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‘Accidental’ Counsellors: Responding to Refugee Trauma Related Behaviours

18-19 November 2021 | Virtual workshop

Workshop overview

An accidental counsellor is someone who is not working as a professional counsellor, and who needs to safely and effectively support people from refugee backgrounds ‘on the spot’ who are experiencing distress or a crisis. This workshop will cover the practicalities of how the accidental counsellor contributes to the client’s recovery and empowerment, acts as a buffer against strong emotions, makes sure the person is okay in the moment and safe to leave the session, and offers immediate support, assistance and appropriate referral. It is assumed that participants have attended an introductory workshop by STARTTS such as the Core Concepts or equivalent.


  • Recognising torture and refugee trauma responses to the complexity of resettlement and seeking protection
  • Trauma recovery and culturally safe practice
  • Empathic listening
  • Active listening – reflecting feelings, paraphrasing
  • Asking appropriate questions
  • Containment skills
  • Acknowledging and normalising
  • Re-establishing boundaries
  • Grounding skills
  • Moving towards a resolution
  • Building resilience
  • Identifying supports and referrals
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • Ending the session

Aimee Chaffer

Joshua Hall

Suitable for people working in a range of non-clinical settings such as casework, advocacy, teaching, youth work, welfare work and community development.

Registration: All registrations are online and payment is by credit card. Please click on the relevant ‘Register’ button above. A confirmation email will be sent to you automatically.

Virtual workshop – Delivered via Zoom

Dates: 18-19 November 2021 (Held over two half days)
Time: 9am-1pm (on both days)

Early Bird – $288 | $261 concession (10% discount before 18 September 2021)
Standard – $320 | $290 concession
Note – there is a 5% late fee for registering after 8.30am the day before the event

Payment of the registration fee is online by credit card and a receipt/confirmation will be automatically emailed to you. An administration fee of $30 applies to all cancellations made more than 14 days before the event. Registration once paid cannot be cancelled 14 days or less before the event, regardless of personal circumstances. Registration can be transferred to another delegate only if STARTTS is informed of the name change. Registration can be transferred to a different workshop only if notice is given to STARTTS 14 days before the date of the original event the delegate registered for. The concession price is for full-time students, seniors and the unemployed. A photocopy or pdf of a valid concession card must be forwarded to the STARTTS training team upon registration. Registrations will not be confirmed until full payment is received. The deadlines for the early bird and standard prices cannot be extended. The STARTTS Training Team can be contacted at or (02) 9646 6700.

This workshop is available upon request. Please go to the ‘Request Training‘ page for further information about workshop fees and how to make a request for your workplace. Please note that requests need to be made and confirmed at least 6-8 weeks in advance as we do get booked up.

A certificate for the one-day workshop will be emailed after the event to attendees who signed on at a STARTTS calendar event. For workshops delivered by request in your workplace, a certificate for the workshop can be emailed to the participants after the event if the organisation supplies an Excel sheet with the First Name, Last Name and Email address of every participant listed.

CPD hours = 7.0 (for the one-day workshop)

This workshop adheres to the continuing professional development standards of most professional bodies. Please check the CPD policy of your professional body.

Phone: (02) 9646 6700  Ask for the Training Administration Officer

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