Introduction to Special International Section

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Special International Section with a Focus on Refugees

Elizabeth Carll, PhD, International Editor

Elizabeth Carll, PhD

Research on the experiences and plight of refugees in current and often dangerous circumstances is a difficult task and data are very limited. Most reports are from observation and often focus on demographics.  These four articles are atypical and intend to provide a wide spectrum of experiences as opposed to the often demographic reports of refugees living in camps in austere conditions. The first article, by Brigitte Khoury, provides an interesting perspective, as it focuses on a practical intervention of group problem solving (as opposed to focusing directly on mental health issues) to increase well-being and begin to build a sense of community. It is easily replicable in other settings.  The article on enforced disappearances by Kevin DeJesus focuses on a rarely discussed, but all too common experience among refugees. The article by Ilene Serlin gives a glimpse into Eastern culture and the use of nonverbal expression to communicate emotion, a tool not as frequently used in Western interventions. Interestingly, this last article based on the author’s recent visit to China, revealed minimal migration in this region. The article by students Sara Buckingham and Melissa Paiva-Salisbury on enhancing evidence-based interventions for refugees show the excellent work being done by students in innovative internship settings that will provide a foundation for developing specialized skills and learning the benefits of working in multidisciplinary teams.