Saturday, September 17, 2011

Do I want to go to this event?

The Education Committee of the Metropolitan Chapter of the NYSSCSW presents: The Role of Forgiveness in the Working Through of Traumatic Events – A Dialogue 

Through intensive therapeutic work, opportunities to transcend traumatic events and achieve post-traumatic mastery are possible for people. This workshop will discuss components of post-traumatic growth as conceptualized by Richard Tedeschi, and link the question: Is forgiveness necessary to the process of working through and healing from traumatic events – especially those involving victimizations – and if so, why? A brief statement about “forgiveness therapies”, and the controversy surrounding it, will be offered. Clinical vignettes will illustrate instances in which traumatized patients have grappled with the question of forgiveness and what it has meant to both forgive and not to forgive. Significant time will be given to participants, for a dialogue about these inquiries. 

The Presenter, LCSW, BCD, CGP, has treated survivors in individual, couple and group therapy for over 25 years. She has published on the subject of the efficacy of psychodynamic group treatment for women with histories of childhood sexual traumas, the relationship between sexual abuse and eating disorders and the need for defiance in women with abuse histories. A relational psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, The Presenter maintains a private practice in the East Village and is senior faculty of the Postgraduate Group Therapy Department as well as Training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center. 

I recently joined the New York State Society of Clinical Social Work (NYSSCSW) for mentoring, experience sharing, referrals, etc. In many ways it's similar to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), of which I'm also a member. Except that for some reason, most of its members are very analytically oriented. Diametrically opposite to the CBT proponents from ABCT.

I've been interested in learning more about trauma therapy because many low-income patients in New York City have survived some form of trauma. And right now I'm really struggling with the topic of forgiveness, as I feel so many people have badly hurt me and gone unpunished. The personal trainer who blew out both my knees. The SUV hit-and-run driver. TONS of former toxic co-workers. My mother, for bringing a filthy pervert to live in our house. But I'm not sure I believe that psychoanalysis is a really practical answer to my clients' trauma histories. Most of them can barely afford food and rent, let alone weekly psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis isn't an option for them.

On the other hand, it's free, and what else am I usually doing on a Sunday?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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