Supporting Refugee Family Reunification in Exile

2020Nora Sveaass and Sissel Reichelt

Family reunion in exile may be a complex and challenging experience. Refugee families are often reunited in the host countries after having lived through long periods of separation, insecurity and violence. Assisting families in the process of reunification is discussed as an issue of priority, both from a psychological and a human rights point of view. Based on clinical experiences, the authors suggest that accompanying families in this process of transition is meaningful and useful. The chapter argues that work with refugees should be seen through a family lens, and that mental health professionals have the knowledge and background regarding families and systems that enable them to offer good assistance to families in reunification processes (chapter 13 in Working with Refugee Families, not open access).

Key wordsasylum / asylum seekers / family reunification / forced migration / refugees