Nora Sveaass

Image of Nora Sveaass
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22845158
Mobile phone +4795809001
Room S02-20
Available hours By agreement
Visiting address Forskningsveien 3A Harald Schjelderups hus 0373 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Academic Interests

My interests, in research as well as in teaching, are linked to questions in relation to refugees, human rights violations, psychological consequences and the possibilities for treatment and rehabilitation in the aftermath of torture and other experiences of violence and loss. I have done research in the context of projects on psychological treatment of refugees, both individually and in families, conducted at the Psychosocial Center for Refugees, UiO. I was in charge of a collaborative research project under the NUFU programme, between UiO and the Universidad Centro Americana, Nicaragua in the period of 1996 – 2000. Research done under this project constituted part of my Ph.d. project. A family therapy project with refugee families conducted in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, in particular with Professor Sissel Reichelt and the Psychosocial Center, also formed part of my dissertation. At the Norwegian Centre for Traumatic Stress and Violence Studies, I was head of two projects focusing on mental health in reception centers for asylum seekers, initiated by the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs. I have been Norwegian editor of Nordic Psychology and have published chapters, books and articles in the field of refugees, human rights, clinical and political psychology.

Today I am engaged in research projects on the following themes: Refugee families with focus on family reunification in exile, a project on ”Identification of vulnerable asylum seekers in Norway and EU – a comparative study”, directed by The Institute of Social Research, Oslo and financed by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. Special focus is on the possibilities to identify vulnerability during the asylum procedure and the question of documenting torture and providing healthcare to victims of torture and other vulnerable groups. Further on, I am head of a research project on reparation and redress after human rights violations, “Dealing with the past. Victims’ experiences of transitional justice in Argentina and Peru”, a project under the Latin America research program in the Norwegian Research Council. The project aims at exploring experiences of justice and reparations in the aftermath of severe human rights violations in the context of criminal proceedings, in particular in Argentina and Peru. 


Higher education and employment history

  • Graduated from the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, in 1975

  • Completed my ph.d. in 2001 (“Restructuring meaning after uprooting and violence. Psychosocial interventions in refugee receiving and in post-conflict societies”)

  • Specialist in clinical psychology

  • Member of the Norwegian Psychological Association

  • As psychologist I have worked in special education centers, in school psychology counseling and in psychiatric clinic for children and adolescents

  • Have since my study days had a special focus on persons with refugee background, in particular those exposed to severe human rights violations and conflict

  • In 1986 I started working at the Psychosocial Team for Refugees, later the Psychosocial Center for Refugees at the University of Oslo, until this was closed down in 2004

  • From 2004 I was head of Section for Refugee Health and Forced Migration, at the Norwegian Center for Traumatic Stress and Violence Studies

  • Since 2008 I have worked as Associate professor at the Department of Psychology, UiO


  • Amnesty Human Rights Prize (Norwegian), 2009, for work with refugees and asylum seekers and their right to treatment and rehabilitation.

  • The Department of Psychology Disseminataion prize, 2009

  • Bjørn Kristensens Memorial Award, 1994


  • Head of the professional council at the Department of Psychology from 2009

  • Member of the UN Committee against Torture, since 2005, re-elected in 2009

  • Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Norwegian Psychology Association

  • Responsible for Health and Human Rights Info

  • Chair of Board of The Human Rights House, Oslo

  • Responsible for the research working group on Transitional justice and Livelihood in Post-conflict societies - Life conditions in developmental countries - health, environment and poverty


  • LEVE - UiO, Life conditions in developmental countries - health, environment and poverty,

  • CAPS, Centre for Psychological Assistance, Lima, Peru

  • Norwegian Centre for the Study of Violence and Post-traumatic Stress, Oslo

  • International Society for Health and Human Rights
Tags: Clinical psychology, Cultural and Community Psychology
Published Oct. 1, 2010 9:00 AM - Last modified July 8, 2019 3:44 PM