Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees (CTAR)

Part of Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Three sets of hands crossed over a map

Exploring the refugee experience

The Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees (CTAR) aims to provide a framework and a focus for examining, from a variety of different perspectives, the main issues associated with the reality and experience of being an asylum seeker or refugee.


The main emphasis of the Centre is on the psychosocial dimensions of these experiences. The Centre also provides a forum for individuals and organisations to exchange knowledge and experiences and to further develop their ideas and work in this field

Our centre

Research grants

Our members work hard to attract a range of research grants and funding for their cutting edge research. Some of their most notable awards include:



  • Professor Renos Papadopoulos's application was successful and he was granted £8000 for his project 'Improving psychosocial interventions with refugees and asylum seekers by applying the Synergic Therapeutic Complexity approach in Costa Rica'. The grant is offered by the Global Challenges Research Fund, in the category: 'Research Pump Priming'. Due to the current travelling restrictions, he will conduct the training and all other activities of the project by Zoom. This is a continuation of his work in Costa Rica, a country that has recently been experiencing an unprecedented surge of migrants and refugees.



  • Professor Renos Papadopoulos received an award of £3500 from the Global Challenges Research Funding (GCRF) for the completion of the English translation of the Training Manual of his approach that he developed with Babel Day Centre in Athens. The English version of the Manual will used for all the trainings in other parts of the world and which form Renos’s Impact Case Study.

Our research projects

  • A rapid assessment of psychosocial needs and resources in South Sudan following the outbreak of the 2013/2014 conflict. 
  • Enhancing vulnerable asylum seekers' protection (EVASP).
  • Setting up psychosocial services in Yemen.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci programme.
  • Consulting at the Dadaab Refugee Camps in Eastern Kenya.


"CTAR is so much more than a research centre. We are a community of academics, researchers, practitioners, activists and human rights workers exploring the complexities of experience in Refugee Care and Involuntary Dislocation in order to make a real difference. We welcome new ideas for fruitful collaboration."
Professor Renos Papadopoulos  DIRECTOR of the centre for tRAUMA, ASYLUM AND REFUGEES 

Highlights from our work


Our academic staff frequently feature within the wider press and media. Below are some examples of their latest appearances: 

  • View Professor Renos Papadopoulos giving a talk on displacement at The Jungian Psychoanalytic Association - 2019.
  • Watch Professor Renos Papadopoulos giving a keynote speech at the International Systemic Research Conference - 2017.

Published works


  • Papadopoulos, Renos K. 2018. "The neglected complexities of refugee fathers." Psychotherapy and Politics International.
  • Luci, M. (2021). “The psychic skin between individual and collective states of mind in trauma.” Journal of Psychosocial Studies, (online).
  • Luci, M. & Kahn, M. (2021) “Analytic therapy with refugees: Between silence and embodied narratives,” Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 41:2, 103-114.
  • Luci, M. (2020),“Displacement as trauma and trauma as displacement in the experience of refugees.” Journal of Analytical Psychology, April 2020, 65(2), pp. 260-280. 
  • Luci, M. & Di Rado, D.  (2019) “The Special Needs of Victims of Torture or Serious Violence: A Qualitative Research in EU”. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies.
  • Luci, M. (2018) “The mark of torture and the therapeutic relationship”. International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Education, Vol. X, n1, pp. 47-60.
  • Luci, M. (2017) “Disintegration of the self and regeneration of the psychic skin in the treatment of traumatized refugees”. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 62 (2)(April), pp. 227-246. doi: . Awarded as Fordham Prize 2018. 
  • Luci, M. (2017) Torture, Psychoanalysis and Human Rights, London & New York, Routledge.Carta, S. (2016). Opening our Rooms: The ETnA Projects for Migrants in Italy. London: Routledge. 
  • Carta, S. (2017). Writing stories in time. The unfolding of the objective biography in life and work. New York: The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, www.aras.org. 
  • Carta, S. (2017). Writing stories in time. The unfolding of the objective biography in life and work. New York: The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, www.aras.org. 
  • Alcaro, A., Carta, S., Panksepp J. (2017). The affective core of the self: a neuro-archetypical perspective on the foundations of human (and animal) subjectivity. Fronteers of Psychology, 2017; 8: 1424.
  • Lampis J., Cataudella S., Busonera A., Carta S. (2018). Personality Similarity and Romantic Relationship Adjustment during the Couple Life Cycle. The Family Journal, 26(1), 31-39.
  • Carta, S. (2018). La Battaglia di Algeri. Le Storie che noi Siamo. Rivista di Psicologia Analitica,  vol. 38, n. 101. 
  • Carta, S. (2018). Il pagamento in analisi. Rivista di Psicologia Analitica.
  • Alcaro, A. Carta, S. (2019). “The “Instinct” of Imagination. A Neuro-Ethological Approach to the Evolution of the Reflective Mind and Its Application to Psychotherapy”. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 
  • Carta, S. Darstellung, Vorstellung, Wahrnehmung. Der spiralförmige Atem des Erinnerns. Zeitschrift für Sandspiel-Therapie" vol. 46, mai 2019 ·       Lampis. J., Cataudella, S. Carta S. et Al. (2019). “Differentiation of self and the decision to seek systemic psychotherapy: a comparison between a help-seeking and a normative sample”. Counselling Psychology Quarterly. Vol. 32. 
  • Carta, S., “Creativity as the core of psychotherapy”, Japanese Journal of Psychotherapy, (16) 2020 ·
  • Carta, S. (2020) Here’s Johnny! American Carnival in Modern Times. In: Singer, T. (Ed.) Cultural Complexes and the Soul of America. London: Routledge.
  • Carta S. (2020) Presentazione, In: Devescovi, P.C. (2020) Pro Bono Patris, Boringhieri, Torino. 
  • Carta, S. Kijehl, E., (2020) Introduction: why is social and political activism necessary for psychological understanding? In: Carta, S., Kijehl, E., (Eds.), (2020). Political Passions. Social and Political Contributions of Jungian Psychology. London: Routledge.
  • Carta, S. (2020). Nigredo. L’Opera al Nero. In: Massa Ope, S., Rossi, A., Tibaldi, M., Jung e la metafora viva dell'alchimia. Immagini della trasformazione psichica. Milano: Moretti e Vitali


  • Papadopoulos, Renos K. 2021 Involuntary Dislocation: Home, Trauma, Resilience and Adversity-Activated Development.  Routledge, London, United Kingdom.
  • Papadopoulos, Renos K. 2021 Moral Injury and Beyond: Understanding Human Anguish and Healing Traumatic Wounds.  Routledge, London, United Kingdom.
  • Luci, M. (2020). The salience of borders in the experience of refugees. In Carta, S. & Kiehl, E. (Eds) Political Passions and Jungian Psychology. Social and Political Activism in Analysis. Abington, UK & New York, Routledge.
  • Alexander, David. 2020. Book chapter in Moral Injury and Beyond: Understanding Human Anguish and Healing Traumatic Wounds. R. K. Papadopoulos, Ed.  Routledge Press.


Our events

To find out about upcoming seminars and events from the Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees please visit our Departmental events calendar.

 A selection of our key and current events:


Window view from library
Support our refugee students

Refugee students arrive at the University of Essex hoping to gain access to higher education. Despite being academically gifted, many students are unable to support themselves financially. Instead, they rely on small bursaries or simply go without. You can change this by making a donation to the Departmental Scholarship Committee.

Get in touch
Get in touch
Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873460
Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873460