Exploring Beneficial Practices of Mental Health Professionals Working with Refugees

  • Author / Creator
    Rozendaal, Kate
  • Evidence suggests that despite growing numbers of refugees entering Alberta each year, there may not be enough counsellors equipped to provide helping services. Within the counselling context, refugees are identified as at risk for developing complex psychological challenges, requiring culturally sensitive counselling that incorporates diverse culture and language differences. This case study explored how three Alberta-based mental health professionals provide helpful counselling services to refugees and how they prepared to attain competencies and relevant experiences required for providing appropriate, culturally sensitive interventions to refugees. Pre-interview activities and semi-structured interviews with nominated professionals, supported by a document review of master’s level cross-cultural training courses, were conducted to answer the research questions: (1) how do mental health professionals provide appropriate, culturally sensitive interventions to incorporate the unique needs of refugees? and (2) what professional development and training have prepared skillful and knowledgeable professionals to provide these services? Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically, within- and across-cases, with the following seven themes emerging: Building Trust in the Working Relationship, Maintaining Ethical Practice, Attending to the Client’s Culture and Context, Attending to and Working with Complex Mental Health Concerns, Helpful Components of Formal Training, Helpful Components of Professional Development and Ongoing Training, and Supportive Consultation and Supervision. Implications for counselling and future research are discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.