Community & Trauma Work

A Narrative Approach to Community and Trauma Work


In this two day workshop, we look at the challenges facing a therapist when working within a context of cultural diversity. We explore the effect of thin descriptions on the lives of therapists and clients. Respectful and ethical practices are promoted through practices of participation, power-sharing, accountability, self-reflection, embodied care and the respectful use of language.

We also consider the way in which socio-political factors contribute to problems that people bring to therapy. There will be opportunity for discussions and exercises. Practical examples and illustrations of the following practices will be shared: the role of a cultural consultant, communities of concern, rituals, documents, oral histories and memory, witnessing and public acknowledgement, taking-it-back practices as well as meaning-making and the role of cultural and religious values.

I include working with trauma here as therapists are often confronted with the effects of trauma on the lives of clients when they work in communities where people experience poverty, violence, abuse, illness and other hardships.


Previous workshop participants found the following useful:

The thin description exercise, letters that were shared, the example of the work in the Muslim community and group discussion.
Examples like the Muslim community’s story, the letters, the witnessing of families with missing children, the time given to participants to interact and comment throughout the day.
Going back to the Ethics of Risk / Collaboration was very important learning.
It was beautiful the way you managed to raise awareness about oppressive practices without creating feelings of guilt. I have learnt a lot from you about how we can sensitize people without making them defensive.
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