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Utilising culturally adapted CBT with non-Western clients: A case study of a Muslim Iraqi woman.

Dr Nooria Mehraby

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a widely utilised technique in the treatment of trauma that can be adapted for refugees affected by war, loss and dislocation. Nooria Mehraby illustrates the application of CBT with traumatised refugees with a case study of a 49 year old illiterate Muslim Iraqi woman who lost two children during the Iraq war and another after arrival in Australia. She presented with an intense grief reaction, depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms.
A safe therapeutic environment was provided in order for her to work through her grief while managing her anxiety. CBT techniques such as relaxation, psycho-education and cognitive restructuring were used with the client, congruent with her cultural beliefs and expectations, utilising cultural and religious metaphors to enhance the application of CBT techniques.

To be Recorded at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
15 May 2013, New South Wales, Australia.
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Nooria Mehraby
Nooria Mehraby
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Dr Nooria Mehraby

Nooria Mehraby MD is a senior clinician and clinical trainer at STARTTS. Herself a refugee, Nooria has more than 25 years experience working with refugees both overseas and here in Australia. This includes more than 15 years experience at STARTTS doing counselling and community development work with survivors of toture and trauma. Nooria first trained as a medical doctor in her native Afghanistan and later completed a Master of Counselling in Australia.
Nooria is an experienced national and international conference speaker and is the author of multiple publications (including textbook contributions) on refugee trauma, cross-cultural aproaches and working with children. Nooria has lectured in various universities in NSW and has facilitated clinical workshops in other states. Nooria is the editor of sections of the journals of Psychevisual and Psychotherapy in Australia. Her particular interest is in developing cross-cultural therapeutic interventions with refugees. In her current position as STARTTS’ Clinician Trainer, she brings clinical expertise to STARTTS’ wide range of training programs and regularly delivers workshops to service providers.

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