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Edition 1: Oct 08

Welcome to the first edition of Hints for Healing, STARTTS' new e-zine for student welfare teams working with refugee children and young people.

This month, we explore play as an assessment and intervention medium.
Peter Blake reminds us of the refugee child's need for play; Deb Gould guides us through common play themes of refugee children; Catherine Maguire-Donvito explores the use of Sand
Play in therapy; and Toril and Angela share a case study to illustrate some of these processes in practice.

Many of us know that play has value in counselling because children often demonstrate their distress rather than speak of it. In gathering material for this first issue, I was reminded that play is also a fundamental right of all children - and thus something we should actively encourage.

I hope you find the following short pieces helpful and look forward to your feedback.

Max Schneider signature hintsforhealing@startts.org.au
Next month

> Deb Gould is a STARTTS Clinical Psychologist and clinical supervisor.

What is the typical thematic play that children survivors of refugee trauma engage in? What should clinicians be looking out for?

Hints for Healing regular columnist Deb Gould, a STARTTS Clinical Psychologist and clinical supervisor, answers your questions about working therapeutically with refugee young people. Learn more >>


In seeing children and adolescents in a clinical setting it is difficult to not be assaulted by hearing about the horrific experiences they have had to endure. The term ‘refugee'means they have had to flee- that something in their life was so unbearable, it could only be managed by escape. Learn more >>

I have found Sand Play, especially non-directed Sand Play, to be particularly helpful for refugee children and adolescents who are overwhelmed by grief, trauma, anger and abuse. Sand Play is a psychodynamic therapy which can be used in combination with other therapeutic methods (for example, Narrative, CBT and Brief Solution Focused Therapy). Learn more >>

Rosie, a bright and energetic 11 year old, was referred to STARTTS by her school counsellor. Her family history was not clear and the whereabouts and state of her biological parents was uncertain. Rosie had lived in a refugee camp, possibly for several years, before arriving in Australia. Learn more >>


Max Schneider
> Max is a Child & Adolescent Counsellor at STARTTS and the service's school liaison officer.





Upcoming STARTTS Training

November 14
Core Concepts & New Developments in Working with Survivors of Torture & Trauma

A one-day workshop designed to provide workers with an understanding of the socio-political nature of war and the issues facing refugee survivors of torture and trauma.

Cost: $99 per participant (GST Inclusive).

To register, contact STARTTS on
Tel: 02 9794 1900

For The Classroom

Immediately after lunch or recess, establish 10 minutes of quiet reading time and play relaxing music in the background. This helps to regulate high levels of arousal activated through playground activities.

Disclaimer The information contained in Hints for Healing is provided as an information source only.  The views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the position or views of STARTTS.  The material is provided on the basis that readers are responsible for making their own assessments of the issues discussed, and always work under clinical supervision.

© 2008 STARTTS  Contact: hintsforhealing@startts.org.au
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