International Conference on

Refugee Crisis

in Europe and the Middle East:

"Sharing Tools For Humanitarian Response"

Previous event in 2016 ~ Freiburg, Germany

A 3-day international working conference bringing together key stakeholders working with refugees to address:

  • Immediate psycho-social treatment needs of refugees arriving traumatized by the war, violence, and exodus.

  • Support needs of communities and societies receiving refugees.

  • Sharing practical, culturally sensitive service approaches and lessons learned - what is working, what is not working, and what needs to be done.

  • Formulating fact-based recommendations and guidelines endorsed by the full conference to provide public policy makers for increased effectiveness in responding to the multiple needs of refugees.

  • Networking to promote an international and cross-cultural professional network of humanitarian organizations and groups addressing the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East for mutual support, shared learning, and cooperation.
    Bi-Regional Cross-Training project: a bi-regional response and collaboration between mental health professional groups in host societies to improve the effectiveness of culturally adapted psycho-social treatment services to refugee populations in each country.

  • Dynamics of trauma and displacement in the individual and community.

Sponsored by:
Common Bond Institute (CBI),
Michigan State University (MSU),
Friends of Asylum in Freiburg,
City of Freiburg Office for Migration and Integration, and
International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA)

Examples of Topic Areas:


  • The impact on and the needs of both a desperate refugee community escaping turmoil and violence, and the communities receiving them; and the need for methods of developing cultural competency.

  • Challenges of resettlement and integration for a highly mobile and fragmented refugee population.

  • The need for culturally adapted and appropriate psychosocial treatment methods and approaches, and for orienting European psychosocial service providers to the refugee culture and language for the most effectiveness.

  • The features, dynamics, and implications of communal trauma and transgenerational trauma, and how these relate to the current situation in Europe.

  • Inter-regional and cross-cultural collaboration building for developing and implementing effective strategies.

  • Developing response guidelines and recommendations for national and community social policy makers, and for a public education process to increase intercultural understanding and sensitivity.


Psychosocial Training for Clergy and Religious Teachers:

A separate 1-day invitational session


Invitational Training

For Clergy and Religious Teachers



Symptoms and Treatment

Conducted and Sponsored by:

Michigan State University,
Common Bond Institute,
International Humanistic Psychology Association

Partner Event of:
Parliament of World’s Religions

This 1-Day Training Program is open to clergy and religious teachers representing local religious communities and provides the following:

[A] Cultural and religious orientation to the refugee population in the region.

[B] Information on basic psychosocial symptoms, such as those related to trauma, to assist in identifying symptoms and behaviors in individuals encountered by spiritual leaders and teachers, including those seeking help due to severe psychological symptoms.

[C] Basic responses and counseling skills that can be quickly learned and helpful to use in assisting those showing trauma and emotional difficulties.

[D] Learning when a professional therapist is needed, and where and how to refer someone who needs more advanced psychosocial treatment to locally available professional services (including local therapists who are trained in trauma and psychosocial treatment by Common Bond Institute through it’s training programs).

[E] Discussing unique situations and issues that come up in dealing with many who are suffering from psychological and emotional difficulties.

* Registration for this separate session is free to qualified participants.
Local clergy and religious teachers wishing to participate should contact CBI to register for this separate program at:, 1-269-665-9393

Please Note: This program is a separate registration from the 3-day conference for invited clergy and religious teachers. Please contact our partners in Freiburg for details:
Wolfgang Roth, Freiburg, Germany
Regina Weiser, Freiburg, Germany
Antje Reinhard, Freiburg, Germany

Among Planned Outcome Goals:


Compiling a published document of fact-based recommendations and guidelines on service systems and best practices, endorsed by leading universities, institutes, professional associations, and the full conference to provide public policy makers for increased effectiveness in responding to the multiple needs of refugees and communities receiving them.


Launching Bi-Regional Cross-Training Project

A major bi-regional collaboration between mental health professionals in host societies to provide cultural competency training and share culturally adapted treatment services to refugee populations in each country.

More details


Development of an international, cross-cultural professional network of humanitarian organizations and groups addressing the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East for mutual support and cooperation.