"Accidental" Counsellors

Accidental Counsellors - Responding to Refugee Trauma-Related Behaviours

There will be times when people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds talk about their past traumatic experiences of war and violence to workers and volunteers, or get angry or upset, or display other types of trauma reactions. This two-day workshop has been designed to give workers not trained as counsellors some basic tips and skills for recognising and dealing with difficult behaviours in the workplace. It is mostly practical and focuses on a series of case studies and role-plays to develop skills in dealing with trauma reactions.

Suitable for people working in a range of non-clinical settings such as casework, advocacy, teaching, youth work, welfare work and community development.

This course incorporates Core Concepts in Working with People from Refugee Backgrounds on day 1

Program Day 1 (Core Concepts)

  • The refugee experience
  • The impact of torture and other traumatic events
  • The stressors of resettlement and cultural transition
  • The stressors of seeking asylum in Australia
  • Cultural competence
  • Working within a recovery framework
  • Vicarious trauma and self-care

Program Day 2

  • What is an ‘accidental’ counsellor?
  • Skills for managing trauma responses: case studies and role-plays
  • Disclosure
  • Sadness and depression
  • Anger and aggression
  • Dissociation
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicide threats

Participants can optionally skip day 1 however, it is assumed that participants will have attended an introductory workshop by STTARS such as 'Core Concepts in Working with People from Refugee Backgrounds' or equivalent before completing day 2.

Who should attend?

This workshop is suitable for people working in a range of non-clinical settings such as casework, advocacy, teaching, youth work, welfare work and community development.

Workshop times

These workshops are typically run over two days from 9.30am - 4.30pm (Day 1 is the Core Concepts workshop and is included in the fee)

For actual training start and finish times please check the published course dates

Workshop fees

See Eventbrite for Pricing Information

The workshop fee includes entry to the workshop, a certificate of attendance and a participant's handbook with key information from the workshop.

A light morning and afternoon tea will be provided.

Payment options

All registrations are online via Eventbrite and payment is by credit card. A confirmation email will be sent to you automatically.


STTARS Conference Room

81 Angas Street ADELAIDE SA 5000


A certificate for the one-day workshop will be emailed after the event to registered attendees.

Terms and conditions

Payment of the registration fee is online by credit card and a receipt/confirmation will be automatically emailed to you. Registrations may be cancelled up to 7 working days prior to the day of the event with a full refund. Cancellations giving less than 7 working days notice will incur a 30% cancellation fee to cover administration costs. Registration may be transferred to another delegate only if STTARS is informed of the name change. Registration may be transferred to a different workshop only if notice is given to STTARS 7 days before the date of the original event for which the delegate registered.

The concession price is for full-time students and pensioners only and a photocopy or pdf of a valid concession card must be forwarded to the STTARS Training Coordinator upon registration. Registrations will not be confirmed until full payment is received.

If a minimum number of participants is not reached, a workshop may be cancelled.

The STTARS Training Coordinator may be contacted by email at training@sttars.org.au or by phone: (08) 8206 8900

Next Scheduled

For further information or to book via Eventbrite

Click on your preferred date below.



Contact STTARS

Email: training@sttars.org.au

Phone: (08) 8206 8900 and ask for the Training Coordinator