Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Managing for Social Resilience: Combining environmental, social and aboriginal roles to enhance resilience in North Queensland

There is little communication between the environmental management and social science bodies of literature on resilience, yet each offers insights that could enrich the other. Our research in far north Queensland has identified six key social and institutional characteristics as helping the region and its communities to be resilient: peopleplace connections, knowledge, skills and learning; community networks; engaged governance; a diverse and innovative economy; and community infrastructure. We propose that environmental management, Aboriginal and social development organisations with regional responsibilities can choose to incorporate the social dimensions of resilience thinking in three ways. Their first option is to pursue existing mandates in consciousness of social characteristics, without trying to intervene although social knowledge may prompt some adaptation of existing management strategies.

The social and cultural aspects of The Aboriginal Dreaming.

Every aboriginal group has its own dreaming. Glenn Williams shares with us the particular dreaming story of "The Southern Cross". It tells how death came first into the world. The first coming of death remembered by the tribes to whom the Southern cross is a reminder. Most Australian aboriginees engage daily into the relationship of mythos and logos as a major and practical part of their daily life. Myth is regarded as primarily concerned with what was thought to be timeless and constant in our existence. Myth looks into the foundation of life to the deepest level of the human mind.

Dreams and the dreaming: out-of-body awareness and the legacy of Jung and Steiner

In this symposium I want to show how Jung and Steiner both came to understand their own 'dreaming' consciousness. This is the same consciousness that Indigenous Australians describe as their 'dreamtime'.

Dreaming as world view

The concept of 'worldview' has been relatively neglected in modern psychiatric literature, especially in contributions from the English-speaking world. Yet it clearly has significance for well-being

Lateral violence and Indigenous peoples.

Lateral violence occurs when the violence associated with oppression is internalised by those who are oppressed, and redirected between the members of the oppressed group. Among Aboriginal and Torres

Southern Psychotherapies

Most, if not all schools and forms of psychotherapy are based in and/or trace their heritage to European/Western and Northern intellectual traditions. Inspired by the work of Raewyn Connell on Southern Theory (Crows Nest, NSW, 2008), this paper dreams and explores the possibilities of Southern psychotherapy or, more accurately, the plural (and pluralistic) Southern psychotherapies.

Healing culture Trauma - The Marumali journey of healing.

Aunty Lorraine Peeters, the first Indigenous Australian addressing a Conference in Sarajevo on her vision for Aboriginal welfare and how she visualises the future for the Aboriginal people of Australia. Her title resonates with the people of the former communist countries as they too need to build their hopes, become resilient people and march forward. Her ideas inspires reconstruction of broken lives. 

Assessing the Effectiveness, Acceptability, & Sustainability of a Culturally Adapted Evidence-Based Intervention for Indigenous Parents.

Aggression, noncompliance and disobedience are high-prevalence conditions that represent some of the most burdensome of mental health disorders in Indigenous children and adolescents. However, these conditions also represent some of the most potentially preventable mental health conditions. Research clearly links the impact of evidence-based parenting interventions to decreases in child behaviour problems and dysfunctional parenting, but Indigenous parents are less likely to access parenting interventions compared to the mainstream population. 

Conducting clinical audits to improve sexual health service delivery in primary health care services: Successes, challenges and lessons learnt

Conducting clinical audits in the context of continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) has provided valuable information regarding what factors facilitate or create challenges to improving outcomes in sexual health service delivery.

An Indigenous cultural appropriateness audit piloted in a sexual health clinic in NSW: making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples a priority.

Indigenous Australians experience a greater burden of sexually transmitted infections, however are less likely than the general population to access sexual health services. We examined the effectiveness of an Indigenous cultural appropriateness audit in assessing a sexual health clinic with low rates of Indigenous clients.

