Bradley Foxlewin blog: “What are the top issues going forward?”

By February 23, 2018 No Comments

Panel session 3

22 Feb 2018

The final session of the day 22 Feb, Trauma matters with Barbara Disley, Indigo Daya and Helen Milroy presented a vibrant discussion, Q and A, beginning with a form question, “What are the top issues going forward?”

It was considered that going beyond PTSD as a preferred, almost default diagnosis in relation to trauma is seen as promising, broadening impacts and experiences of trauma upon a larger landscape of diagnosis. Panel members built on earlier comments including those of Martin Dorahy who spoke about voice hearing experiences, observable phenomena, experiences that can be explained psychologically. Shades of Rufus May.

Panel members very effectively and clearly developed and named approaches, safe relational and environmental approaches for all, trauma informed. These approaches and relationships, where  phenomena, voice hearing, shame, blame, etc can be addressed (not labelled, managed or treated) was seen as the best hope of shaping a system where witnessing, a relational strategy, is established. Witnessing became a core approach enacted within the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse.

A relational centre was also proposed as a fundamental element of change towards abandoning the failed Physical Health model adopted by mental health over past decades. Object science has little place in the creative arts endeavour that is co-created recovery from trauma. The role of disinterested scientist is past as it takes no account of broader healing strategies. It was noted that many of these broader healing strategies are often located in the local cultural and community endeavour, local and culturally sound solutions to local problems. As an audience member I was being asked to take a step back -to recognise colonisation – in its many forms –  the ensuing narrow definitions and interpretations of experience and how the recognition and abandonment of these can support local social and community (relational) initiatives.

Traumatic growth, spinning traumatic experiences into gold, was honoured and yet can be experienced as a cliché when we consider trauma should never happen to anyone least of all vulnerable children.

At discussions end the issue of disgust and distain was spoken which led to a further discussion about the damage that can be achieved through a lack of understanding trauma and impacts through attribution within what might have otherwise been a therapeutic relationship.

By Bradley Foxlewin