Katie is an academic and practitioner in mental health intervention (implementation and evaluation), with a particular interest in supporting people in international protection (i.e., asylum seekers and refugees). As a post-doctoral research fellow, she works on the REFUGE-ED project (www.refuge-ed.eu). REFUGE-ED is a European Commission, Horizon 2020 project operating across seven European countries and forty-six. REFUGE-ED seeks to map, identify, co-create, evaluate, and implement practices to support the academic, mental-health, and psycho-social functioning of migrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee youth in educational settings. This includes formal (e.g., conventional schools) and informal settings (e.g., in community youth groups or residential contexts). As a practitioner, Katie works on the psychotherapy team with refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland’s national centre for the rehabilitation of victims of torture. Within this role, she provides one-to-one assessment and therapy, as well as external lectures and trainings in relation to inter-cultural work, refugee experiences, and trauma. Katie also maintains a private practice – most often grounded in emotion-focused therapy - in Dublin’s city centre seeing. Historically, she has worked as a psychologist and researcher across numerous public mental health services and homeless support services. Katie's research interests include interventions (e.g., individual therapy, group-based therapy, peer-to-peer support structures, task-shifting approaches) targeting the mental health/reduction of symptomatology among adult asylum-seekers or refugees in receiving countries, as well as the process and outcomes of therapy (e.g., non-directive counselling, trauma-focused CBT, narrative exposure therapy) with people who have also experienced torture, co-creative approaches to and interventions related to mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) interventions with youth, particularly migrant/refugee youth, cultural humility/competence in psychological or MHPSS work with migrants and refugees across the lifespan, and lastly process and outcome research of emotion-focused therapy.
Katie McQuillan reviews a recent randomised controlled trial which suggests that a brief community programme may help improve youth and caregiver psychological wellbeing in young Syrian refugees settled in Jordan.[read the full story...]