Complex Trauma and Lost Identities - Finding Our Way Together

Date & Time:

Wednesday 5 February 2020 (10:00 - 16:30)

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Unipart House Business Center, Unipart House, Garsington Road, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2PG


The aim of the workshop is to raise awareness of how to work with highly traumatised refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants, including young people with and without families.

The workshop will provide an overview of:

  • Who refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants are and where they are from
  • How complex trauma is caused (by events in their home country, their long journeys to safety, the UK asylum/immigration process and associated events)
  • What happens psychologically and physiologically to an individual as a result of complex trauma, bereavement and loss
  • Common presentation – factors and signs to look out for when working with individuals affected by trauma and complex loss
  • Effective strategies for working with interpreters
  • Vicarious trauma and how your clients’ experiences can affect you.
  • Techniques and tips for mental health report writing
  • The impact on the individual of:
  • the loss of identity and self and how this affects their ability to relate a coherent narrative and concentrate,
  • complex grief
  • the UK asylum process, the hostile environment and failed asylum claims
  • Basic strategies which you can use to aid your clients’ recovery including:
  • mental health first aid
  • how not to retrigger,
  • how we work with complex PTSD in counselling
  • how to aid mourning when there are multiple unresolved griefs
  • how to facilitate integration (internally and externally)
  • how to help your client to move on and look forward
  • Giving advice and advocacy – some helpful tips and strategies
  • Taking care of ourselves

Learning Objectives:

Through attending this training delegates will be able to:

  • Explain the definitions used with the client group
  • Describe the contexts that asylum seekers and refugees operate from
  • Detail symptoms of severe and complex PTSD and know how not to retrigger clients
  • Use basic techniques to work with clients suffering multiple unresolved losses without triggering overwhelming reactions in the client
  • Offer advice and advocacy in ways that can easily be taken in
  • Use some mental health first aid techniques
  • Protect themselves from vicarious traumatisation
  • List common reactions in listeners to narratives containing overwhelming events
  • Work more effectively and supportively with interpreters
  • Describe the basic principles of mental health report writing
  • Have a sense of the journey to integration and healing

Oxfordshire’s programme aims to support UASCs to thrive, integrate within their local community as well as manage the impact upon service pressures for the resident community and prevent community tension. Currently this programme includes Identity and life story, Increasing awareness and understanding of trauma and complex trauma and lost identities. This training programme will offer Oxfordshire’s workforce an opportunity to increase their understanding and awareness of a range of issues which affect UASC, as well as other children in the resident community’.

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Further Information:



OSCB Trainers

Venue Details:

Unipart House Business Center, Unipart House, Garsington Road, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2PG

(01865 815843 /