Teaching Recovery Techniques (responsible expert: University of Tampere, Finland; implementing partners: University of Tampere, Finland; University of Uppsala, Sweden)
Each session lasts between 90 to 120 min and includes skills training, rehearsal and homework. Two group leaders who receives training in TRT deliver the sessions.
The second and third session focuses on intrusion. The group discuss war-related news and discuss common reactions to trauma and to practice visualizing “safe place”. The second session is about normalizing common experiences in war. Then, in the third session, the group discusses intrusively thoughts and learn about imaginary techniques.
The fourth session is about arousal. The group practices relaxation techniques and coping self-statement.
The fifth and sixth sessions are about exposure, and traumatic reminders are discussed. In session five, the group practices how to plan a real-life grades exposure. In session six, the group learn how they can expose themselves to trauma memories by talking, writing and drawing and use the coping strategies they learn in the previous sessions. The group also discusses the importance of doing enjoyable things.
The last session is a follow-up session and aims to discuss in a more relaxed way without discussing further the content of the intervention. The two sessions for the caregivers are held without children. The first session for the caregivers is held before the session for the children starts, and the second session is held between the second and fourth session for the children.
In 2017, Chap group at Uppsala University conducted an exploratory trial on TRT including 10 groups (N=55) of 13-18-year-old, mainly male, unaccompanied refugee minors (URM). Pre- and post-measures were available for 46 participants (84%). Although more than half (62%) of the participants reported negative life events during the study, both PTSD and depression symptoms decreased significantly after the intervention; 22% recovered from their PTSD symptoms, while 33% recovered from depressive symptoms (Sarkadi et al., 2017).
Overall, our results indicated that TRT, a light-touch intervention delivered in the community, is a promising indicated preventive program for URM with PTSD symptoms. Tampere University have several years’ of experience with TRT in Palestine and have published a number of studies on its efficacy (e.g., Qouta, et al., 2012).