Trauma and Resilience: Family, Community, and Global Perspectives

CLI TR530 - Trauma and Resilience: Family, Community, and Global Perspectives

Credits: 2

This course provides an overview of theory, empirical research, and clinical practice in the individual, family, and community psychology of simple and complex trauma, as experienced by children, adolescents, and their families in US and global contexts. It offers multicultural perspectives on biopsychosocial and spiritual sequelae of personal forms of trauma for individuals and families, across the lifespan. It also offers multicultural and culturally-affirming perspectives on sequelae to such collectively experienced forms of trauma as war, political, ethnic, or religious violence and persecution, natural disasters, and displacement within or across national borders, as well as on the intergenerational and cultural transmission of trauma to children not involved in the original traumatic events. While personal forms of trauma (e.g., child abuse, rape, sudden loss, accidents) will be covered in some depth, a major foci are on collective forms of trauma, how trauma is experienced in collectivist cultures, and clinical implications for work with war-affected and internally displaced children and families in collectivist societies, refugees and immigrants in the U.S., and marginalized residents of U.S. “war zones.”

This course introduces a variety of individual, family, and community interventions (including individual talk therapies, play therapies, and expressive therapies; family therapies, and community interventions). The course also emphasizes how therapists can enhance clients’ relational resilience and their resistance to internalizing oppression and marginalization, including through advocacy. The semester ends with attention to the healing work of preventing cycles of violence and building inter-group reconciliation. Finally, it provides ways to prevent and manage vicarious trauma for family members, helpers, and bystanders as witnesses during or after the fact of acts of trauma, and for the therapists themselves, and highlights the need for self-care for therapist-as-witness to violence and violation.