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NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors

Treating Developmental Trauma in Adult Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma

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Dr Loyola McLean
Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist
University of Sydney

Mirjana Askovic
Psychologist, Neurofeedback Coordinator, STARTTS

Early childhood trauma such as chronic maltreatment, abuse, neglect, or other harsh adversity can have adverse effects lasting into adulthood. In our clinical work, we might see adults with complex presentations such as difficulty in developing relationships, trusting others, complex PTSD and ongoing difficulties with daily living. People from refugee backgrounds may have been exposed to developmental trauma prior to their refugee trauma because of a traumatic developmental environment, including where a caregiver is the cause of distress, or when the caregiver cannot emotionally contain a child responding to overwhelming stress or trauma. Moreover, a sizable group of people are exposed to developmental trauma as a direct consequence of refugee experiences, such as the loss of significant attachment figures including both parents, an inability of the parents to provide basic needs and emotional containment due to their own trauma.

In this Clinical Master Class, held on 25 November 2020, Associate Professor Dr Loyola McLean brought her clinical expertise to the topic of developmental trauma and its presentation and treatment in adult survivors. Mirjana Askovic, a senior psychologist, the Neurofeedback Program Coordinator at STARTTS and the Director for the Australian Neurofeedback Institute (ANFI), demonstrated STARTTS’ work with a case presentation.

View the two lectures and panel discussion by clicking on the course content below. When you are finished you can request the system send you a certificate of completion. The slide PDFs are available in the Materials tab.

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