Storytelling and the Refugee Experience.

Storytelling and the Refugee Experience.


Trauma, in the context of the Refugee Experience, can lead to a number of potential impacts for the child, especially in child’s development, family and relationships. Given the implicit nature of traumatic memories, externalized and creative therapeutic tools such as storytelling can be useful in assisting children to process these traumatic experiences. By using metaphors and through character development and the creation of imaginary problem situations, the child is able to explore their own implicit memories in a safe setting allowing integration of their trauma memories. The presentation aims to demonstrate how this story telling helps children from such backgrounds to progress in integrating traumatic memories.

This presentation will demonstrate how storytelling was used to allow an 8-year-old girl who presented with complex trauma due to events in her country of origin, on her journey by boat to Australia, as well as in detention and an extended period of experiencing a lack of safety and settlement. The presentation will show the outcome of the selected intervention for the client and how effectiveness of the intervention was measured.

Consideration will also be given to re-traumatisation and taking into account family dynamics and the role of intergeneration trauma within the context of the refugee experience.

At the end of the therapy process, the client was able to build confidence and expand her relationship. The outcome of the intervention shows that this intervention can be useful to work with the wider population of children who experienced trauma.

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