Asylum seekers and refugees are among the most vulnerable people in society. If they are to stand a chance of rebuilding shattered lives, their mental health is paramount.

Mission Statement

We are witnessing an unjustified tragedy that threatens the world’s order and has unpredictable consequences for the people of Ukraine. This invasion involves only the destruction and suffering of civilians who are forced to leave their country. At such a dramatic moment and approaching a humanitarian disaster, we, the international therapeutic community based in Portugal, have come together to support those who are affected by this crisis. We strongly condemn the war and stand for solidarity with the people whose democracy and freedom have been violated.

Who We Are

We are an international therapeutic community based in Lisbon and Cascais areas, who have come together to support the Ukrainian community in these difficult times. We are a group of highly experienced clinicians dealing with a range of emotional issues including trauma and grief. We speak Portuguese, English, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and German.

What We Do

We provide specialist mental health support to the people of Ukraine who have been directly exposed to armed conflict and have been displaced from their homes and countries and those providing protection to civilians, friends and families. We provide tailor made treatment programme that aims to stabilize and mitigate acute distress and enables people to recover from the trauma of war. We raise awareness of the devastating emotional effects of armed conflict on the human psyche by providing assistance, guidance and individualised support to those affected by this war.

People Behind The Initiative

Katarzyna Akhtar is an experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a supervisor, who trained at the Tavistock Clinic in London.

Alongside her private practice she continues working as a psychotherapist in general adult services in the NHS. She provides brief therapeutic interventions and psychotherapy on a short or long-term basis. She specialises in the treatment of a range of clinical problems, including depression, anxiety, trauma, personality difficulties and relationship issues. She has particular interest in the work with PTSD, addictions, postnatal depression and psycho-somatic health.

She has over eighteen years of experience of working therapeutically with individuals and groups in a variety of mental health settings, in which she worked with adults, children, young people and their families. She is skilled in treating and assessing individuals who have survived traumatic experiences particularly rape, sexual assault, childhood trauma, domestic violence and the effects of living in conflict.

Katarzyna is an accredited member and abides by the code of ethics of the BPC (British Psychoanalytical Council) TSP (Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists) and the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists).

Magdalena Kishizawa is an experienced psychologist and relational psychoanalyst in training at the Portuguese Association of Relational Psychoanalysis (APPSI). She has over twenty years of experience in the field of Educational Science and Adult Psychology.

She is also a systemic coach and leadership and development consultant. She had studied for her MBA in the UK and gained her psychology degree at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

Magdalena has been working for over twenty years as an organisational consultant where she advises leaders and companies on topics relating to personal development and leadership. She has been delivering workshops and has been coaching for companies from different sectors. She is particularly interested in supporting women in organisations and educating people on mental health and work-life balance.

Currently she resides in Lisbon where she runs her own private practice and focuses on the issue of depression, anxiety, multi-generational trauma and gender-related issues. Magdalena is an accredited member and abides by the code of ethics of the German Psychological Association, British Association of Online Counsellors and Portuguese Association of Relational Psychoanalyse. She works in English, German and Polish.

Our Service


How we can help

  • • We provide immediate assistance to people who have been impacted by this crisis.
  • • We assess the needs and concerns of the people and to gauge the type of guidance and assistance that is required.
  • • We provide up to date, accurate and information about our services that are available to them.
  • • We refer participants to appropriate agencies if required.

Support Group

How we can help

  • • We provide regular meetings that encourage connecting with others facing similar challenges.
  • • We create a nurturing and supportive environment and safe space, which recognizes the impact of trauma on wellbeing.
  • • We support adults experiencing trauma and adversity and helping easing emotional distress including feeling of loneliness, isolation, depression, helplessness and hopelessness.
  • • We empower the participants to cope with the immediate situation and improve long-term mental health outcomes.

Family Support Group

How we can help

  • • We offer psycho-education and psychosocial support to children, adolescents and families through a range of interventions that meet the complex needs of participants.
  • • We teach parents how to recognise the signs and symptoms of trauma in themselves and in their children and the impact of it on their wellbeing.
  • • We help parents in developing their capacity to support their children’s wellbeing.
  • • We strengthen family and community support networks by fostering inclusion and participation of vulnerable families in communal activities.
  • • We offer support to chidren and to their parents at the same time, while giving them a safe space to play and express theselves and an arena for parents to meet and discuss their current challenging in an udnerstaning and supportive environvement.

Individual Therapy

How we can help

  • • We undertake high quality direct (assessment and therapeutic) and indirect (consultative, advisory and evaluative) specialist treatment.
  • • We provide four sessions of once weekly individual, face-to -ace or online therapy for adults, children and adolescents.
  • • We provide referral to other agencies if required.

Child & Adolescents Well-being Groups

How we can help

  • • We create a nurturing environment and safe space that provide regular, structured actives to help children and adolescents develop skills to deal with crisis, regulate their emotions and form and maintain friendships.
  • • We strengthen the resilience of children and adolescents and to help them in coping with adversity during and after the crisis.
  • • We support children and teenagers in a transition to a portuguese public or private education system

Our Support Group Is Now Open To New Referrals

Please make referral by downloading the form and contacting us at the email below. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to get in touch at the email below.

Support Our Work

We are highly committed to support all those affected from the war. You can help the Ukrainian community by making a donation or volunteering for one of our projects. We need any help in all our areas of work: providing psychotherapy, facilitating workshops for adults, children & youth or families, administration, interpreting or child-care services.

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