Refugees: A Need for a Trauma-Informed Psycho-Social Counselling Approach

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Gupta, Akanksha
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This Capstone paper analyzes the literature on the effects of trauma on refugees' mental health and offers recommendations for future counselling techniques that are rooted in trauma-informed, holistic, psycho-social, and culturally sensitive frameworks. A review of combined studies highlights the prevalence of PTSD and depression among refugees due to conflict and persecution. The linkages between pre-displacement stress and trauma-induced worldview modifications are examined along with risks of migration-related trauma, particularly those related to risky travel and separation. It is stated that xenophobia, discrimination, and systemic barriers further exacerbate trauma symptoms and social integration after migration. Along with the Polyvagal Theory's therapeutic neurological effects, the impact of trauma on brain development is examined, with a particular focus on right-brain neuroplasticity. Furthermore, the function of cortisol, the effects of hypocortisolism, and the cumulative effects of trauma on the brain processes connected with fear and functional somatic symptoms are also discussed. With respect to clinical implications for practice, interventions like EMDR and TF-CBT are considered, along with psychoeducation, moral harm, and trauma-informed approaches for the mental health of refugees. This review also emphasizes the need for further research on biomarkers, culturally sensitive interventions, strength-focused strategies, the impact of power dynamics, and technological integration in refugee counselling.
refugee trauma , PTSD , immigrant trauma , trauma and the brain , barriers in immigrant care , challenges faced by refugees , trauma and mental health , trauma and brain neuroplasticity , neurobiology of trauma , polyvagal theory , immigrant care , refugees , culturally sensitive counselling