Responding to Childhood Sexual Abuse

Wednesday & Thursday

November 4 - 5, 2020

Sonja Baram

Mark Byrne

Terry Callahan

Those who survive childhood sexual abuse can find themselves up against the persistent effects of trauma. The risks of re-traumatisation in talking about the past require vigilance from those who are witnesses to these stories.

This workshop invites consideration of a central idea in narrative work with trauma: the person is always responding, often in small but significant ways. Such responses can be recovered and explored with the person. Further, ongoing experiences of pain and distress can be considered as testimony to deeply held dreams, hopes, values and commitments.

Complex and troubling dilemmas –around responsibility, accountability,  secret-keeping and the responses of family and friends to disclosure – will also be unfolded. As always, several opportunities for skills practice will be integral to this two day workshop.

Cost $280

 Sonja Baram is an experienced family therapist residing in Adelaide. She has been learning, practicing and teaching about how to have conversations with people in a wide variety of settings and in ways that can be most helpful to them in their lives. She notices how conversations that are guided by Narrative and Invitational therapy can undermine harmful problems and their effects. Sonja is Family and Relationship counsellor with the non-government agency Uniting Communities, which provides  Specialised Family Violence Counselling and Counselling around Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault survivors. She has authored several papers in the field and is on the Editorial board of the Australian and New Zealand Family Therapy Journal.

Mark Byrne is a counsellor providing therapeutic engagement to both;

  • support people and address the effects of violence/abuse, including childhood sexual abuse, and

  • to support people to stop their practices of violence.

Mark is informed by approaches of Narrative Therapy and by the Invitational Approach developed by Alan Jenkins. Mark works in Uniting Communities across the Specialised Family Violence Service, the Child Sexual Abuse Service, and at Aboriginal Community Connect -supporting people impacted by the nexus of violence, abuse and alcohol/drug use. This work has led Mark to explore social and political perspective on relations of violence and to explore his own professional/personal relationship to power and lesser questioned forms of violence.

Terry Callahan has been deepening his understandings and practices of Narrative therapy for nearly twenty years. He continues to be delighted and extended by the possibilities for rich story development with individuals, couples and groups who share their lives with him. He has taught at universities, and government and non-government agencies over the last six years. He currently practises with a brilliant and rigorous team at Uniting Communities in Adelaide, who support those addressing family and relationship predicaments, violence, and childhood sexual abuse. He also provides counselling, teaching and consultancy through Adelaide Narrative Therapy Collective.

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