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Refugee Trauma Workshops

The aim of the Refugee Trauma Recovery 101 training modules is to equip volunteers and mental health professionals working with traumatized refugees. The course introduces the basics of refugee experience, refugee trauma/PTSD symptoms/implications, story-telling and creative arts therapy techniques, and self-care implications of helpers. Each 3 hours module includes three 50 min sessions (so the actual module is 2.5 hours). All 8 modules can be taught in 4 days workshop (24 hours) or separately, based on the participants’/organizations’ needs (See examples 1-10).

Module 1: Refugee Trauma 101 (3 hours)

Introduction to refugee trauma & implications. Understanding PTSD, neurology & symptoms; Understanding refugee trauma experience and cultural implications; Introduction to trauma screening (3 hours)

Module 2:Using story-telling to enhance refugee resilience and self-healing (3 hours)

Introduction to the idea of story-telling in refugee trauma therapy. How to use story-telling to enhance resilience & self-healing?

Modules 3-4: Experiential Workshop (3-6 hours)

Introduction to participants’ own life narratives by using music and creative arts. The aim is to prepare for the safe and effective use of self when working with refugees’ trauma stories.

Modules 5-6: Using music and creative arts in refugee trauma therapy (3-6 hours)

Introduction to therapeutic use of music and creative arts. Neurologic impact of using music as a tool. Symbolic distance. Music psychotherapy rationale. Introduction to integrative arts therapy techniques, therapeutic music listening techniques and clinical improvisation techniques that can be used when working with traumatized refugees

Modules 7-8: Self-care of helpers: Preventing vicarious traumatization, Compassion Fatigue, and burn-out. (3-6 hours)

Introduction to vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, and burn-out. How to prevent them and capture the early signals.

Module 9: Debriefing and clinical supervision of refugee trauma work (3 hours).

Based on participant’s needs their case examples will be discussed and brainstormed in a group setting. This can be one-time workshop or a continuing clinical supervision.