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.

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 say:

"The coursework with the clinicians at the Tavistock has proven incredibly valuable in my current work with youth here in the US. In particular, the placement group was very helpful for establishing a standard of clinical supervision that I've been able to use when looking at opportunities here. When some of my current colleagues with activist backgrounds were recently talking about liberation theology, I remembered the comments in class about the subject and its influence".

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.


Fees will be announced here when the course is next open for booking

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 website:

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
10 weeks
Monday evenings
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
Course lead:
David Amias

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Refugee care (M35)

The central focus of this course is to introduce a therapeutic dimension and a psychosocial perspective to working with refugees and asylum...

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