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Long walk to health: Working with the survivors of refugee trauma with a history of early childhood abuse

Long walk to health: Working with the survivors of refugee trauma with a history of early childhood abuse

The neuroscience of trauma clearly indicates that the brain formed in response to survival threats early in life, develops differently from the brain of those who had a healthy upbringing. Recent findings indicate this causes major disruptions in the formation of the main brain networks, leading to long-term emotional, cognitive and psychological difficulties. For those exposed to war and persecution later in life, these brain patterns that were formed early in life get further reinforced, leading to severe and debilitating mental health and physical difficulties.

In this presentation Mirjana Askovic will discuss a neuroscience informed therapeutic approach to working with people from refugee backgrounds affected by both developmental and refugee trauma. Interplay between neuromodulation and psychological techniques will be described through a case study of an adult client with a history of early childhood trauma and the exposure to war, persecution and refugee experiences. Looking through the lens of neuroscience, Mirjana will describe the client’s healing journey that started with learning how to regulate affect and lower arousal driven by fear, before embarking on a journey of healing the wounds inflicted through interpersonal trauma.

Speakers: askovic