Family Systems and Global Humanitarian Mental Health

Approaches in the Field

  • Laurie L. Charlés
  • Gameela Samarasinghe

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Laurie L. Charlés, Gameela Samarasinghe
    Pages 1-10
  3. Douglas Flemons, Laurie L. Charlés
    Pages 123-141
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 165-170

About this book


This powerful reference explores the processes and practices of family systems therapy as conducted in humanitarian situations across the globe. It follows the editors’ previous volume Family Therapy in Global Humanitarian Contexts: Voices and Issues from the Field in defining systemic therapy as multidisciplinary, portable, and universal, regardless of how far from traditional clinical settings it is applied. Chapters from diverse locales document remarkable examples of courage and resilience on the part of therapists as well as clients in the face of war, unjust policies, extreme inequities, and natural disasters. Contributors describe choosing and implementing interventions to fit both complex immediate challenges and their local contexts as they work to provide systemic family and public mental health services, including:

  • Assisting families of missing persons in Cyprus
  • Emergency counseling after a Florida school shooting 
  • Therapeutic metaphors in a Lebanese refugee camp
  • Sessions with separated family members on the U.S./Mexico border
  • Addressing healthcare disparities in the Caribbean
  • Training family therapists in Sri Lanka
  • Family and community support during the Ebola epidemic in Guinea
  • Providing systemically oriented therapy and supervision in high-conflict countries
  • Risk assessment using emerging media in Chilean communities

Family Systems and Global Humanitarian Mental Health: Approaches in the Field is a valuable resource for professionals in both the global North and South, including family therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and public health professionals, and mental health and psychosocial support providers working in humanitarian settings.


Systemic Approaches Brief Therapy Family Therapy Family Counseling Emergency Settings Training & Supervision International Family Therapy Mental Health Psychosocial Support Humanitarian Intervention Humanitarian Aid Human Rights Fragile & Conflict-Affected States Post Conflict Countries Humanitarian Disaster Refugees Forced Migration Displacement Genocide Atrocities of War

Editors and affiliations

  • Laurie L. Charlés
    • 1
  • Gameela Samarasinghe
    • 2
  1. 1.Family Therapist, Independent ResearcherBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of ColomboColomboSri Lanka

Bibliographic information