place on weekday evenings in London. Each meeting focuses on a different topic, for example: different types of injuries, working with interpreters, or legal updates. Sessions are organised by Medical Justice's Medical Advisor and volunteers receive details of dates and topics for upcoming sessions via email.
It is possible that other professional organisations have similar groups, or that they would be open to supporting such developments.
BeWell is a collaboration to improve the wellbeing of people working in the migration sector. Their blog outlines how people are approaching wellbeing in their own organisations, and they also have a 'directory of support'.