Land of care seeking: Pre- and post-migratory experiences in asylum seekers' narratives


Abstract


Since 2015, the arrival in Europe of thousands of asylum-seekers has thrown in crisis the certainties on which our continent has built his common identity, configuring the forced migration issue as a social, political, humanitarian and psychological priority. Researches in the field of refugees and asylum-seekers are mainly focused on their increased risk of psychological distress and psychopathology, but the adverse effects of trauma are also compounded by different post-migration stressors, including living difficulties, unemployment, discrimination. Taking a psychodynamic perspective,the present study aims to look at the forced migration experience as a multilevel phenomen and to explore the migratory experiences of 20 North-African asylum seekers hosted in Italy. In-depth interviews, developed ad hoc, were administered and then analysed by the software T-LAB. The analysis of the interviews showed 4 thematic clusters: Not a human place, Crossing the dark of the Mediterranean Sea, When everything started, Land of care seeking. Repeated traumatic experiences and an ambivalent view of Italy and of the reception centres emerged from narratives. Reflections on the implications of the study in terms of research as well as clinical practice will be outlined.


Keywords: forced migration; asylum seekers; Italy; qualitative research; narratives.

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