Trauma is sadly a sign of the times, and the subject appears in some other contributions, one being a reflection on “Decoding the trauma” by Siobhan Rock. She explores the ways clients can present obstacles to their own healing, and how the therapist can help circumvent them on the journey toward facing their hidden truths. In “Whose wound is it?” Jim FitzGibbon describes how he sometimes experiences physical sensations after working with his trauma-affected clients. Another survivor speaks to us through the poetic voice of Attracta Gill, and reminds us that “the only way is through the pain.” Her mention of being “cruelly pushed back in time by tyrant therapists” introduces another trauma-related theme: the questionable ways in which clinicians can be overly intrusive, insensitive, or focused on their own preconceptions, overshadowing their clients’ own reality.
Pádraig Cotter’s concept of StaffSPACE offers frontline workers a safety zone where they can open their hearts to their vulnerability and humanity. Joanne Hanrahan presents another location, offering the wide world out of doors as a back-to-our-roots alternative to the remote and disembodied way of seeing clients that has become our new normal. She reminds us of the healing energy available by simply taking a walk in the woods and how the therapist can structure the experience differently for each client. This approach is well-suited to working with the universal trauma of living through the pandemic which can also rekindle past individual traumas as well.
By the time we see our Summer Edition, let’s hope we will be able to sit in a restaurant and be close enough to our companions that we won’t have to shout out our conversation. Remember hugging?