Ageing and Geriatic Health

QEEG changes in stroke, ageing and cognitive decline

The neuroscience of psychotherapy : The Healthy Aging Brain

This eight parts seminar explores psychotherapy and the social brain with a special emphasis on the causes and consequences of trauma. As a foundation, the evolution, development, and neuroanatomy of the brain with the goal of highlighting its vulnerability to dysregulation and dissociation are discussed. In it we recognise and better understand the neural networks responsible for stress and trauma and the challenge of keeping the government of systems which comprise our brains integrated and functioning smoothly. Then how psychotherapy, in its multiple forms, attempts to reshape the brain in the service of mental health is discussed. And finally,the process of healthy aging, especially for therapists who are confronted with trauma on a day-to-day basis is explored.

Psychiatric Profiling of the Indian Geriatric Population: Implications for possible interventions

The primary objective of this study was to explore the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among the elderly in India and to find the mediating and moderating role of different coping strategies in

Trauma and Ageing:Impact of Aging on Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.

Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust suffered severe and extensive trauma both psychologically and physically as a result of their almost indescribable experiences in the Nazi system. This included incarceration in concentration camps, death camps, in ghettos, in hiding and in various forced labour situations during which they were constantly in fear of their lives. Dr Foster will describe some of the special symptomatology as described by holocaust survivors and some treatment options. A special category of survivors, child survivors, suffered particular problems both as a result of having been passed on to non-Jewish neighbours and thus abandoned by their parents so they would not be murdered, and in many cases never seeing their family again. The psychological problems they have experienced will be briefly described in this presentation.

Ageing and dealing with past traumas in an unfamiliar environment.

A case presentation of one of Franka male clients at STARTTS who had experienced extensive trauma during the war in the former Yugoslavia, which included multiple losses that had a severe impact on

Ageing and dealing with past traumas in an unfamiliar environment.

A case presentation of one of Franka male clients at STARTTS who had experienced extensive trauma during the war in the former Yugoslavia, which included multiple losses that had a severe impact on

Promoting Human Rights to health in Georgia.

The research project has been carried out by Georgian coalition human rights in health care was the first attempt to evaluate Georgian government implemented health projects from the Human Rights standpoint, for strengthen capacity of key policy- and decision-makers of the country for informed decision making and contributing in promotion and protection of human rights in health. Considerable legal framework has been developed for protection of human rights in healthcare recently, which is well harmonized with modern, widely accepted international standards and included national legislation as well as various international legal instruments ratified by the country. However, the reality shows that all these efforts, unfortunately, were not effective in leading to widespread knowledge and understanding of the value of human rights in the patient groups and health care professions or at organizational levels.

Emotional and psychological support of new residents in residential care

This paper describes the experience of residents in a time limited counselling programme who had recently entered residential care. The program was An Aged Care Access Initiative Psychological Support Program for Low Care Residents. The group met for one hour each week for six weeks. Through the sharing of their own narratives the residents forged a communication link with each other whilst maintaining their own identity. Through sharing their collective narratives the group participants were able to hear how other members were adjusting and gain some solace that their individual experiences were similar to others.

Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and patient characteristics of older men over 60 years of age attending a public STD clinic in South Australia

Background: STI prevalence is changing. With society aging, life expectancy increasing and changes in sexual practices, STIs in senior citizens are of interest from economic, health related and social burden perspectives. Few studies on STIs in older men greater than 60 years of age exist, hence, a need to obtain further information about this subpopulation.

Prevalence of CSF Alzheimer's disease-like in middle-aged HIV+ individuals

The study aimed at determining the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk in ageing and chronically HIV-infected (HIV+) persons who are successfully treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). 43 adult males and 1 female with stable chronic HIV disease [aged 57 ± 8 years, HIV duration 20 (5-25) years, undetectable plasma and CSF HIV RNA] were enrolled under a prospective observational study. All underwent standard neuropsychological testing, APOE genotyping and a CSFlumbar puncture to assess CSF Aβ1-42, h-tau and p-tau concentrations.

