Acknowledgement

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions and support of some people. We would like to thank them here explicitly. 

This project was initiated by Sarah Strauven in her former workplace. Her supervisor at that time, Ellen Goeleven was immediately interested in the project and saw its potential for many. In the context of her job as a psychologist at Fedasil, Sarah got the time and the financial resources to realise the first part of the project.

Just like Sarah, Johan Op De Beeck was a member of the Refugee Committee of the Belgian Institute for Psychotraumatology (BIPe) and he was immediately interested in co-managing the project. We turned to other members of BIPe for additional help. We thank Manoëlle Hopchet and Nicole Ruysschaert who supported us with careful advice and suggestions about the selection of the exercises. Their expertise in stabilising exercises in trauma counselling have endowed this project with a greater clinical validity.

We owe it to Joke Impens that a collaboration with Mindspring became possible for this project. She stood behind this project with a firm belief that asylum seekers and refugees benefit from high quality psychoeducation and envisioned the use of our exercises in the Mindspring courses. Mindspring also provided trainers who have worked intensively in this project.

Of course, there wouldn’t be a project if we wouldn’t have been able to rely on the people who have translated the exercises with great care and attention and whom we consulted with about the cultural appropriateness of the selection of exercises: Mohamad Al Adawi and Esra’a Mohamed (Arabic), Malika Amarkhail (Russian), P. (Servo-Croatian), Najeeb Basharmal (Pashtu), Naylufar Mir (Dari), Christine Van der Heyden (French), Antje Urbahn and Helge Fester (German) and Liu Costa Goncalves (Portugese).

We admire the people who have committed themselves to record the exercises. A lot of courage was needed to venture out into the unknow and move out of their comfort zone. This was particularly the case for those who weren’t previously familiar with this sort of exercises. We thank each and every one of them for the dedication, the patience and the care they have shown: Mohamad Al Adawi and Esra’a Mohamed (Arabic), Malika Amarkhail (Russian), P. (Servo-Croatian), Najeeb Basharmal (Pashtu), Naylufar Mir (Dari), Géraldine Lienart (French), Helge Fester (German), Tine Mathijs (Dutch), Liu Costa Goncalves (Portugese) and Caitlin Mullin (English).

We also greatly appreciate Sofie Meelberghs, whose role was essential and invaluable to this project. She was in charge of the audio recordings and the editing of the recordings. Equally great is our admiration and recognition for her work which, due to the complexity of the many languages, proved to be a great ordeal.

We also thank Anik Serneels, Myriam Iliano,  Peggy Devalck and Poh Lin Lee for proofreading some parts of the written text.

Finally, we want to express our heartfelt thanks to the benefactors, who wished to remain anonymous, for their support to bring this project to a successful conclusion. We were moved to learn about how much they care for people seeking refuge. We hope to do justice to their intentions and wishes with the end result.