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Suicide and self harm prevention with asylum seekers: Clinical challenges and human rights dilemmas.

Suicide and self harm prevention with asylum seekers: Clinical challenges and human rights dilemmas.

The argument is advanced that in such clinical work, the intersection of mental health with human rights violations and the social responsibility of helping professionals, is inescapable. Helping professionals undertaking such work for people in such desperate situations and who seek to critically engage with their clients for emancipatory purposes, will often need to operate as advocates as well as clinicians at individual and wider levels.

 

This presentation considers suicide and self harm among asylum seekers from the vantage points of clinical practice and of public policy. The mounting evidence of the psychological harms occasioned by global restrictive and punitive immigration policies and practicies, and their relationship to suicidality, is noted. The limited Australian and international evidence regarding suicide and self harm among asylum seekers is reviewed; common themes and critical points are surveyed (using the recommendations of coroners, among others); and the role of government advisory bodies examined.

General and specific clinical and ethical principles and dilemmas in working with asylum seekers who present with self harm and suicidality are examined and discussed, using case examples, and also considering available evidence for effective therapeutic approaches with suicidal people that may be applied to the situation of asylum seekers. The specific challenges for those under restrictive immigration conditions are noted.


STARTTS 2012

The neuroscience of psychotherapy : Healing the Social Brain

This eight parts seminar explores psychotherapy and the social brain with a special emphasis on the causes and consequences of trauma. As a foundation, the evolution, development, and neuroanatomy of the brain with the goal of highlighting its vulnerability to dysregulation and dissociation are discussed. In it we recognise and better understand the neural networks responsible for stress and trauma and the challenge of keeping the government of systems which comprise our brains integrated and functioning smoothly. Then how psychotherapy, in its multiple forms, attempts to reshape the brain in the service of mental health is discussed. And finally,the process of healthy aging, especially for therapists who are confronted with trauma on a day-to-day basis is explored.

The neuroscience of psychotherapy : The Healthy Aging Brain

This eight parts seminar explores psychotherapy and the social brain with a special emphasis on the causes and consequences of trauma. As a foundation, the evolution, development, and neuroanatomy of the brain with the goal of highlighting its vulnerability to dysregulation and dissociation are discussed. In it we recognise and better understand the neural networks responsible for stress and trauma and the challenge of keeping the government of systems which comprise our brains integrated and functioning smoothly. Then how psychotherapy, in its multiple forms, attempts to reshape the brain in the service of mental health is discussed. And finally,the process of healthy aging, especially for therapists who are confronted with trauma on a day-to-day basis is explored.

The neuroscience of psychotherapy : Simple and Complex PTSD

This eight part seminar explores psychotherapy and the social brain with a special emphasis on the causes and consequences of trauma. As a foundation, the evolution, development, and neuroanatomy of the brain with the goal of highlighting its vulnerability to dysregulation and dissociation are discussed. In it we recognise and better understand the neural networks responsible for stress and trauma and the challenge of keeping the government of systems which comprise our brains integrated and functioning smoothly. Then how psychotherapy, in its multiple forms, attempts to reshape the brain in the service of mental health is discussed. And finally,the process of healthy aging, especially for therapists who are confronted with trauma on a day-to-day basis is explored.

Post-traumatic Growth: Is there evidence for changing our practice?

Positive psychological changes and growth beyond previous levels of functioning are characteristics of a phenomenon described as Posttraumatic Growth (PTG). Tedeschi, Park & Calhoun (1998) identified 5 outcomes of PTG: increased appreciation of life; sense of new possibilities in life; increased personal strength; improvement in close personal relationships; and positive spiritual change. More recently, PTG has been proposed as a coping style, as well as a coping outcome.

Healing traumatic nightmares using sandplay therapy.

Nightmares are a common and distressing symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet frequently resistant to treatment. The relationship between traumatic experience and dream