Authors: Jill Benson, SA
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: A MEANINGFUL LIFE, REFUGEE, TRANSCULTURAL
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Working with people of refugee background takes us out of our comfort zone – it challenges our clinical skills, our cultural views of how the world works and our personal emotions and boundaries. Mostly we meet these challenges with perseverance and hope, but sometimes we may feel confronted with an impenetrable wall of cultural differences, insoluble problems and overwhelming emotions. On the other hand, there is unlimited potential to learn about unfamiliar aspects of health. This may not just be about illnesses such as schistosomiasis and malaria but about how spirituality and traditional medicine might add value to some of our usual treatments. Our concepts of ‘normality’ may be expanded as we experience the world through the eyes of another culture and we plumb new depths of emotion as we have the enormous privilege of listening to stories and building up relationships that would otherwise be impossible.