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Home > Arhiva > 2022 > Numar: 2 > „Pandemia i-a făcut mai vulnerabili pe cei deja vulnerabili”. Reflecţii despre intervenţia psihoterapeutică cu victimele traficului de persoane în vreme de pandemie

 „Pandemia i-a făcut mai vulnerabili pe cei deja vulnerabili”. Reflecţii despre intervenţia psihoterapeutică cu victimele traficului de persoane în vreme de pandemie [„The Pandemic has Rendered more Vulnerable those who were Already Vulnerable”. Reflections on the Psychotherapeutic Intervention with Victims of Human Trafficking in the Time of the Pandemic]

  • Alexandra Mitroi (Association for the Development of Alternative Reintegration Practices and Education, SPER Institute – Romanian Society of Experiential Psychotherapy, Phone: 0722314603, E-mail:

The article looks into the changes brought in 2020 by the Covid 19 pandemic and consequent restrictive measures into the existences of Romanian human trafficking victims, beneficiaries of assistance programmes, in the sense of access to services, but with a focus on mental health challenges. It highlights the perspective of a psychotherapist providing psychological interventionon on how the pandemic changed the psychotherapeutic context, framework and dynamics with clients. The paper also takes into account the victimized clients’ perception on the experience of life during Covid 19 pandemic and how it affected their mental health.

Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to provide a broader image on how impactful the fast adjustment to a VUCA context has been for the most vulnerable, putting a significant burden on their mental wellbeing (activating post-traumatic symptoms, anxiety, loss, partially processed painful experiences resurfacing), also in terms of restricting access to assistance and other services. A second objective was to offer the proffessional’s experience on the need to re-organize the conditions of their work, not having certainty in predicting the results.

Method: The paper uses qualitative methods, the psychotherapist’s reflections, being completed by the clients’ perceptions obtained in psychotherapy and in a focus group (on the challenges victims perceived and how their mental wellbeing was impacted), afterwards synthesized in a group report, corroborated with the findings of a dedicated qualitative research and a body of theory centred on psychological trauma.

Results and conclusion: In order to effectively address the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the trafficking victims’ mental wellbeing, the continuity and coherence of assistance services needs to be ensured, particularly of psychological assistance. The victim clients shared the relational difficulties they faced in their family environments which they could no longer distance from, most of which had already been tensed before, or mentioned challenges experienced while living alone and had few social relations. Thus, the paper highlights once again the necessity in difficult times to secure the most vulnerable in terms of physical health, emotional health and economic wellbeing.

Keywords: Covid19 pandemic; victims of human trafficking; psychological trauma; online psychotherapy; attachment; empathy