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Solace – Therapy

Individual Psychotherapy

The people we help have very high levels of stress, anxiety, pain and trauma.

Therapists draw on a range of techniques to help clients to manage these very disturbing symptoms. Solace does not subscribe to a single model of therapy, but operates within a multi-dimensional framework so that we attempt to tailor our therapeutic approach to individual needs.
Research into the mental health needs of asylum seekers and refugees consistently demonstrates the need to have a ‘holistic’ approach to the mental health needs of asylum seeker and refugees, which might include a wide range of therapeutic interventions, as well as advocacy support, group activities and hands-on therapies.

Solace therapists come from different therapeutic backgrounds, including family and systemic therapy, psychodynamic therapy, integrative psychotherapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Helping our clients to build resources by learning to cope with disturbing body sensations, extreme emotions, destabilising thoughts and other symptoms of trauma and distress is fundamental to recovery.
Several of our therapists are trained to use EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). Mindfulness, guided imagery, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and other techniques.
Therapists at Solace are trained by us to work with asylum seekers and refugees, which includes training in how to work with interpreters in a therapeutic setting.
All our therapists are qualified to at least Diploma-level in counselling or psychotherapy and in many cases, they are qualified to a much higher level.

If you are interested in working with us as a volunteer therapist, please contact Anne Burghgraef.

Stress Management Group

Stress management groups are run by Senior Therapist, Dzmitry Karpuk and Pain, Trauma and Anxiety Management Therapist Nick Edwards.
Groups of up to 15 people who can speak some English are taught a number of techniques to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and bodily pain, as well as help problems with sleep.
The stress management groups learn self-help skills, which include guided imagery, acupressure points, the emotional freedom technique and breathing techniques. Group participants are encouraged to practise what they have learned between weekly sessions. You can learn more about what we do in these short films.

Stress Management 1 – Stress Management 2 – Stress Management 3 – Stress Management 4

Children, Adolescents and Families

While most people who come to Solace are individuals, we also support asylum-seeking and refugee families and individual children, some of whom are unaccompanied children. Solace clinical staff in Leeds are all qualified family and systemic psychotherapists (UKCP registered).
You can find out more about our work here

Pain and Trauma Therapies

Complementary therapies are not simply additions to psychotherapy but have been an integral part of our service since we began in 2006.
Many of our clients have been tortured or injured in unbearable situations. The clients who are referred for complementary therapies are those who have the highest levels of pain, trauma, anxiety and depression.
Currently, Solace complementary and body therapies include: therapeutic massage, and hands-on pain, trauma and anxiety management, an approach which enables clients to learn techniques that they can use at home.
See also: A Volunteer Counsellor’s Perspective.
See also case studies: The story of M from Uganda and Hussein’s story and Nathalie’s story. See also Interpreters page.

Solace Impact Report


field-dayActivities’ Groups

Many asylum seekers are very isolated and lonely, hence the reason why we complement our therapeutic work with activities’ groups, so that our clients have a sense of belonging, as well as give them a chance to get to know other people in the same situation as themselves and form friendships and provide mutual support. Currently we are running a bibliotherapy group led by Oliver Cross and Rachel Webster.