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Cross cultural assessment and treatment of torture and refugee trauma with adults

Event Details
Date: 11-12 April 2019
Venue: Sydney, NSW
CPD hrs: 15

Concession: $299

Standard: $349

Organiser: STARTTS

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This two-day clinical workshop incorporates close to 30 years of STARTTS’ experience working with torture and refugee trauma in the context of resettlement and is based on the latest research in the trauma field. It aims to provide counsellors with a framework of the essentials of best practice in moving beyond symptoms to the context of clients from refugee backgrounds which includes socio-political aspects, cultural transition, resettlement and collectivism. It will cover the distinct biopsychosocial sequelae of torture and refugee trauma, including on the nervous system and memory; ways to overcome barriers to engaging clients from refugee backgrounds in therapy; and the importance of utilising a combination of body and mind approaches in a phased trauma treatment approach. It will emphasise the importance of incorporating family and community; and working with other professionals to achieve desired clinical outcomes.

Workshop program

  • The refugee experience
  • Considerations and challenges of refugee trauma work
  • Clinical implications of torture and refugee trauma manifestations
  • Effective cross-cultural engagement
  • Comprehensive refugee clinical assessment
  • Formulating a case and treatment plan for torture and refugee trauma
  • Psychoeducation
  • Trauma treatment strategies
  • Ending treatment and measuring clinical outcomes
  • Self care in the face of highly traumatised clients

Learning objectives

  • To understand who are refugees and the context of political conflict, organised violence and human rights violations
  • To understand the impact of traumatic experiences on the brain and defense responses
  • To understand the impact of torture and other types of refugee traumatic experiences on the resettlement process
  • To know how to effectively engage clients from refugee backgrounds in clinical treatment
  • To understand the crucial components of a comprehensive clinical assessment in the context of resettlement in a new country
  • To understand how this translates into a useful case formulation to facilitate engagement and effective and targeted treatment
  • To understand useful treatment modalities for refugee trauma and the strengths and limitations of each
  • To have an appreciation of transference and countertransference
  • To be aware of the impact of vicarious trauma and burnout and how to self-manage these

Presenter details

Nooria Mehraby MD is a senior clinician and clinical trainer at STARTTS. Herself a former refugee, Nooria has more than 25 years experience working with refugees both overseas and here in Australia. This includes over 20 years experience at STARTTS. Nooria first trained as a medical doctor in her native Afghanistan and later obtained a Master of Counselling with Distinction in Australia. Nooria is an experienced national and international conference speaker and is the author of multiple publications (including textbook contributions) on refugee trauma, cross-cultural approaches and working with children. Nooria has lectured in various universities in NSW and has facilitated clinical workshops across Australia. She is currently teaching trauma counselling as a part of the Master of Clinical Counselling at the Australian Catholic University. Nooria is the editor of Refugee Trauma and Cross-Cultural Approaches sections of the Psyche visual Online Journal, and was formerly the editor of Interface Column in Psychotherapy in Australia. Her particular interest is in developing cross-cultural therapeutic interventions with refugees, especially with Muslim clients. In her current position as STARTTS’ Clinician Trainer, she brings clinical expertise to STARTTS’ wide range of training programs and regularly delivers workshops to service providers. She has trained hundreds of clinicians working in trauma assessment and interventions. In 2015 she was the recipient of Australian Muslim.

Location and date


11-12 April 2019


Concession: $299

Standard: $349



AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers