Enhancing the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Treatment for Refugee Adolescents’ Trauma through the Integrative Approach: A Literature Review
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Exposure to trauma at an early age can have long lasting devastating consequences that can lead to post traumatic stress disorders, depression, anxiety, and behavioural and educational problems in children and adolescents. If left untreated, these effects can continue to manifest themselves throughout adulthood and can interfere with affected individuals’ overall quality of life. Refugee children have often experienced traumatic events such as war, loss of loved ones, torture, and political violence, which places them at extremely high risk of developing these problems. The purpose of this literature review was to support the author’s proposal for the development of a holistic therapy for traumatized refugee adolescents through the enhancement of trauma specific cognitive behavioural interventions. To meet this objective, the author examined three primary areas including the needs of refugee children with respect to relevant factors influencing their recovery from trauma and successful integration into the host society; the use and effectiveness of trauma focused cognitive behavioural interventions with this population; and the possibility of employing drama therapy as a school-based intervention for treating traumatized refugee youth. Informed by holistic and integrative therapy and a thorough analysis of the findings, the author proposed a theoretical school-based integrated treatment model by incorporating elements of drama therapy into the existing structure of trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy. Recommendations for future research and successful implementation of this theoretical intervention model were offered with a focus on effective structuring of the system within which refugee youth are immersed.