Working with Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Workshop

Working with Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: Using Arts Interventions Safely

Intensive Weekend (Dance Studio, Performing Arts): Saturday 28th February and Sunday 1st March 2015

danceThis two day workshop was designed for anyone who works therapeutically with adult survivors of child sexual abuse.  Whilst many of the techniques can be adapted for working with children, the focus was on adults, both men and women.  Drawing on Dr Meekums’ research in this area, participants learnt techniques for working safely with this population.

Workshop outcomes were:

  •   Understanding the importance of psychological safety in determining whether your work is therapeutic or counter-therapeutic for survivors of child sexual abuse.
  • Understanding the specific contribution to therapy made by the arts therapies for this population.
  • Practising a range of practical techniques which you can apply in therapeutic work with adult survivors of child sexual abuse

The first day included a brief overview of the research underpinning the workshop.  This included an understanding of the importance of psychological safety in determining whether interventions will be therapeutic or counter-therapeutic.  The specific contribution of the arts therapies in therapeutic work was also highlighted, including their capacity to ‘speak the unspeakable’ and also offer a way of working through painful or difficult issues.

We will then focus over the remainder of the two days, on learning a range of arts approaches designed primarily to support psychological safety within the context of therapeutic work with survivors of child sexual abuse.  Examples included:  Grounding techniques; Anchors; Making a safe space; The Bill of Rights; Stop right there; The safety warrior dance.

Biography of Dr Bonnie Meekums:

Bonnie Meekums, PhD, Visiting Fellow, Honorary Fellow of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist

Dr Meekums is internationally renowned for her teaching and research concerning arts interventions for vulnerable populations including survivors of child sexual abuse, with whom she has extensive clinical experience.

She is sole author of books:  Creative Group Therapy for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (Jessica Kingsley, 2000) and Dance Movement Therapy: A Creative Psychotherapeutic Approach (Sage, 2002), and has published numerous peer reviewed journal articles.

Bonnie lectures internationally including the USA, Europe and China.  She is currently engaged in high impact research concerning the evidence base for DMP, in collaboration with Professor Karkou.

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