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Trauma and resilience in refugees – a clinical approach

September 27 @ 1:30 pm 2:30 pm

Most refugees experience difficult and traumatic events in their pre migration context and their response to these trauma may vary. However, as service providers we often assume that any and all distress a refugee faces in Canada stems from the trauma that led them to flee their home country. In fact, most refugees report that settling and building a new life here is even more difficult and stressful than past events. Learning to recognize and decode these complex communications of suffering, capacity and need, is especially difficult when we have no understanding of the refugee’s geopolitical and culture context. This talk will think beyond post traumatic stress disorder to address the need to more accurately understand the causes and mitigation of individual refugee’s distress. Underpinning these ideas is the recognition that refugees are extraordinarily resilient. We will explore how to recognize this clinically and optimize and enhance service delivery as a result, noting the importance of cultural competence and cultural humility, on an individual and systemic level.