No Five Fingers are Alike: What Exiled Kurdish Women in Therapy Told Me

Author(s) : Nora Ahlberg

Part of The International Series of Psychosocial Perspectives on Trauma, Displaced People & Political Violence - more in this series

No Five Fingers are Alike: What Exiled Kurdish Women in Therapy Told Me

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This is probably the only book of it kind that focuses exclusively on refugee women, and one of the few that limit their scope only to one group of refugees - the Kurds, in this case. Although the book is about Kurdish women in Norway, its appeal and contents are nevertheless of universal value and applicability. The general reader will get an unparalleled insight into a therapeutic way of working with refugees and the specialist reader will have a vast range of themes to feast on. These include theoretical considerations of ideas about collective trauma, narrative life stories, working cross-culturally, mental health perspectives on refugees, and the formation of meaning, to mention but a few.

Reviews and Endorsements

'This remarkable book is the second in the International Series of Psychosocial Perspectives on Trauma, Displaced People and Political Violence and it continues to offer what the first volume did - a unique opporunity for English-speaking readers to familiarise themselves with important European contributions in this field which are not usually accessible to them.

'Nora Ahlberg allows us to get privileged close look at her practice and to listen to the voices of her refugee clients. But her book is much more than a reproduction of their tumultuous experiences. It achieves a most sensitive balance between providing authentic testimonies of suffering and endurance, and articulating an authoritative and scholarly methodology for treating this delicate material. I am not aware of any other book that addresses so ably both of these facets of the refugee experience.'
- Renos K. Papadopoulos, from the Series Editor's Foreword

'Ahlberg's source material consists of narratives by traumatised Kurdish refugees as they have been told to her in a therapeutic situation while using an interpreter. A main point is that these narratives are not merely about the past tragedies of these refugees, but that they just as much represent their attempts at reinterpreting their lives and creating meaning in a new culture.

'They all share the topic of how refugee narratives of traumatic experiences are used as a source for cultural knowledge. The said narratives emerge as a rich source material for comparative religion. Ahlberg's approach is characterised by her broad interdisciplinary competence where the history of religion, psychology, sociological and narratological perspectives are utilised in order to
reach a holistic perspective.'
- Professor Einar Thomassen, University of Bergen, Islamic and Sufi studies

'"No Five Fingers are Alike" is a study of trauma from a wider, interdisciplinary point of view... It
documents extensive knowledge of the many-faced sides of trauma therapy, and is obviously very interesting and useful for both academics and professionals in the fi eld. The book is written in a
matter-of-fact manner, which balances very well with the almost explosive empirical evidence of human violations described and analysed... It emphasises a need for multicultural awareness and
interdisciplinary approaches...'
- Professor Yngve Lithman, University of Bergen, Head of Interdisciplinary International Migration and Ethnic Relations Studies, Sociologist

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