Alienating Behaviours

Dissociation, the Double Life and The Strange Case (of Jekyll and Hyde).

When parents rupture their children's loving bond with the other parent: identifying, and working against the parental alienation process and alienating behaviours

How do practitioners respond to parents and/or their children who present in the context of a high conflict separation and divorce where the relationship between the children and one of the parents is threatened or has been ruptured? The relationship between children and one of their parents may end for a number of reasons, including their own attachment choices, conflict mitigation strategies and abuse. However, in the absence of such factors and in the face of certain questionable actions by parents practitioners are left with the possibility that the deliberate or at least the inadvertent actions and behaviours of one parent damages or destroys the necessary loving relationship between their children and the other parent. 

Applying an acculturation lens for better working with refugee families and communities

New and emerging communities experience varying inequalities while seeking to settle in Australia. Evidence shows that the level of inequality varies according to the degree of cultural transition. Acculturation has actually become a dominant framework used to explain disparities among minority groups. A/Prof Renzaho will show how social exclusion and alienation impact on the physical and socio-psychological health of people from refugee backgrounds and, how families, communities and service providers can respond to these challenges. 

Applying an acculturation lens for better working with refugee families and communities

New and emerging communities experience varying inequalities while seeking to settle in Australia. Evidence shows that the level of inequality varies according to the degree of cultural transition. Acculturation has actually become a dominant framework used to explain disparities among minority groups. A/Prof Renzaho will show how social exclusion and alienation impact on the physical and socio-psychological health of people from refugee backgrounds and, how families, communities and service providers can respond to these challenges. 

Anger

A warrior in the family: Intervening in cases where the perpetrator of intimate partner violence is also a refugee or torture survivor

Working clinically with a perpetrator of domestic violence who is also torture and trauma survivor: Amjed’s case study.

Counselling in Motion: STARTTS Capoeira Angola Project Bantu.

Trauma, anger and spirals of violence.

Anger and its various manifestations have received remarkably little attention by Psychiatry until recently. The inclusion of symptoms of irritability in the diagnostic criteria for PTSD may be one factor that has obscured the importance of anger as a “primary” response to human rights violations. The ADAPT model proposes that the undermining of systems of justice may be specifically related to prolonged, and in some circumstances, dysfunctional forms of anger amongst survivor groups. The relationship of anger to human rights trauma and frustrations in the post-conflict environment is illustrated in the findings of the East Timor Mental Health Epidemiologic Needs Survey (ETMHENS).

Anger in the context of assessment and management of refugee trauma.

Anger in the context of trauma differs from other types of anger in that it is a reaction to the violation of human rights.  In this  presentation two case examples of refugee trauma will

Penitentiary stress and release preparation program for Georgian prisoners.

In Georgia during recent years the number of prison population has drastically increased. After the United States and Russia, Georgia has one of the world’s largest prison populations, with

Understanding anger from an attachment and neurobiological perspective

When problems with anger (as well as other emotions) develop, counsellors are often asked to help those individuals either become better at expressing their anger or more effective at controlling their anger. Attachment theory is an ideal lens to understand anger. Longitudinal studies of attachment have demonstrated a high continuity between infant attachment and adult attachment patterns and this gives counsellors a new paradigm for understanding affect regulation strategies, interpersonal relationship dynamics and the therapeutic alliance.

Antenatal Programs

Antenatal STI and BBV testing at Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney

Specialist antenatal services are an integral and effective component of service delivery in many Aboriginal community-controlled health services (ACCHSs). Sexual health screenings in ACCHS-led antenatal programs has not been thoroughly documented. The new Clinical Practice Guidelines - Antenatal Care Module 1 recommend that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B infection with screening for chlamydia in women aged under 25. This study examined guideline adherence in antenatal STI screening advance of an evaluation of the effectiveness, culturally appropriateness and accessibility of existing services. 

