DOI link for De-therapising trauma
De-therapising trauma book
While trauma-informed practices relating to women’s distress have a strong basis in feminist activism, the mainstreaming of trauma discourses within mental health settings increasingly involves trauma being viewed through the lens of a symptom orientation, standardised mental health assessment processes, treatment protocols, and therapeutic recommendations. Such responses focus on the need for individual women to adapt to and manage inequalities, and involve a distancing from feminist aims. Despite this disheartening context, the trauma paradigm can be strategically drawn upon by feminist mental health workers in order to increase the likelihood of achieving social justice outcomes within mental health settings, and beyond. This chapter recommends practical steps towards a socio-political perspective on trauma, including an analytical framework for exploring the assumptions underpinning disparate trauma paradigms. The chapter suggests the need for a de-therapising approach to trauma, which is vigilant regarding the co-option of feminist work within mental health services. A de-therapising agenda endeavours to extend the trauma concept beyond the modest aspiration of “fine-tuning” mental health services toward strategies for engaging with women’s distress outside of the confines of medicalised or therapeutic support, as well as addressing questions relating to violence prevention and social change.