Working with refugee families in Greece: systemic considerations

Authors(s): Maria G. VOULGARIDOU, Renos K. PAPADOPOULOS, Vlassis TOMARAS



When refugee families leave their country of origin, they may also leave behind their culture and support systems but not their abilities to overcome the emerging adversities. This article addresses issues concerning the process of refugee families’ ‘acculturation’ and adaptation to their new setting in Greek society. It attempts to develop culture-sensitive approaches to family therapy based on narrative perspectives and inspired by Pike’s ‘-emic and -etic’ distinction. It discusses the innovative methods developed by the therapeutic team of the Greek Council for Refugees which included the use of ‘cultural therapeutic mediators’ and others in an endeavour to access the overlapping systems of refugee families in more effective ways.

Key words: Acculturation, Families, Systems, Greece, Refugees, Narrative

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