"Most participants describe Rebecca’s trainings as life changing; I am definitely one of them."
"I have attended two of Rebecca’s trainings on interviewing survivors of violence and torture - one dealing with memory and credibility, and another on understanding secondary trauma and constructive ways to address it. I can easily say that Rebecca’s workshops are among the best I have participated in. Rebecca does an excellent job at introducing you to the science behind memory and the specific ways in which memories of traumatic events may impact the re-telling of the event. She has very interesting methods of leading workshops (a mix of video, PowerPoint, group work, individual processing, pertinent anecdotes and case studies) and there is never a dull moment. I recommend her workshops to anyone whose work involves interviewing and working with survivors of violence and determining credibility. So often our criteria for judging credibility are based on incorrect assumptions, which can be detrimental to the applicant. The workshop teaches you cognitive interview styles that aid the process of retrieval of memory. Most participants describe Rebecca’s trainings as life changing; I am definitely one of them."
Maria Fernandez, Workshop Participant
"The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive."
"The 2 day training provided by Ms Dempster was a real eye-opener for even some of the most experienced staff in our operation, including RSD and resettlement staff. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. While many of us have legal backgrounds and are trained to interview refugees, there is no systematic training of staff on the psychological impact that traumatic experiences may play in the interview process, especially with regard to exacerbating trauma or how it may affect credibility. One of the comments made by an appreciative colleague was that trainings like this help curb some of the negative and jaded views that interviewers can develop with regard to refugee credibility. It really forced us to rethink some of our most basic assumptions on how we assess credibility. Ms Dempster's training is a first step in building on that vital knowledge and awareness; I believe this type of psychological perspective is essential and exceptionally complements the UNHCR training process."
Michelle Alfaro, Senior Protection Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
"The workshops had certainly a positive impact on our work and capacity to deliver protection services to those of UNHCR concern..."
"Regarding the workshops, in my opinion, UNHCR staff in Kenya and the region benefited immensely from them, as issues relating to trauma, and memory were for the first time discussed with an expert who moreover provided colleagues in the region and HQ with practical advice and support. In that respect, I should also mention the trauma response checklist that you drew up for the purposes of the workshop and future reference. The workshops had certainly a positive impact on our work and capacity to deliver protection services to those of UNHCR concern, as they widened our knowledge and perspectives about the interviewing of applicants and refugees who may be survivors of violence or torture. It reiterated the need for continuous learning and improvement of our interviewing techniques as well as the analysis of refugee and protection claims. In sum, it enhanced standards of fairness."
- Workshop Organizer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
"Ms. Dempster's performance has been rated as outstanding by the participants: her presentation's skills, combining theory, practice, case studies and video materials made the course lively and practical."
"Rebecca Dempster delivered two times (January and June 2010) a two-day training course on interviewing techniques for OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights' staff members. Ms. Dempster's performance has been rated as outstanding by the participants: her presentation's skills, combining theory, practice, case studies and video materials made the course lively and practical. Participants highly appreciated being provided with direct and individual feedback on their performance during role play and case studies and being offered the opportunity to interact with the trainer. In addition, Ms. Dempster prepared high quality materials for participants as well as a trainer book so that the course could be reproduced by other trainers. Based on her performance, ODIHR included Ms. Dempster in its expert's roster to be contacted on priority basis in case the need for similar types of training would arise."
Benjamin Moreau, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe