Alternative therapeutic Interventions in Trauma work In Cape Town. -An explorative study of holistic approaches in a field of social work practice

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Background: Social work in South Africa, face enormous challenges in order to combat the problems derived from violence and crime which are factors behind the devastating numbers of trauma survivors in the country. South Africa has a long history of experimentation with “alternative” methods in a range of different social fields. During the last centuries of apartheid, the liberation movement used drama, poetry, and other cultural means to mobilise people and resist the apartheid regime. Considering the rich history of using alternative interventions in South Africa there could be a need for people in the social work field to use different skills and knowledge derived from various fields and disciplines in order to support trauma recovery. An assumption in this study is that as the body and soul experience the trauma, they also need to be part of the healing process. The aim of this thesis is to describe and understand the role of so called “alternative interventions”, in relation to conventional practice in a South African social work field and trauma work. More specifically to find out: What are the alternative interventions and how are they practised in South African social work? How are alternative interventions, in relation to conventional approaches, perceived locally? What are the obstacles versus possibilities for practising alternative interventions in social work in South Africa? One part of this thesis was carried out in Cape Town, South Africa in the spring of 2007. The research was based on a qualitative approach and used qualitative methods such as literature- surveys and document reading and semi-structured interviews with twelve respondents from various organisations working directly or indirectly with people that has experienced traumatic events. Results: The material has demonstrated various perspectives and attitudes regarding alternative interventions. There is a request both from respondents in this thesis and from approaches such as spiritual social work, empowerment and ethnic sensitive approach to contextualise Western models to fit the needs of the general public in South Africa. Alternative interventions found in this thesis are: Creative- based interventions such as storytelling, clay- and drawing exercises as well as drumming have become explored and implemented into organisations for the benefits of healing. Other interventions can be understood as mind-body- and energy therapies, and includes interventions such as meditation, visualisation, tai chi and healing touch. With the purpose of understanding how alternative interventions are perceived, respondents perspectives both on traditional healing and alternative interventions have been discussed in this thesis. The majority of the respondents can be understood as perceiving alternative interventions positively. The possibility for alternative interventions to occur can be due to professionals spiritual awareness and ethnic sensitiveness, and empowerment approach as these advocate a respectfulness from practitioners to holistic solutions and openness to various worldviews. The respondents have been categorised into three different groups based on their openness to and actual implementation of alternative interventions, namely the integrated, inclusive and tolerated groups. All three groups differ in their recognition and integration regarding alternative interventions. The Western demand for evidence based intervention...

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Inactive member [2008-03-11]   Alternative therapeutic Interventions in Trauma work In Cape Town. -An explorative study of holistic approaches in a field of social work practice
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=12065 [2024-06-14]

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