In Monica Casper & Eric Wertheimer (eds.), Critical Trauma Studies: Understanding Violence, Conflict and Memory in Everyday Life. New York University Press. pp. 205-226 (2016)

Debra L. Jackson
California State University, Bakersfield
This chapter focuses on the practice of witnessing from the perspective of a crisis counselor and rape survivor advocate. Weaving together threads of practice and theory, it describes the experience of witnessing others’ trauma, and the asymmetrical process of being an empathic and ethical participant in the recovery of others’ subjectivity. The chapter explores the impact of trauma on a person’s embodied, autonomous, and narrative self, including loss of speech, symptoms recognized in psychiatric literature as PTSD, and anxiety. The author emphasizes the role of narratives both in the recovery of the survivor’s subjectivity and in the preservation of the advocate’s ability to engage in the dialogic and intersubjective process of witnessing.
Keywords Trauma  Witnessing  Crisis Intervention
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DOI 10.18574/nyu/9781479896561.003.0012
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