'No coughing for me, but I'm okay!' - Mapping a human service workers' body stories as she engages with traumatised women in a domestic violence service

Mensinga, Jo (2016) 'No coughing for me, but I'm okay!' - Mapping a human service workers' body stories as she engages with traumatised women in a domestic violence service. In: [Presented at the Childhood Trauma Conference]. pp. 1-24. From: Childhood Trauma Conference, 6-10 June 2016, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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Abstract

Relational, body-oriented and brain-based approaches to recovery and change are increasingly popular modalities for working with traumatised adults. However, although these approaches encourage the awareness of and the harnessing of the workers' visceral experience, there is little in the literature to describe how practitioners navigate their own somatic maps in the process of doing so.

In a research project undertaken in 2010-11, I invited eight human service workers who worked in different agencies across north Queensland to tell and explore stories about their own experiences of the body that emerged during and/or in relation to their own professional practice.

A narrative methodology was used to frame the study and to facilitate a deep understanding of how the participants used their own bodies as a source of knowledge and/or as an intervention strategy with those whom they worked.

This paper maps the processes by which Coral navigates her own somatic map as she interacts with traumatised women and supervises other workers in a domestic violence service. Coral notes that while supervisees mention being impacted by the women's energies which often causes them to cough; she engages a process of co-regulation that prevents her needing to do the same.

Although Coral finds this approach successful, she is reluctant to share it with her supervisees for fear of imposing her own framework. By way of contrast, she feels comfortable in using the body as an intervention to help women 'reoccupy' their own bodies and as a tool to negotiate pathways in the sector.

Item ID: 45804
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: body stories, trauma, worker, domestic violence, embodied experience
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Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2016 02:14
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160701 Clinical Social Work Practice @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940112 Families and Family Services @ 20%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940502 Professions and Professionalisation @ 60%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940599 Work and Institutional Development not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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