Antenatal STI and BBV testing at Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney

Specialist antenatal services are an integral and effective component of service delivery in many Aboriginal community-controlled health services (ACCHSs). Sexual health screenings in ACCHS-led antenatal programs has not been thoroughly documented. The new Clinical Practice Guidelines - Antenatal Care Module 1 recommend that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B infection with screening for chlamydia in women aged under 25. This study examined guideline adherence in antenatal STI screening advance of an evaluation of the effectiveness, culturally appropriateness and accessibility of existing services.

Understanding the constraints and facilitators in the Fijian health system to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services in Suva, Fiji

Anxiety

Counselling in Motion: STARTTS Capoeira Angola Project Bantu.

Suffering in Silence: SSRIs, Stigma and Sexual Difficulties

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) medication is widely used as a treatment for mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders in Australia and worldwide. It has been demonstrated, however, that SSRIs can negatively impact on sexual functioning and influence all phases of the sexual cycle. 

Mental health in newly arrived asylum seekers in Norway (In conversation)

This study explores the possibility of developing an assessment instrument based on self-report sufficiently sensitive and practically applicable to detect mental illness and need for treatment among asylum seekers. The study was conducted among relatively newly arrived asylum seekers in Norway, 85 adult asylum seekers completed a questionnaire, of these 65 underwent a diagnostic interview.  

Beyond pills and CBT - an existential approach to managing anxiety in General Practice

To be human is to experience anxiety.  As practitioners we encounter anxiety in many forms, including overt panic attacks and phobias as well as less distinct yet still pervasive everyday anxieties. From an existential perspective, anxiety is a universal phenomenon arising from our deep-seated responses to living in an uncertain world.  Hence, anxiety is common to all humans and is something to be embraced rather than avoided.

Anxiety and the polarisation of beings

In this presentation, Dr Kamal Touma explores how the ‘contagion’ of anxiety between mother

Psychotherapy with the Somatizing Patient

Somatization Disorder – a polysymptomatic syndrome - is a chronic preoccupation with somatic complaints, for which medical care is repeatedly sought, and clinical dilemmas often presented, resulting in disproportionate health care utilization. Affect is isolated or split off and attention is focused on the body, resulting in more awareness of the physical than of psychological aspects of the individual. As an Axis 1 disorder it may be accompanied by Borderline or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorders or traits.

RSA training: mind-body therapy in clinical practice

Respiratory sinus arrhythmia training (RSA) or Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training offers a unique window into the mind and physiology of the clinical client. The presentation will cover ‘what is RSA and HRV training’, a brief overview

Working with the suicidal patient in general practice

Probably the most difficult patient to provide therapy to is the one who is chronically suicidal. We worry about many aspects of their care, because a patient committing suicide is one of the worst things we can face. First, and foremost, we want to help our patients, and a completed suicide is the most concrete manifestation that we haven’t. Not only do we feel we failed them, but we are likely to question our own competence, and the rest of the world is likely to question our competence and the therapy we delivered. This includes family and friends of the patient, our colleagues, the public, and the legal system. This underlying anxiety when working with the chronically suicidal patient has a powerful effect on the therapeutic process.

Age, memory and pain as predictors of PTSD, depression, anxiety in discharged patients.

Psychological symptoms were examined in patients (N =77) attending a hospital major trauma outcome clinic at Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia three months after discharge from hospital. The study focused on predictors of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety that can be routinely ascertained by busy hospital staff, namely: age, pain location, injury severity, memory (complete, partial or none) of the event. Results indicated that younger patients (15-32 years), patients reporting chronic pain (particularly diffuse pain), and patients with partial memory of the traumatic event, (compared with complete or no memory) had poorer psychological outcomes. Patients in the older age groups (33-48 and 49-77) were generally more resilient.

