Website Refugee Council

Championing the rights of refugees

The Refugee Council is one of the lead organisations in the UK working with asylum seekers and refugees. Our operational teams based in various locations in England provide advice and assistance across a wide range of issues, working with individuals, families and children to increase their resilience, build their confidence & aspiration and access key services such as housing, welfare benefits, health, education and employment.

The Therapeutic team provides one-to-one psychotherapy and group psychoeducation to refugees presenting with mental distress. The team has developed a Therapeutic Care Model, adapted within regional settings to address the needs of refugees who:

o have experienced high levels of loss and separation from family members, compounded by current  isolation in rural/ small town locations
o may be survivors of torture, organised violence, conflict zones and trafficking
o may have serious and/or acute, undiagnosed physical and mental health issues
o may be suffering from trauma or complex post-traumatic stress disorder
o are not necessarily traumatised but are under tremendous stress; suffering from anxiety or depression and other disabling psychological conditions
o are likely to become isolated, anxious, depressed etc. during the process of seeking asylum, integration or resettlement, and whose mental wellbeing is at risk

Under the Wellbeing & Work for Refugee Integration Project, the team will deliver support to a range of beneficiaries in 5 project locations: Cambridge, Peterborough, Hertfordshire/West Essex, Luton and Colchester, adapting the service model according to need and accessibility.

Based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the post-holder will report directly to the Regional Therapeutic Services Manager.  They will work closely with other post holders in Hertfordshire and the East of England, partner organisations, other Refugee Council advice teams and wider stakeholders to identify and support refugees with mental health & wellbeing needs across the Hertfordshire/ West Essex region.  A full, clean driving licence and access to a car are essential for this role, with mileage payable by the Refugee Council.



1. Professional qualification in family and systemic psychotherapy, or a qualification in a psychological therapy with substantial experience of supporting groups and families
2. Registration with AFT, or a regulatory body e.g. HCPC


1. In depth knowledge of psychological issues:
a. related to forced migration
b. related to child development and the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood
c. related to attachment, family dynamics and their impact on wellbeing and resilience
2. Qualification or experience with a specialism in trauma-informed therapies or Refugee Care


Knowledge, skills and abilities


1. Understanding, ability and psychological resilience to work with individuals and families in crisis and acute states of distress or disturbance and maintain a sensitive and professional attitude
2. Understanding of the Refugee Experience, and the needs of refugee clients and families who have experienced trauma, loss and separation
3. Ability to carry out holistic psychological and social assessments to gain an understanding of client needs for assistance in these areas and to make appropriate referrals
4. Therapeutic skills in working and building trusting relationship with refugee clients experiencing a range of psychological issues including: PTSD, loss, guilt, shame, depression, pain, displacement
5. Therapeutic skills in working and building trusting relationship with family units and awareness of the challenges of the process
6.Ability to assess and work with the full range of risk affecting refugee clients, including suicide/self-harm etc.
7. Sensitivity to working in a multi-cultural environment and an understanding of the ways in which views about mental health are culturally specific
8. Ability to employ a range of clinical approaches to individual adults, children, young people and families
9. Ability to work within a multi-disciplinary system with colleagues from a range of clinical and other professional backgrounds
10. Good organisational skills and caseload management, record keeping and the ability to act on own initiative when appropriate
11.Good report writing skills sufficient to be able to write counselling/therapy reports including reporting on outcomes
12. Excellent verbal communication skills and ability to deliver specialist training sessions and workshops to a variety of audiences
13. Ability to train and offer peer support to other clinicians and staff within the organisation
14. A strong personal commitment to equal opportunities both in terms of policy and practical application
15. A full, clean driving licence and access to a car




16.Qualification in a creative arts therapy
17. Knowledge of welfare rights and benefits systems in the UK particularly as they affect refugees and asylum seekers on accessing their entitlements
18. Spoken competence in one or more priority refugee languages
19. Knowledge of online therapy techniques and an ability to deliver remote therapeutic services

This post is subject to a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. Repeat checks are initiated every two years.

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