Authors: Stephanie Mitchell
Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Living Beyond the Shadows of Abuse
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Survivors of childhood abuse and trauma have often been considered to be too fragile to work together in a group setting for fear that they might re-traumatize each other through the sharing process in group work. As such most groups are based around education, 'wellness' promotion and strengths-based group processes. This presentation will explore, how a 'process oriented and group lead' approach to working with abuse survivors in groups leads to spaces of personal empowerment, new understandings of self and greater resilience for group members. Through person centred facilitation that focuses on 'negotiated group safety' and 'negotiated group process', the facilitator and group members safely navigate their way to co-creating spaces that are safe for all members to share and grow together and has enabled the group to make its own decisions and work out the bumps along the way towards new understandings and steps on the path of personal recovery. This pilot group has led to an ongoing process orientated group being facilitated in South Australia, that provides an alternative space for individuals who have survived childhood trauma and have shown the courage in embracing new environments in recovery that can provide valuable lessons and opportunities to many others.