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Thinking Psychodynamically with Refugee Children and their Families.

Mr Peter F Blake , Dr Nooria Mehraby

Peter Blake, a Clinical Psychologist and Tavistock trained child psychotherapists, is interviewed by Nooria Mehraby on his experiences of supervising STARTTS workers who work with children and families. The interview explores how a psychodynamic way of thinking can be used in work with refugees. The importance of understanding the child's inner world, and his or her understanding or interpretation of the traumatic events they have experienced is stressed. There is a discussion of what modifications to psychotherapy techniques are required when working with such children. The need for creating a safe and non traumatic atmosphere that can allow the child to play, with a minimum of interpretations is highlighted. Similarly a non intrusive way of working with parents is described.

Interview recorded at STARTTS, Sydney,  in April 2008.

Peter F Blake
Peter F Blake
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Mr Peter F Blake

Peter Blake is a clinical psychologist and a Tavistock trained child psychotherapist. He has worked in community health centres and in private practice over the last 35 years. He was the President of the Child Psychoanalytic Foundation, a charity organisation,  founded to promote psychoanalytic thinking about children and families to the professional and non-professional community. He is currently Chairperson of the Institute of Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. His book, "Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy" has been published in 2008 and is the only book on this subject in Australia.

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.

Nooria Mehraby
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