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Psychotrauma and Culture

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (UU)
Course code
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 800
Master level

After this course participants are able: - To reflect on the role of social context and culture in shaping illness experience, risk factors and protective factors pertinent to traumatised refugees, help-seeking, and response to treatment interventions after trauma; - To implement the implications for therapeutic interventions including identifying clinical strategies for indicating and providing culturally appropriate treatment, working in a culturally competent way (knowledge, attitude and skills); using the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview; creating awareness of cultural factors that affect the clinical communication and therapeutic relationship; promoting strengths and resilience in patients; and providing recovery supportive treatment for complex PTSD.

Psychotrauma, Refugees and Culture

What is the role of ‘culture’ in treating PTSD? This course is about the interplay of trauma, culture, changing contexts and mental health care. The programme will address the challenges of providing culturally sensitive and effective mental health services for refugees and others who have faced (forced) migration and resettlement. We will focus on how trauma, torture, minority status and (adaptation to a new) context may influence mental health. In addition, attention will be given to protective factors (resilience) and risk factors, including prolonged uncertainty about the juridical status, loss of social bonds and loved ones, acculturation and discrimination. Participants will learn a variety of concepts and skills useful for research and mental health services, pertaining to: (a) the concept of complex trauma and culturally shaped expressions after trauma; (b) the influence of social factors and family position (different generations) in coping with trauma; (c) the sociocultural context in the process of diagnostics; (d) knowledge and skills that build cultural competence; (e) the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview; and (f) the cultural adaptation of evidence based interventions like CBT, EMDR, NET and BEPP. Although the focus will be on refugees, the course is informative for all researchers and clinicians involved in psychotraumatology who are interested in contextualized mental health care to diverse populations.

More information...


Day 1: Complex trauma and complex PTSD
Day 2: Theoretical concepts and considerations regarding context, culture, trauma and mental health
Day 3: Research and clinical care regarding culturally competent mental health care
Day 4: Specific treatment interventions: choice between:
• ‘NET for refugees in Europe and in LIC’ or
• ‘BEPP Traumatric Grief for refugees with
traumatic loss’
Day 5: Research or Clinical work: choice between:
• ‘Paper in a Day’
• ‘Working with consequences of Torture’

Tags: ptds, complex trauma, complex ptsd, culture, refugees, torture, migration, resilience, diagnostics, treatment

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

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dr. Jeroen Knipscheer


This course is designed for:
(1) PHD students in the field of health and social sciences;
(2) psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and other (mental) health professionals involved in clinical care and/or resesarch in the area of psychotraumatology


In this course participants will gain knowledge of various theoretical approaches in the field of trauma, culture, and insight into the influence of culture and context on cognitive and emotional processes following traumatic events , as well as on therapeutic interventions. Themes to be discussed include:
(1) the role of culture, minority status and context in the expression of psychopathology (e.g. in idioms of distress and in classification systems), and in pathways and barriers in help seeking after trauma;
(2) the role of culture and context in the development of (complex) PTSD, and psycho-social processes in the build-up to and healing after disaster, war and political violence.


24 contact hrs
24 study hrs


• € 800 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 600 - Course + course materials

» Overview of all available discounts


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.


Barbara Lieuwen
E: info@academy.arq.org
P: +31 - 20 - 660 1970
P: +31 - 6 - 33661013

» Contact Utrecht Summer School


Deadline for registration: 07 July 2017

Application closed