Power and ethics in psychosocial counselling: reflections on the experience of an international NGO providing services for Iraqi refugees in Jordan

This paper reflects on some of the moral dilemmas inherent in the provision of counselling for Iraqi refugees by highlighting the day-to-day experiences of psychosocial counsellors employed by an international nongovernmental organization (INGO) in Jordan. It is argued that the lack of clarity in role, short term recruitment policies, confused demands on INGOs and the complexity of the political situation of Iraqis in Jordan contribute to profound, and often insoluble, moral dilemmas for local staff charged with providing front line counselling services. These dilemmas are rarely discussed explicitly, but permeate every aspect of the refugee and counsellor interaction. Having identified the issues raised, specific suggestions as to how they may be addressed are put forward.

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Gilbert, Jane