Refugee individuals and families carry with them vulnerability, potential post-traumatic stress as well as strengths and stories of resilience.  This workshop provides an overview of the way trauma affects individuals and families physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually.  Impact and recovery from the migration experience will be examined through a neuro-psychological lens as well as a meaning-making lens to identify key areas helpers can focus their support. Participants will be given an opportunity to understand their own response as helpers to working with refugees and trauma so they are better equipped to enhance refugees’ capacities to recover, adapt and flourish in the next phase of their lives.

About This Workshop

Workshop Outline

Day 1
  • What is Trauma?
  • Types of Trauma and Community Impact
  • Definitions of Traumatic Impact
  • Trauma, the Body and the Brain
  • Nature’s Design for Human Survival
  • The Role of Memory in Trauma and Healing
  • Expected and Normal Impact of Refugee Experience
  • Supporting Recovery after Trauma
  • Role of the Helper
Day 2
  • Post-Trauma Stress and Recovery
  • Overview of Treating Trauma over Time
  • Exercises for Emotional Regulation
  • Working with Boundaries
  • Dissociation
  • Points for Supporting Children
  • Signs of Health
  • Vicarious Trauma and Secondary Trauma
  • Additional Considerations of Impact and Coping for Refugees


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Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop intended for social workers, social service and health care professionals, teachers and anyone supporting people through the refugee and migration experience.