A Racist Attack Managing Complex Relationships with Traumatised Service Users – a Psychodynamic Approach

Article


Stevenson, S. 2019. A Racist Attack Managing Complex Relationships with Traumatised Service Users – a Psychodynamic Approach. Journal of Social Work Practice.
AuthorsStevenson, S.
Abstract

Notions of whiteness, white supremacy and racial hatred such as the recent multiple racist murders by a white supremacist in New Zealand are at the forefront of public consciousness. How does whiteness and racism play out in a clinical and social welfare context? This article illustrates the impact of trauma on a vulnerable young white woman who although was not the direct target of a racist assault was left traumatized by witnessing it. It discusses how initially she sought refuge in a racist solution synonymous with a psychic retreat to her own detriment. Working with such complex, unconscious and bewildering dynamics are extremely challenging for clinicians. It describes the impact of these dynamics on a clinician of colour who attempted to work with this young woman in a child and adolescent mental health service after the family were referred as a consequence of her assaulting her child shortly after witnessing the racist attack. The unconscious responses to trauma and challenges for clinicians and clinician of colour in particular when working with racism in the consulting room are also discussed.

JournalJournal of Social Work Practice
ISSN0265-0533
Year2019
PublisherTaylor & Francis for Group for the Advancement of Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy in Social Work (GAPS)
Accepted author manuscript
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/02650533.2019.1648247
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1080/02650533.2019.1648247
Publication dates
Online14 Aug 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted03 May 2019
Deposited25 Nov 2019
Copyright holder© 2019 GAPS
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Social Work Practice on 14/08/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02650533.2019.1648247.
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Accepted author manuscript

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