Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Alternative Approaches to Refugee Mental Health Webinar

The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present the webinar:

Alternative Approaches to Refugee Mental Health



See the webinar here.

See the powerpoint presentation here.


  • Provide an overview of alternative modalities to refugee mental health
  • Identify replicable tools and approaches to integrating modalities into health and resettlement services
  • Explore the meanings of alternative, non-traditional, complementary, and integrative theories and methods
  • Highlight program frameworks that encourage holistic health care
  • Explore various body-based and art therapy interventions including dance, acupuncture, meditation, and massage


Jennifer Shuart, LICSW, RN
Alternative Modality Expertise: Co-counseling clinical model with interpreters and refugee clients
Jennifer received her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University and focused on macro level practice with an internship in child maltreatment. She has worked in various settings within child and family welfare, including the Department of Children and Families, emergency crisis unit at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and as an intensive home-based therapist working with families and children who struggled with PTSD. Most recently Jennifer completed a direct entry nursing program and is also now a licensed RN in Massachusetts. She is scheduled to begin the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program in Fall 2016 with the ultimate goal of continuing work with refugees.

Amber Elizabeth Gray, MA, MPH, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC
Alternative Modality Expertise: Integration of somatic and arts-based therapies into clinic work in cross cultural contexts
Amber Gray is an award winning Dance Movement Therapist who has worked in refugee mental health and torture treatment since 1998. She has served as a senior clinician, a clinical director, a director and the founding program coordinator for torture treatment and refugee mental health programs in Colorado, Haiti and New Mexico. She was a Clinical Advisor to The Center for Victims of Torture for two years, and has consulted and provided clinical training on refugee mental health, torture treatment and creative arts, mindfulness, and body-based therapies with survivors and refugees to more than 30 programs worldwide since the 1990’s. As a pioneer for the use of Somatic Psychology, Dance Movement Therapy and Continuum Movement with survivors of torture and refugees, Amber’s expertise in “alternative” and creative arts therapies is represented in many published articles and chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations and presentations around the world. She originated a resiliency-based framework and practice (Restorative Movement Psychotherapy) for mind-heart-spirit, somatic, movement and arts-based therapies with survivors of trauma in cross cultural, low resource contexts, and is co-developing Polyvagal-informed Dance Movement Therapy with Dr. Porges, based on the wisdom of whole body intelligence. She currently is Executive Director of The Kint Institute’s Certificate Program for the Arts in Trauma Treatment.

Julia Kuck, PhD
Alternative Modality Expertise: Somatic, equine-assisted, and expressive arts therapies
Julia Kuck is a classically trained neuropsychologist and clinician in private practice, specializing in complex case assessment and treatment of individuals with mood, developmental, psychotic, and trauma-based conditions. She is a non-salaried Assistant Clinical Professor at UC San Diego in the Department of Psychiatry and an Adjunct Professor at Alliant International University where she teaches and mentors graduate and medical students in psychology, couples and family therapy, psychiatry, and medicine. She has felt privileged to work as a contracted clinical provider in assessment and trauma recovery for over 15 years at Survivors of Torture International, helping individuals navigate the asylum and healing process. Her training in Somatic Experiencing and expressive arts has helped clients build awareness of their unique resiliencies that support them along their healing path. She credits her wisest teacher, her horse, in helping her learn that the mind takes a distant third place in healing and relationships, directly behind the instinctual knowing of the gut and the primary wisdom of our first brain – the heart.

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