Joshua is a Psychologist and Trainer at STARTTS. He has several years’ experience working alongside refugee communities in Australia, beginning his career at STARTTS as a researcher before completing a Masters of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sydney. He has experience working with refugee and asylum seekers with a range of presentations and working with vulnerable young people and their families in public mental health services. These roles involved working in multi-disciplinary teams and managing high-risk complex clients that required extensive advocacy.
Joshua has been a member of International research projects ranging from developing clinical assessment tools and guidelines for participatory action research to community and clinical program evaluations. He has experience as a University Psychology tutor and has delivered mental health training for teachers in Shan Stan Myanmar, an active conflict area. Joshua is passionate about the meaningful involvement of refugee and asylum seeker communities in the development of therapeutic and community interventions.
Abstract – Clinical Master Class – 23 September 2020
Psychosis after trauma – loss of contact with reality or destruction of reality once known?
Psychosis and dissociation are both often defined as experiences characterised by a loss of touch with reality, expressed in false beliefs (delusions), false sensations (hallucinations) and a false self-concept (depersonalisation). This case discussion will explore the ways in which multiple traumatic events, compounded losses and ongoing insecurity may interact to produce complex presentations with blurred features of psychosis, dissociation and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Following the destruction of a person’s reality, these symptoms often interfere with foundational psychological processes required to rebuild a life worth living in an alien resettlement environment.
The case demonstrates the importance of formulating post-traumatic psychosis and dissociation as disruptive but normal human reactions to ongoing complex trauma. The treatment approach outlined involves establishing confidence in coping resources before facilitating the integration of personal narratives and meaning through trauma reprocessing. The crucial role of addressing psychosocial and resettlement stressors that both re-traumatise and prolong insecurity will also be highlighted.