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.

Children, torture and psychological consequences

Alayarian, A. (2009). Torture: Journal of Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 19(2), 145-156.
Impact of torture on children may vary depending on the child’s coping strategies, cultural and social circumstances. In this paper the author gives a brief introduction of the work the Refugee Therapy Center does with children, discusses the effects of torture on children and presents a vignette and some examples of clinical intervention.

* The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)’s Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of

Serving Children who are Torture Survivors


This webinar is intended for therapists working with children who are torture survivors or war traumatized, and it discusses two specific ways of working with these children therapeutically instead of discussing methods to broadly serve them. It also applies to therapists practicing Somatic Psychology and/or Dance Movement Therapy, though non-practitioners can include applicable elements in their own practices.

Children and Youth


Children and youth engage in torture treatment services with diverse experiences and a range of needs. Refugee children and youth are often characterized by high rates of exposure to violence, displacement, loss and multiple family stressors, including acculturative stress. The United States accepted more than 73,000 refugees in the last year (Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration, 2010b), and more than 40% of refugee admissions are children (American Psychological Association, 2010).

Given these histories of trauma and adversity, children, youth and their families often

Specific Populations

The following is in-depth information specific to working with a particular population. If you'd like to request that we add content for a particular population, please use our Suggest Content form!

Click here to view all webinars that we have done for specific populations.

Affordable Care Act for refugees

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has put together a useful page on The Affordable Care Act & Refugees, including informational videos in:


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