There has been a steady increase in the number of overseas born and trained psychotherapists practicing in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Immigration is a complex and stressful process. Immigrant therapists have to mourn their multiple losses, adapt to the new country, and at the same time learn to work therapeutically with their new clients. It behoves the psychotherapeutic community to understand the inherent difficulties of this process in order to facilitate and support these new working relationships. An introductory presentation will be delivered to stimulate thoughtful discussion. Some of the themes covered will be; a) the therapist’s attachment style and resultant ability to tolerate, process and mourn multiple losses, b) the phase appropriate use of defences, c) the complementary attitudes and projections of the new host country, colleagues and clients and d) the degree of perceived difference between therapist and client.
Human beings develop in connected relationships, commencing with the touch, gaze, voice and affective tone of the proto-conversation and the sequencing of activities that tend to care, safety, comfort and play, extending to the therapeutic context where psychotherapy is the base for a healing relationship that fosters post-traumatic transformation, often mutual. Connectivity is constructed at every level of the individual and interpersonal systems: neurons fire and wire together, autonomic nervous systems are in conversation and the “soft wiring” and intrapersonal connections slowly unfold.
Early attachment is viewed as a major organizing principle that may explain important aspects of normal and pathological interpersonal relations across the life cycle – including the therapeutic relationship with patients. (Bowlby 1979) The therapeutic relationship is widely accepted to be the bedrock on which the progress of psychotherapy depends. Attachment theory, with its focus on relationships across the life span, is helpful in understanding the nature and the unfolding of the therapeutic relationship.
The family is the most important influence in the lives of children, and is the first line of defense against various types of delinquent behavior. Families have the ability to serve as a protective factor, which research shows can have a very positive effect on the future of the child. Attachment to at least one parent has an immense effect on resilience in youth. Present study examined relationship between different family characteristics, attachment and frequency and severity of delinquent and risky behavior among urban youth. The sample included 1422 urban youth of both gender, aged 13-19.
Research on the psychological concomitants of forgiveness has direct implications for therapy with traumatized and war-affected children. Finding that forgiveness has been linked with well-being has led to the promotion of reconciliation following political violence. Whether responses to war, however, should be corrected or modified has encountered strong challenges from those who insist that truth-telling and justice must precede forgiveness and that such psychological forays may undermine social and political recovery. When post-traumatic symptoms such as nightmares and re-enactments persist, moral dilemmas around anger, guilt are often at play. The (re)-construction of a narrative is often prescribed as a therapeutic means of attenuating the impact of potentially traumatic events.