In recent years, migration has become a prominent issue, challenging the policies and values of societies. Asylum seekers leave their countries, often escaping from conflict zones, seeking protection and better opportunities. This population is often exposed to violent situations, so-called potentially traumatic experiences.
Dealing with people who need international protection implies meeting different cultures and experiences. In addition to the language barrier, asylum seekers often meet difficulty in establishing a bond of trust, due to cultural differences and/or the exposure to traumatic events: in their countries of origin, en route or even after arrival in the host countries. Trauma is not only a consequence of exposure to an extreme event, but also a result of subjective experience and perception. For this reason it is essential to be attentive to the social and cultural contexts in planning prevention and intervention strategies.
Considering the relevance of this theme, and that Portugal is a growing territory of asylum, the Centro de Trauma invited Gwynyth Overland to lead a workshop focused on the role of culture, religion and values in overcoming potentially traumatic events. The sociologist will share her experience and knowledge in an interactive workshop which aims to promote the discussion on migrations and how to deal with cultural differences.
Gwynyth Overland is Senior Advisor and Clinical Sociologist at the Regional Trauma Centre (RVTS Sør) and the Clinic for Psychosomatics and Trauma (PST) at Sorlandet Hospital in Southern Norway. Dr Overland was born in the USA, began her education at Vassar, moved to Europe after a junior year abroad, and married and settled in Norway, where she took degrees in sociology at the Universities of Oslo and Agder. Her doctoral work was a study of remarkably resilient survivors of the Khmer Rouge period, an interdisciplinary project in the sociology of religion and mental health. She edited Sociology at the Frontiers of Psychology (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2006), and has published articles in English and Norwegian on refugees’ untapped resilience, their experience of psychiatric treatment and the transnational flows between resettled refugees and the homeland.
Atividade no âmbito do Centro de Trauma/CES