Power, Resistance and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma : To Have Our Hearts Broken book cover
1st Edition

Power, Resistance and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma
To Have Our Hearts Broken

ISBN 9780415611893
Published August 24, 2011 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

This book offers reflections on how liberation might be experienced by clients as a result of the therapeutic relationship. It explores how power and resistance might be most effectively and ethically understood and utilised in clinical practice with survivors of trauma.

Power, Resistance and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma draws together narrative therapy, Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) and liberation psychology approaches. It critically reviews each approach and demonstrates what each contributes to the other as well as how to draw them together in a coherent way. The book presents:

  • an original take on CMM through the lenses of power and resistance
  • a new way of thinking about resistance in life and therapy, using the metaphor of creativity
  • numerous case examples to support strong theory-practice links.

Through the exploration of power, resistance and liberation in therapy, this book presents innovative ways of conceptualising these issues. As such it will be of interest to anyone in the mental health fields of therapy, counselling, social work or critical psychology, regardless of their preferred model. It will also appeal to those interested in a socio-political contextual analysis of complex human experience.

Table of Contents

Introducing the Introduction. Introduction. Part I: Therapy, Power, Resistance and Trauma. Therapy and Social Context. Power. Resistance. Understanding Trauma with Respect to Power and Resistance. Part II: Liberation and Therapy: Theory. Liberation Psychology: An Overview. Liberation Psychology: Critical Reflection. Systemic and Narrative Approaches to Liberation. Communication and Constructionist Approaches to Liberation. Drawing the Theory Together. Part III: Liberation and Therapy: Practice. Ways of Working with Power, Resistance and Liberation. The Recovery of Historical Memory. De-ideologising Everyday Experience. Utilising the People’s Virtues. Drawing the Practices Together. Part IV: Final Reflections on Theory and Practice. Resistance as Creativity. Therapy that Breaks the Heart. Appendix.

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Taiwo Afuape is a Principal Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist working in South Camden Community CAMHS for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Principal Systemic Psychotherapist in an adult psychology and psychotherapy service in CNWL NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK 


"Innovative and very challenging... not only locating therapy within systemic, political and cultural contexts but also providing much useful clinical advice – highly recommended!" - Professor Eia Asen, Clinical Director of the Marlborough Family Service, London, and Visiting Professor at University College London, UK

"Terrific! As the title promises, it taught me to break my heart; it also expanded my mind and filled my soul with gladness. Speaking from personal and professional experience and integrating an unusual set of theories, Taiwo shows how power, resistance and liberation help therapists – and ordinary people outside of therapy – act collaboratively with others." - W. Barnett Pearce, Fielding Graduate University, California, USA

"The concise and critical discussions of the theories that inform the writer’s perspective on power, resistance, liberation and therapy make the book educational about more than just its narrow focus and its user-friendly layout, with short chapters, case studies and succinct discussions of both theory and practice, make it easily digestible and highly practical." - Sibongile Mkhize, New Therapist, July/August 2012

"If you're looking for an alternative to the mental health 'trauma industry', this book is a good place to start. Afuape's piercing sensitivity and empathy take the reader deep into the challenges, pitfalls and paradoxes of conducting psychotherapy with victims of violence and oppression. ... It is an innovative and deep reading of one of the most promising areas of psychology - liberation theory - using a practical, accessible language that will be familiar to practitioners of all walks and leanings." - Sarah R. Kamens, The Humanistic Psychologist, May 2012

"[Afuape] is clearly a well read and very thoughtful person who seeks to live out a deeply committed ethico-political position in her every-day and professional practice. Reading the text one is convinced of her passion in this regard and this is part of what makes the book engaging." - Gill Eagle, PINS, Vol. 44 - 2013