A great opportunity allowed the Rotary Club of Melbourne to provide advance training in trauma treatment to therapists who work with refugees.

Dr Derek Farrell, internationally known specialist in treating PTSD and Principal Lecturer at the University of Worcester, was in the region organising Trauma Capacity Building projects in Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Cambodia and Myanmar. He offered to provide training in EMDR Therapy to an area of need in Australia.

The club organised and supported the training of 18 social workers and psychologists who work in refugee centres in Melbourne and surrounding areas. The training was conducted at the Rotary Office and Foundation House (The Victorian Foundation for the Survivors of Torture, Inc). Club member, Pamela Brown (psychologist), provided 30 pro bono hours of small group supervision in Brunswick, Dandenong and Broadmeadows to the participants.

The response from the therapists was enthusiastic and all reported successful outcomes using the therapy with victims of torture, family violence and children who had been exposed to traumatic events. The participants plan to form an ongoing support group and continue to develop their skills in the area of treating complex PTSD in the refugee community.

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