Psychological and Physiological Responses to Traumatic Memories in STARTTS’ clients

Integration of traumatic experiences into existing memory scheme is greater under the strong and intense emotional reaction. The intense emotion cause memory of the particular event to be dissociated from consciousness and to be stored as: a) visceral (intuitive) sensations (anxiety, panic) or/and b) visual images (nightmares/flashbacks). It 1889 Pierre Janet determined that a fundament of mental activities is a storage and categorisation of incoming sensations that are stored into the memory; today known as semantic- declarative memories. Once the traumatic experience was integrated into the existing mental schemata it will no longer be accessible as a separate entity, it will however be distorted by the experiences prior and by the emotional state of the time of the recall. Traumatic memories are state dependent. Increased arousal provokes traumatic memories, sensory information and behaviour associated with prior traumatic experiences. Thus the arousal is increased in clients who were previously exposed to high stress, fears, avoidance and whose experiences were incorporated into their mental schemata in a form of somatic and symbolic memory.

Art Therapy

Healing through Creative Arts.

Using Creative Arts and Play in a School Group for Children from a Refugee Background.

Group Work with Asylum Seeker and Refugee Children in Nauru.

Trauma Informed Therapeutic Yoga Program for Bhutanese Torture Survivors - A Community Initiative.

The Power of New Perspectives- Using Group Sculpture in Today's Group Work

This workshop explores the power and capacity of sculpture as an everyday learning technique that has significant power, yet is relataively

Supporting Adolescent Refugees through Music and Art Therapy

This session presents the HEAL Program (Home of Expressive Arts Learning). This is a school-based mental health service which offers Music and Art Therapy to adolescent refugee students. HEAL aims to provide therapeutic services, research and psychoeducation which increase the possibility of culturally diverse adolescents experiencing the good mental health necessary to participate fully in the learning experience, and to enjoy life without barriers. HEAL was established in 2004 at Milpera State High School, in Brisbane, Queensland . An Outreach Service is offered to other schools.

Art therapy with a Gestalt perspective.

This presentation examines and develops ways and means to enhance the coping and support the resilience of people's personal abilities using art therapy as a means to enhance those abilities. Art therapy

Bodymind Memory and Art Psychotherapy; a different perspective to the modality

This workshop will give an experiential appreciation of a different aspect of art psychotherapy, as initially proposed by Susan Bach in the UK following WWII. Using a different way of seeing and responding

The Light In Darkness - Art-therapy, a powerful tool in Palliative Care!

Over the years, we as health care providers have proven that a good perinatal preparation, a good birthing process and a good postnatal care ensures the physical and mental well being of the newborn and his mother. A similar opportunity for quality outcome should be afforded at life`s final phase - preparation and a good 'gateway' for the dying person, as well as a good follow - up period of those left behind. A good death needs guidance to settle outstanding issues, to articulate values, beliefs and doubts and to live the remaining period of life in the fullest and most meaningful way. Early contact is pivotal to learn about our client and his life history. This time is needed to build our client`s trust, to endorse our commitment, and to collect the tools needed to guide him through the gateway and when taking his last breath. It is equally important to meet the immediate needs of his family and to develop the crucial trusting partnership that will ensure a good dying process for their loved one in setting of his choice, and a better acceptance of their loss. It is realistic to assume that people in the future will invest in their final time. 

Hybrid creatures: mapping the emerging shape of art therapy education in Australia.

This presentation is the culmination of a PhD research project that provides the first organized view of art therapy education in Australia. Inspired by the spirit of art therapy and the conference theme the presentation will be in the form of an arts based dreaming. It focuses on the theories that are used in this specialized teaching and learning process. It evolved from the authors immersion in the field as a migrant art therapy educator to Australia from the UK. As a piece of qualitative research a bricolage of methods were used including visual approaches to gather and analyse information from: literature; institutional sources; and key participants, including the author on the theories and practices of art therapy training programs in Australia. This also included investigating other places in the world shown to be influential (USA and UK). A body of knowledge has been created in the form of a Cosmology and Genealogy of art therapy education in Australia.


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