Working with refugee people and their families (D35)

Course overview

This is the first module of the oldest and longest running course in this field in the UK and aims to assist those working with asylum seeking people and refugees to enhance your understanding and skills in the context of your own work experience.

This course will be offered remotely through secure video conferencing. 

Drawing on systemic, narrative, psychodynamic and liberation psychology approaches and other theoretical frameworks this course will create a facilitative space for you to examine the complexities of the refugee experience.  You will be able to reflect on multiple levels of context, from the bodily, personal and interpersonal contexts to the family, community, wider cultural and political levels.

This course is based on the idea that everyone working with refugee people should do so in ways that are empowering and use a therapeutic dimension that is socially and politically conscious. 

Over the term, this course will offer you the opportunity to:

  • explore theoretical issues pertaining to the asylum seeking/refugee experience and the dynamics involved in supporting asylum seeking/refugee people
  • develop practical skills in working with and supporting asylum seeking/refugee people
  • exchange ideas and share experiences and feelings about this work
  • present and discuss specific work issues for reflection in a supportive learning community. 

In addition to the module tutor, external lecturers from other institutions participate as guest lecturers. 

This course takes a critical, reflexive and psycho-social-political perspective and is very much skills-based, drawing on social constructionist, systemic and liberation psychology approaches. The learning context creates a facilitative space within which you will form a learning community where everyone learns from each other.

This course can act as continuous professional development (CPD) for practicing clinicians or go towards entry to our MA in Refugee care (M35) course. 

What our students said about the 2020/21 course:

The course taught me so much and broadened my view and understanding of 'refugees' together with the multitude of facets that this subject entails, about all the interactions, therapeutic principles and approaches. Lots of it was new for me and broadened (and specified) my horizon massively! In a deeply valuable way it also taught me a great deal about how to navigate relationships and to reflect on my own response toward them.

I think what I'd like to say - and that might not be the aim of the course - but in a way it taught me a great deal about ... how to be 'more human'.

It really was a great treasure and something incredibly valuable to attend to during lockdown - and of course I hope I'll be able to internalise and apply everything learned and extend it to any future interaction I'll have in particular with refugees but also inform everything I say, vote for and think about this vast issue.

This course is for you if you are working or are engaged in (or want to) work with asylum seeking / refugee people in different capacities.  You may be working as a voluntary worker, social worker, manager, mental health worker, teacher, psychologist, community/voluntary sector worker, a GP, public sector worker or psychotherapist.

This course will be delivered remotely using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.
You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link ( to check your set up before booking.
Additional resources for this course will be provided using Moodle, our virtual learning environment.
You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the course start date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at to discuss how we can best help you.

The course has now closed for the 2021/22 academic year. If you are interested in joining a future cohort and would like to be alerted when the next course dates are available, please complete this form.

The course has now closed for the 2021/22 academic year. If you are interested in joining a future cohort and would like to be alerted when the next course dates are available, please complete this form.

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying).

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library ebsite:

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
10 weeks
Admission status:
Course lead:
David Amias

Enquire about this course

Make an enquiry

Sign up to the course waiting list

D35: Register your interest

Share this page

Next steps

Refugee care (M35)

This is the only course of its kind that includes a placement within an organisation related to working with refugee people and it is the longest...

Find out more