Psychological Care and Support for the Survivors of Trafficking

Reference work entry


The chapter draws upon the author’s experience as a counselling psychologist working with survivors of human trafficking at the International Organization for Migration Rehabilitation Centre (IOM RC) in Moscow, Russia. This was the first rehabilitation center created to address the psychological care and support of survivors of trafficking in the Russian Federation. The European Commission and the US Government funded the project. Psychological rehabilitation of human trafficking survivors at the Centre is facilitated through psychological assessment, daily monitoring, and providing individual and group psychological counselling. These tasks are performed in a context that frequently presents multiple ethical and professional challenges that can put counsellors at risk of malpractice or burnout. This chapter explores psychological characteristics of the survivors taking into account the fact that most are adolescents and young adults and describes the program of psychological care and support offered at the IOM RC. The chapter further explores the counsellor-survivor relationship, roles of, and special ethical and professional demands experienced by counselling psychologists working in this service setting to promote the psychological care and support of survivors. The chapter concludes with recommendations on effective and ethical practice, such as acting in the best interests of the survivors, using careful deliberation and development of the counsellors’ questioning skills, and attaining to the counsellors’ psychological well-being.


IOM Sex trafficking survivors Counselling psychologist Professional challenges Ethical behavior Preventing burnout Care providers 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MoscowRussian Federation

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