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Working Therapeutically with Children from Offshore Detention Centres: Jordan and Jordan’s Family

Working Therapeutically with Children from Offshore Detention Centres: Jordan and Jordan’s Family

This presentation focuses on the case of Jordan and his family to outline the common presentations of families seen at STARTTS, particularly the impact of refugee-related trauma on children between 0-6 years who have gone through offshore Detention Centres and their parents. For the parents, this impact includes conflict between families, inability to develop a secure attachment, feelings of guilt, and finding it difficult to nurture the children and set boundaries. For the children, the impact includes being hyper or hypo aroused, struggling with gross motor milestones, language acquisition delay, and attachment issues.

The presentation traces the trauma history of Jordan, a four and a half year old boy of Middle Eastern background who was born and lived in detention for the first year of his life. It examines the assessment, treatment and outcome processes for Jordan. The therapeutic approaches applied in treating Jordan which include play therapy, circle of security, parent-child interaction therapy, speech therapy and knowledge of the Montessori approach are presented. The presentation illustrates that a coordination of different approaches and working collaboratively with parents to negotiate the challenges and difficulties presented by the experience of children from Offshore Detention Centres has positive outcomes.

Speakers: Naila Hassan