Please Sign In or Create an account
Short-term group intervention for newly arrived refugee children: Helping to rebuild children’ lives after trauma

Short-term group intervention for newly arrived refugee children: Helping to rebuild children’ lives after trauma

This paper describes a short-term group intervention conducted with a group of newly arrived pre-adolescent aged 9-12 from Afghanistan in the context of the Early Intervention Program (EIP) of the New South Wales Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). The paper will emphasize the importance of the refugee child assessment in order to conduct successful brief interventions.

Newly arrived refugees have lived through multiple traumatic experiences for protracted periods in their country of origin and in refugee camps and/or other countries of asylum before resettlement. In addition they have suffered multiple losses and extreme deprivation. These experiences may have a severe impact on the development of children, particularly those who have experienced multiple traumas and losses without the adequate family or social support. During the resettlement period, refugee children have also to deal with the stresses associated with the daunting task of adaptation to a new country. In some cases young traumatised people may carry considerable additional responsibilities brought about by their changing role within their families.

STARTTS’ EIP provides a comprehensive assessment as well as short to medium term interventions for newly arrived refugees. The EIP assessment uses the Refugee Comprehensive Tool (R-CAT) which basically consists of a clinical interview exploring different areas impacting on the successful resettlement of newly arrived refugees. The R-CAT explores the psychosocial difficulties experienced by the individual and their family, their physical, emotional and psychological health along with basic demographic details and issues related to extended family in the country of origin, the psychosocial difficulties experienced by the individual and their family, their physical, emotional and psychological health. The R-CAT is both a screening and an action instrument. It provides a “map” of the individual and their family needs and assists in planning goals for intervention, making referrals and the delivery of information on issues, make referrals and plan goals for intervention.

The R-CAT assessments of twelve refugee children from Afghanistan provided information about common issues for those children that could be addressed through an intensive brief group intervention.  The group ran for a total of sixteen hours sessions over a four day period during the school holidays. Its main aims were to provide a safe environment that would facilitate the development of the children’s self-confidence as well as to assist building social and peer support. At the same time, it created the space for participants dealing with grief, the development of trust and strengthening of coping mechanisms as well as to assist building up social and peer-support.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Refugee Issues, STARTTS 2010, Torture and Trauma

STARTTS 2010

Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) with Torture and Trauma Clients at STARTTS (Case study)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was implemented in a treatment of a female client from Sierra Leone, who had been experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and who has been experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Complex Trauma and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) was originally developed by Marcia M. Linehan to address the impulsive behaviours, chaotic life and emotional deregulation associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). DBT has been proven to be useful in the treatment of the same difficulties in individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress and Complex PTSD.

A practical methodology for coherence training

This presentation will review the research of Dr. Robert Coben with Autistic Children with a view to understanding his coherence training methodology.  Dr. Gary Schummer has analysed and adapted this methodology in his own research with ADHD and Autistic Spectrum children.  Drs. Coben and Schummer base their coherence training on the Neuro Rep analysis of  Dr. William Hudspeth.

Fundamentals of EEG Analysis

This program is an advanced study of the EEG, its generators and brain state. Methods for reading EEG data and identifying patterns, artifacts and transients are reviewed.  Typical failure modes

The TOVA in Clinical Practice

This program is a review of the TOVA continuous performance test, with an emphasis on interpretive strategy.  TOVA profiles of ADHD subtypes and some of its comorbidities are presented.  Precise

As a group we do better: Twenty years of a Latin American Refugee Women's self-help group, based on a systemic bio-psycho-social approach.

This paper examines the effectiveness of a group intervention in the treatment of female refugees who are survivors of torture and trauma. It focuses on the development of a culturally diverse Latin American Women's group, which has been functioning as an open self-support group for the past twenty years.

Different journeys; one destination: An integrated, agency wide approach to boost resiliency and propitiate the recovery of young refugees settling in NSW, Australia

Australia receives over 13,000 people from refugee and refugee like background every year. Many of these are children and young people. Most have survived severe trauma and grievous losses, often witnessing atrocities and the torture and death of loved ones in the process. For many, these experiences will have a long lasting impact on their lives, interfering with their ability to realize their potential and succeed in their new environment.