ABSTRACT

Beginning with a brief summary of the historical context of the conflict in Northern Ireland which will help readers situate our practice, this chapter develops the themes of hope and despair within two separate but connected frames – the sociopolitical and the therapeutic. Using case vignettes we consider how the peace process has affected the therapeutic process and the crossover between the two domains. Within our approach to trauma recovery we describe how we attempt to counter the pull of despair the work can generate, alongside balancing the sensitivity and attention paid to external processes over which we can seem helpless.