Working with Youth

Storytelling and bookmaking techniques & tips

This handout, by Kate Porterfield, PhD, includes guidelines on using techniques such as storytelling and bookmaking with children who have experienced trauma.

An example of a book featuring stories and art by young refugees is available here: My Name Is...

We also encourage you to review the webinar by Dr. Porterfield which addresses Serving Children who are Torture Survivors.

Orientation group: 4 week group therapy manual for clinicians

Developed by the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture program, this manual outlines a short-term, supportive, psychoeducational group therapy model for survivors of torture and severe war trauma. Goals, strategies and weekly planning information are included in this manual.

This manual is included here as it can be easily adapted to include or target reunified families.

A ‘Springy Tornado’: Therapy with a Child Refugee with Disorganized Attachment

Bennett-Murphy, L. (2011). A springy tornado: therapy with a child refugee with disorganized attachment. Attachment: new directions in psychotherapy and relational analysis. 5(2), 176-190.

In this article, the author discusses the development of disorganized attachment, common countertransferential challenges and the treatment of Ali, a nine year old refugee boy from war torn Iraq.

We encourage you to also watch the video of Laura Bennett-Murphy speaking about disrupted attachments, and review the PowerPoint from her talk.

Full article may be downloaded for a fee at link below.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for symptoms of trauma and traumatic grief in refugee youth

Murray, L et al (2008). Cognitive behavioral therapy for symptoms of trauma and traumatic grief in refugee youth. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 17, 585-604

This paper describes empirical studies on the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) models in multiple treatment settings (schools, clinics, etc) and with specialized populations. The article also includes a thorough description of components of CBT.

Link is to abstract; full article requires paid subscription.

Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Longitudinal Study of Risk, Protective Factors, and Mental Health

This longitudinal study investigates adaptive behaviors among former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and whether post conflict factors contribute to adverse or resilient mental health outcomes.

Betancourt, Theresa et al (2010). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 49 (6), 606-615.

We encourage you to also review Dr. Betancourt's presentation: Studies of Adversity, Resilience, and Child Mental Health.

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