Trauma systems therapy for refugee children and families

Molly A. Benson, Saida M. Abdi, Alisa B. Miller, B. Heidi Ellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R) is an innovative, trauma-informed multi-tiered approach to mental health prevention and intervention with refugee children and their families. TST-R was developed as an adaptation of Trauma Systems Therapy (TST), which is an organizational and clinical model that focuses on both a child's dysregulation and the social environmental context that may be contributing to ongoing symptoms in the aftermath of trauma. TST-R adaptations address multiple barriers to care for refugees and their families through innovative mental health service delivery including multi-tiered approaches to community engagement and stigma reduction, embedding of services in the school setting, partnership building, and the integration of cultural brokering throughout all tiers of intervention to provide cultural knowledge, engagement, and attention to the primacy of resettlement stressors. TST-R has been shown to be effective in engaging refugee youth in services and reducing symptoms of PTSD and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMental Health of Refugee and Conflict-Affected Populations
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research and Clinical Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319970462
ISBN (Print)9783319970455
StatePublished - Dec 10 2018


  • Children and adolescents
  • Cultural brokering
  • Refugee
  • Trauma
  • Trauma systems therapy


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