Witnessing resistance to “trauma” and interpersonal & political violence; a social justice approach
A workshop with Vikki Reynolds
London, Manchester and Edinburgh, October 2018
In this experiential workshop Vikki presents an alternative approach to work with ‘trauma’, from an ethical stance for justice-doing, which focuses on the resistance of victims of violence and oppression. This is as opposed to attending primarily to the details of the trauma, which can be re-traumatizing for both the person and the front-line worker. Resisting the neutral and medicalized language of ‘trauma’, we will name rape culture, torture and political violence, poverty and other systemic contexts of social injustice that are often hidden in individualized talk. Honouring the wisdom of the people we work alongside in their resistance to abuses of power brings forward their agency and wisdom. Locating sites of resistance, and witnessing the resistance capacities of the people we work alongside, can create identities of knowledge, autonomy and strength, as opposed to victim/survivor identities, or other spoiled identities.
Workshop participants will:
- Engage in practice examples of a witnessing approach to work with people who have suffered violence, and look at the questions and dialogues that bring forward the person’s resistance, wisdom, knowledges, courage…;
- Consider alternative understandings of ‘trauma’, including seeing PTSD as a potential site of resistance;
- Locate problems of ‘trauma’ in the social world where we have not delivered on a ‘just’ society;
- Explore their own acts of resistance against power-over and domination;
- Learn how to structure safety for therapeutic conversations as a foundation of the work;
- Develop witnessing practices that offer new meanings of traumatic past events;
- Participate in a Solidarity Group practice that resists ‘vicarious trauma’ and ‘burn out’ in our work and enacts “shouldering each other up” in solidarity with collective care.
You can find many free articles and keynotes on Vikki’s website
Vikki Reynolds PhD RCC is an activist/therapist who works to bridge the worlds of social justice activism with community work & therapy. Vikki is a white settler of Irish, Newfoundland and English folks, and a heterosexual woman with cisgender privilege.
Her experience includes supervision and therapy with refugees and survivors of torture, sexualized violence counsellors, mental health and substance misuse counsellors, housing and shelter workers, activists and working alongside gender and sexually diverse communities. Vikki is an Adjunct Professor and has written and presented internationally on the subjects of resistance to 'trauma', ally work, justice-doing, a supervision of solidarity, ethics, and innovative group work.
Vikki's articles and keynotes are available free on her website
London: October 1st & 2nd 2018
Manchester: October 4th & 5th 2018
Edinburgh: October 8th 2018
(20% discount for self-funders)
2-day attendance: £200 + VAT
1-day attendance: £110 + VAT
It is possible to attend the first day of the two day workshop on its own, but it is not possible to attend the second day on its own.