Therapies for Healing Justice: Redressing Systemic Oppression and Intergenerational Trauma

Panelists: Dr Sipho Dlamini, Ms Rejane Williams, Ms Thembelihle Mashigo & Ms Berenice Meintjes
Chair: Dr Jude Clark


In alignment with the conference theme, this panel asks what a decolonial, healing justice can look like in relation to therapeutic practice. The conversation between practitioners explores the implications of systemic oppression, both historical and contemporary and the possibilities for collective healing. It considers the multifaceted issue of language and/in therapy, modalities of indigenous healing as therapeutic resource and the successes and challenges of community-based interventions for collective trauma recovery and healing. Rejane Williams invites interrogation of the limitations of Northwestern-centric models of psychological intervention and explores the kinds of approaches needed to tend to the historical and ongoing wounds of generational alienation and trauma, including racial trauma. Dr Sipho Dlamini considers the value of indigenous language in the therapeutic context and what becomes possible in moving beyond the dominance of English towards a more socially just encounter in the therapy space. Drawing from experience of working at the interface of indigenous healing and psychotherapeutic practice, Gogo Thembelihle Mashigo explores how therapies of Umoya (Spirit) offer a process based on a multiplicity of being, beyond the individual. Berenice Meintjies shares vignettes from the work of Sinani, an organisation engaged with psychosocial interventions for recovery from violence, to describe the dilemmas of decolonizing and contextualizing healing approaches in community-based trauma interventions.

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