QPASTT, Brisbane, Australia
In this case study, I would like to present one of my clients, *Maryam who attended 21 counselling sessions at QPASTT. She was a twenty three-year old Iranian woman and had a university degree. She came to Australia with her family as Asylum Seekers. Maryam reported living a good life prior to her trauma. While protesting against Iranian government, she was recognised, targeted and was raped at night time in a quiet street on her way home.
Maryam presented with PTSD symptoms including hopelessness, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, irrational guilt, triggered by similar stimuli and reminders of her trauma, loss of faith, sleep disturbances and nightmares, lots of fears for instance fear of walking by herself in public places, fear of sleeping or staying at home on her own.
According to the three stages of trauma recovery, in the first stage, as establishing safety, we recognised the survival resources and strengthened her internal and external resources. Also, psycho-education, therapeutic alliance, spirituality and mindfulness were on agenda throughout the sessions.
As the second stage which is working on trauma memories, Narrative Exposure Therapy and Psychodrama was provided to resolve the unfinished businesses from her earlier experiences and to enable her to externalise her inner mental process of trauma.
In line with the third stage of trauma recovery which is integration and moving on, Transactional Analysis and Healing fragmented selves (by Janina Fisher) were provided in order to working on her social interactions, self-alienation, recognising the different parts of self and connecting to the resource of the wise compassionate inner part.
As a result of the treatment, Maryam reported improvement in her social life, overcoming her fears, less nightmares, improvement in her sleep and having restored faith.
*Name has been changed for confidentiality purpose.