Topic:  The Survivor to Thriver (S2T) strengths-based group intervention: promoting resilience and posttraumatic growth outcomes in women survivors of childhood sexual abuse – Prof Anise Fouché & Dr Hayley Walker-Williams

Resources: You can download the slides and you can read our Blog.

Summary:  In South Africa there is a growing awareness of the need to address the shortage of therapeutic interventions to vulnerable communities and specifically female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. To date, most interventions are traditionally pathogenically orientated and little attention is given to the fact that strengths and resources may indeed be borne from the daily struggle to cope with the devastation and aftermath of the sexual abuse trauma. This represents resilience and posttraumatic growth resulting from a very specific adaptive coping process aimed at restructuring a coherent post trauma life narrative.

A newly developed promising practice, a strengths-based group intervention programme entitled “S2T” – from Survivor to Thriver aims at promoting resilience and enabling posttraumatic growth outcomes in the treatment of female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The Survivor to Thriver intervention advocates a balanced approach and draws on an eclectic mix of traditional pathogenic and salutogenic theories. It aims at re-authoring trauma narratives in a safe healing group context, where there is reflection on individual strengths and capacities borne from the struggle to cope with childhood trauma. Such strengths-based interventions should be advocated through community engagement and policy development.

Biography:  Professor Anise Fouché has been a registered Social Worker since 1993. She established the Social Work subject group on the Vanderbijlpark Campus of the North-West University, South Africa, in 2008 and was appointed as a senior lecturer in 2009. She was promoted to associate professor in 2016. Ansie is a researcher in the sub-programme “Pathways to Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth” (external link) within the Optentia Research Programme (external link). Her research interests include: strengths-based interventions; prevention of child sexual abuse; forensic social work; and the rights of victims of child sexual abuse in the criminal justice system. Ansie is a collaborator in the World University Network (WUN) ‘Resilience in Service Providers in Public Health Project’ Studies Working Group. She is also the co-investigator in the research project entitled “Survivor to Thriver” (S2T) (external link) aimed at promoting resilience and facilitating posttraumatic growth in women who experienced childhood sexual abuse in South Africa.

Dr Hayley Walker-Williams is a practicing Clinical Psychologist since 2000. She was appointed as a senior lecturer in 2001 and serves as Subject Head in the Psychology Department of the North-West University, Vanderbijlpark Campus, South Africa. Hayley is a researcher in the sub-programme “Pathways to Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth” within the Optentia Research Programme. Her research interests include: strength-based interventions and enabling posttraumatic growth in survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She heads a research project entitled Survivor to Thriver (S2T) aimed at promoting resilience and facilitating posttraumatic growth in women who experienced childhood sexual abuse in South Africa.

Who might be most interested:  Academics, practitioners (psychologists and social workers), researchers, students, community workers, public sector workers, service users.

This session took place on Monday 13 June 2016.

The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research!


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