Historical Trauma in Developing Countries: A View from South Asia

This workshop will present information related to historical trauma in underdeveloped countries. Historical trauma has been studied in relation to Native and African American populations and families of Holocaust victims, but little research has focused on populations outside the United States or among immigrant populations. Focusing on an ongoing study by the presenter in Nepal, historical trauma in developing countries will be presented as a distinguishable phenomenon, including elements of Complex PTSD as well as idioms of distress unique to Nepali people. Case examples will be presented and multimedia will be used to illustrate coping skills unique to the Nepali culture. Finally, the relevance of Historical trauma in developing nations will discussed in terms of generalizability to other populations and practical application.

This session was originally presented as a live conference session in October 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 

  • Describe historical trauma and the relation to non-Western populations
  • Distinguish between complex trauma symptoms and idioms of distress unique to the Nepali experience of trauma
  • Identify elements of historical trauma relevant to populations in developing countries
  • Distinguish between PTSD, complex trauma, cultural trauma, and historical trauma in developing countries
  • Integrate the concept of historical trauma into practice, in particular in relation to clients with immigrant histories
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Ellen E. Elliott, LCAS, LPC, CCS, CSAT, PhD Candidate 
Presenter Bio:  Ellen E. Elliott, LCAS, LPC, CCS, CSAT, PhD Candidate is the owner and director of Four Directions Counseling & Recovery Center. Ellen is licensed in North Carolina as an addictions specialist, a professional counselor, and a clinical supervisor for counselors and is nationally certified as a sex addiction therapist. She received her Master’s degree in Community Counseling with an emphasis in Addictions from Appalachian State University after receiving a BSW at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has specific training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and trauma therapy. Ellen has worked in the Mental Health field nearly 30 years and provides counseling in various areas including addictions, sexual issues, trauma, childhood abuse, intimacy and attachment, and relationships. Her goal is to assist people in addressing past trauma and creating the lives and connections they long for. In addition to counseling, Ellen provides training related to behavioral addictions and trauma treatment as well as supervision for substance abuse and mental health counselors. As a lifelong lover of learning and culture, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Counseling and Human Development from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal where she is completing research in related to trauma experiences among indigenous populations in underdeveloped countries. Her interest in South Asia led to her study of specific idioms of distress presented among the Newar indigenous population in Nepal for the purpose of better understanding the way historical trauma is experienced in non-Western, underdeveloped nations.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


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"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at cfas@isst-d.org to receive the appropriate discount code.