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Resolving guilt and shame after trauma: Utilising CBT and ACT techniques.

Tajana Opacic

Shame and guilt are significant facets of post trauma reactions, frequently found in the presentations of many of STARTTS’ clients. Often these require culturally informed interventions. In this presentation Tajana Opacic illustrates the impact of guilt and shame on the psychological functioning of clients, drawing on the importance of the clients’ cultural background. Tajana discusses a female client who is of Mandaean Sabian background. This is an ethnic and religious minority in Iraq that is subjected to religious discrimination and systemic and organised persecution. The client herself has experienced substantial trauma, including her youngest son being killed in 2006. As a result of her traumatic experiences, the client presented with a complex clinical presentation, with traumatic grief, guilt and shame being the most prominent features. Tajana aims to demonstrate how various techniques drawing on CBT and ACT approaches, have been utilised to promote positive change to the client’s psychological well-being.

To be Recorded at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
28 August 2012, New South Wales, Australia.
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Tajana Opacic
Tajana Opacic
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Tajana Opacic

Tajana Opacic is an AHPRA registered Psychologist, a clinical psychologist and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has been working for STARTTS for the past three years. In addition, she has been working with clients presenting with anxiety and mood disorders at the Sydney Obsessive Compulsive and Anxiety Disorders Clinic (SOCAD) over the last two years. Her training and acquired experience enables her to conduct psychological assessments and formulate appropriate treatments for various mental health disorders, with specific emphasis on treating survivors of torture and trauma. She has had the opportunity to work with a range of clients of various cultural backgrounds, including individuals in detention, asylum seekers in the community and children. Tajana facilitates therapeutic groups, particularly for young children, and provides trainings to external agencies on working with refugee torture and trauma survivors.

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