In this presentation, the complex issues related to refugees and asylum seekers who fled their country to escape violence and human rights abuse on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity will be discussed. A case study of a 35-year-old Afghan male client from a Muslim religious background, who experienced persecution related to his sexual orientation, will be presented to illustrate specific challenges. These challenges included marginalisation and stigma that this group of clients face when seeking asylum in Australia and often add an extra layer of complexity to clients’ treatment.
Through a case study, different treatment modalities used to address his symptoms of depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will be discussed. Treatment modalities including Biofeedback and brain neuromodulation techniques such as Neurofeedback and Heart Rate Variability to stabilise his nervous system and decrease symptoms were implemented. Psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and elements of Narrative Exposure Therapy were also utilised to address self acceptance, dealing with stigma from family and the wider community and also to assist in the healing process. As a therapist from the same cultural and religious background, creating safety and building rapport was of paramount importance before working on the above problems.
This presentation will raise a deeper understanding around the issues this community faces, challenges in therapy and a focus on solutions and ways of tackling those challenges.