Moving past trauma-informed: A feminist narrative approach to trauma work
Feminist practitioners and activists brought issues of violence against women and children and experiences of trauma to the public realm in the 1970’s and continue to address these important issues today. Current day trauma-informed work draws on this foundation. This presentation will illustrate a narrative approach shaped by a feminist lens and feminist practice principles centered on collaboration. Emphasis will be on clients’ safety, power, and control in a strong therapeutic alliance.
Feminist practitioners and theorists have explored the impact of discursive frameworks, which fail to recognize women’s agency as they simultaneously struggle and cope with the aftermath of trauma. A feminist narrative approach to critical clinical practice emphasizes making space for women’s stories in a social context and recognizes that talking of their experiences is often constrained by the limited discourses available and the subsequent dangers of speaking. We will explore narrative processes of externalization, unique outcomes, resisting and counterviewing dominant and unhelpful discourses, re-storying negative identity conclusions that reflect trauma experiences and the creation of more helpful counter-stories.
Speaker: Catrina Brown
Catrina Brown is an associate professor and graduate coordinator at the School of Social Work and is cross-appointed to gender and women’s studies and nursing at Dalhousie University. Her work focuses on women’s health and mental health issues, including “eating disorders,” substance use problems, depression, trauma and post-trauma within a feminist postmodern/narrative lens. Her work centers on integrating critical theory into direct practice as an educator, author/editor and a private practice psychotherapist using a feminist, narrative, discursive and collaborative approach.
She made time to co-edit Consuming Passions: Feminist Approaches to Weight Preoccupation and Eating Disorders (with Karin Jasper, Second Story Press, Toronto) and Narrative Therapy. Making Meaning, Making Live (with Tod Augusta-Scott, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California). Together Dr. Judy MacDonald and Dr. Catrina Brown are co-editing a book with contributors from the Dalhousie School of Social Work entitled Critical Clinical Social Work: Counterstorying for Social Justice. She has also served on several editorial boards.