Mirjam Thullesen is a trained psychologist and practising psychotherapist who has worked with refugees and survivors of trafficking and torture for a number of years, in roles at the Poppy Project, British Refugee Council and Freedom from Torture. She is currently working towards a Doctorate in Psychology and Psychotherapy looking specifically at self care for practitioners working with refugees. Ahead of the NACCOM Conference later this month, we asked Mirjam to share some thoughts on her workshop which focuses on ‘Looking After Yourself’.

Mirjam writes;

As part of the NACCOM annual conference I will be running an interactive workshop on vicarious trauma and self-care in work with asylum seekers and refugees. This workshop is an important forum to discuss the impact on practitioners of working in this very complex area.

Asylum seekers in the UK have most often undergone horrific abuse and persecution, not only in their home countries, but also en-route to the UK. Once here, they face the process of seeking protection and the deprivation inherent in being an asylum seeker in the UK. Working with people who suffer such a range of difficulties ultimately takes its toll on workers. When you are passionate and care deeply about the people you support, you are also likely to be deeply affected. If this sounds familiar, then this workshop is for you.

In the workshop we will focus on exploring some of the ways you manage the impact of your work. We will discuss the concept of vicarious trauma and what you can do to develop awareness of symptoms and how to minimise the risk of getting to a point of burnout. Self-care is a vital part of being able to help others. In the workshop we will discuss effective self-care strategies and devise a plan to support you in your work, giving you some knowledge and tools to take away.’

Interested? There’s still time to book tickets, just head to Eventbrite to secure yours before the deadline (18th Sept).