Title of Research Project: An exploration of Occupational Therapy Practice with Children experiencing Complex Trauma
Academic Supervisors: Dr Michelle Spirtos & Dr Katie Cremin
Síomha is a doctoral researcher in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy since September 2021. She holds a BSc. (Honours) degree in Occupational Therapy from Trinity College Dublin. The focus of the PhD research project is occupational therapy practice with children experiencing complex trauma. Repeated or prolonged exposure to interpersonal traumatic experiences, such as abuse, neglect, or significant household dysfunction during childhood results in the experience of complex trauma in children. These complex trauma experiences typically begin in early childhood and involve the child’s immediate caregiving system and important relationships. The primary objective of the project is to develop a potential practice guideline for occupational therapists who work with children experiencing complex trauma. This is a mixed-methods design project using a phased approach. The research will include an Irish-based study of occupational therapy practice with children experiencing complex trauma; and an international Delphi study involving experts in occupational therapy and trauma, in which a consensus will be reached on what the occupational therapy needs of children experiencing complex trauma are, and how occupational therapists can best address these needs.