S30: The uncomfortable intersection between trauma-informed practice and family-inclusive practice: Family blaming, truth-telling or … ?

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Indigo Daya

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Lived Experience, Recovery,Trauma-informed care

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Trauma-informed practice and family-inclusive practice are both high priorities for mental health services.

Each approach is often developed as a separate initiative. Commonly consumers are engaged in developing trauma-informed models, and carers are engaged in developing family-inclusive models. In practice this separation creates significant risks. Trauma-informed practice and family-inclusive practice intersect in different ways, and the most uncomfortable intersection occurs for consumers who have experienced abuse within the family context (DHHS, 2011), whether as child abuse by a parent or family violence by a partner. How do services include families in the context of abuse or violence? What does it mean if guides to working with families do not even mention trauma (Mind et al, 2016) – or vice versa?

This subject is steeped in historical issues such as the now discredited ‘schizophrenogenic mother’, concepts of ‘family blaming’, and a long history of consumers not being believed about past trauma.

This paper is an attempt to give an honest but sensitive voice to tensions and questions that are rarely made overt, even though a failure to do so is likely to result in ineffective – and potentially harmful – practice. It invites the audience to step into uncomfortable spaces together and find new ways of working.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Attendees will gain an increased understanding of how to develop and implement trauma-informed practice and family-inclusive practice in ways which acknowledge the intersections between the two types of practice, and which reduce the risk of harm.

Learning Objective 2: This paper is relevant to any mental health service that is considering implementing, or has implemented, trauma informed practice and/or family-inclusive practice. It is particularly relevant to quality managers, practice leaders, clinical educators and people with lived experience.

Mind Australia, Helping Minds, Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia), Mental Health Carers Arafmi Australia and Mental Health Australia. (2016) A practical guide for working with carers of people with a mental illness, Retrieved from: https://www.mindaustralia.org.au/resources/families-and-carers/a-practical-guide-for-working-with-carers-of-people-with-a-mental-illness.html
Department of Health. (2011). Service guideline on gender sensitivity and safety: Literature review. State of Victoria. Retrieved from: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/getfile//?sc_itemid=%7B3D722F23-563E-43AC-81BB-8BE14426BB00%7D

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