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Tag Archive Wilfrid Laurier University

Three Day Refugee Trauma 101 Continuing Education Course

This 18-hour, continuing education course for volunteers and mental health professionals working with refugees​ introduces the refugee trauma experience to enhance resilience and self-healing. The course also covers the self-care of helpers, and includes lectures, discussions and experiential workshops.

When: April 8-10, 2016.
Where: Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
Cost: $150 plus HST (includes lunches)


Heidi Ahonen, PhD, RP, MTA, FAMI, professor of Music Therapy at Wilfrid Laurier University, graduate of the Harvard programme of Global Trauma Recovery: Refugee Trauma. Ahonen is a psychotherapist specialized in refugee trauma and PTSD. She conducts vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue workshops all over the world.

Brice Balmer holds a DMin in spirituality and addiction from University of St Michael’s College, an MA in regional planning and resource development from the University of Waterloo, and an MDiv from Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Iman Arab graduated from Aleppo University in Syria with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree, then a MPH from Damascus University. As a doctor, Arab worked in varies Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Kuwait and Jordan, with both national and international organizations. Her professional career in Canada has been health-related, especially in the field of mental health promotion and education, diversity and intercultural communication skills. Over the past 10 years she has been a board member of the Reception House for government-assisted refugees, and of the Muslim Social Services. She is a member of the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council and Community Coalition on Refugee and Immigrant Concerns, and the vice-chair for the Immigration Partnership – Belonging Group.

Topics Covered

Topics to be covered include:

  • Intercultural communication skills;
  • “Cultural meaning making” of trauma;
  • Introduction to refugee trauma;
  • Understanding neurology and implications of PTSD;
  • Refugee trauma experience;
  • Trauma screening;
  • Stories that heal: introduction to refugee trauma and healing stories, and how to use storytelling to enhance resilience and self-healing;
  • Spirituality and trauma;
  • Participants’ own life stories;
  • Self-care of helpers: vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue.


Download the Refugee Trauma 101 registration form and follow the instructions on the form.