“There is hope for change and for a better life for them” – Bassma Younan
Bassma Younan’s [MDiv Counselling 2014] refugee clients breathed a sigh of relief when they discovered she is fluent in their native language of Arabic. Many of the resources to support them are only available in English. Because her clients are not limited in how they can express themselves, the counselling sessions have already started to have an impact. “They are open and sharing their deep, deep pain, their worries and also their wishes,” says Bassma.
It can take months for symptoms of trauma to appear. “The first year is very busy trying to find jobs, learning the language and making a resume,” she says. “Once things become routine, symptoms start showing up.”
Bassma is currently counselling two Syrian refugee families. “The amount of trauma they’ve been through is enormous, and it’s ongoing. Even though they are here and safe, it still has a very strong impact on them.”
Their symptoms of trauma have started to reduce. “There is hope for change and for a better life for them,” says Bassma. “It’s just going to take some time.”