This book argues that while notions of trauma in mental health hold promise for the advancement of women’s rights, the mainstreaming of trauma treatments and therapies has had mixed implications, sometimes replacing genuine social change efforts with new forms of female oppression by psychiatry. It contends that trauma interventions often represent a "business as usual" approach within psychiatry, with women being expected to comply with rigid treatment protocols, accepting the advice given by trauma "experts" that they are mentally unstable and that they must learn to manage the effects of violence in the absence of any real changes to their circumstances or resources. A critique of trauma treatment in its current form, Trauma, Women’s Mental Health, and Social Justice recommends practical steps towards a socio-political perspective on trauma which passionately re-engages with feminist values and activist principles.
Table of Contents
1. Introducing a Critical Perspective on Trauma
2. Interrogating Biomedical Dominance: Critical and Feminist Perspectives on Mental Health
3. The Mainstreaming of Trauma in Mental Health: Radical Critique, or Business as Usual?
4. Symptoms or Social Justice? Contested Understandings of Trauma
5. Dysfunctional and Responsible: Women’s Accounts of Therapeutic Responses to Gender-Based Violence
6. De-therapising Trauma: Negotiating the Contested Trauma Concept
Emma Tseris is a Lecturer in Social Work and Policy Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia, where her research and teaching areas include critical mental health theory, mental health and gender inequality, and narrative research methodologies.