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Utilising Exposure Techniques in Working with Refugee Torture and Trauma Survivors

Clinical Master Class Evening held on 18 November 2015

Exposure Therapy Techniques: Working with Chronic, Complex and Co-Morbid PTSD

Dr Leanne Humphreys

Exposure therapy techniques are evidence-based psychological techniques available for use in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder.  However, many clients presenting for treatment report multiple traumatic experiences, often beginning early in life and occurring repeatedly over extended periods of time.  The psychological legacies of these traumatic experiences can make it difficult for the client to utilise exposure therapy techniques, and the multitude of traumatic events experienced can present challenges when considering how, at a practical level, it might be possible to effectively target and treat so many intrusive and distressing memories.  In this presentation Dr Leanne Humphreys will consider both advances in the literature, and adaptations to clinical practice that might assist the clinician working with clients presenting with chronic, complex and co-morbid post traumatic stress disorder.

Utilising Imaginal Exposure Therapy Techniques with Multiple Traumatic Experiences of an Iraqi Refugee

Heyam Haddad

Many refugees who present for trauma related counseling at STARTTS will often report in excess of several considerable traumatic experiences in their home country, country of asylum and journey to a safe country. In this presentation, Heyam Haddad will present a case study of a 35 year old female Iraqi client who presented to STARTTS with multiple traumatic experiences within her home country and during her difficult journey to Australia with her husband and four children, including an unborn child. This case study will outline initial stages of therapy implemented to achieve both stability within the client and preparedness for the trauma-related stages of therapy which utilized imaginal exposure therapy techniques.

Specifically, the case study will outline the initial steps of therapy implemented to achieve stability and preparedness for the trauma-related elements of therapy. This will follow with a detailed account of how the thematic categorization of the trauma related events was implemented in order to guide the client through imaginal exposure therapy to the most representative traumatic events. The outcome of such therapy will be analysed and its implications explored.

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