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723 | Understanding and Working with New Migrants, International Settlers, Displaced Populations, War Refugees, and Asylum-seekers

Multicultural Counseling and Diversity: Special Populations and Global Competency, Saturday 9/16 2:15 – 3:30, Workshop Tracks


Naji Abi-Hashem, Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Chemical Dependency Counselors, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




General travels, geo-demographic movements, and the influx of displaced people and war refugees are increasing worldwide. The reason for immigration or resettlement varies considerably—economic hardships, political turmoil, armed conflicts, unfair oppression-intimidation, and ethnic-religious persecution. In this presentation, the presenter will define some key terminologies related to migration and displaced populations, explore the psychology and sociology of immigration, and highlight the impact of the continual exile/influx of people from troubled countries, especially the Middle East and North Africa, toward the Global West. Participants will also revisit the concepts of acculturation, voluntary vs. forced migration, war and refugee trauma, explain who the Arab Americans are, and reconsider the challenges and rewards of intercultural-adjustment and psychosocial adaptation/assimilation. Last, the presenter will conclude with some practical guidelines and recommendations for effective work by psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, and ministry leaders that are timely, relevant, and sensitive for any migrant or minority population.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe two mental/emotional struggles that migrants and refugees carry with them and clearly display upon arrival into a hosting society
2. Outline two obstacles that new migrants and refugees often face, which generally complicate the assimilation/acculturation (integration) process
3. Apply three therapeutic interventions/techniques or clinical questions to effectively assess immigrants/refugees and help them navigate the North American psychosocial landscape
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