Trauma is the "stealing of my sense of being me": a person-centred perspective on trauma

30 Jul 2013

Introduction: Given the argument about different perspectives on the concept of trauma, the authors facilitated an exploratory research process with fourth-level Social Work students at the University of South Africa (Unisa). This was motivated as the students shared experiences of distressing events and circumstances during supervision and workshops on their practical work. These traumatic events and circumstances, according to the students, affected their lives, changed their perceptions about people and influenced their attitudes and actions towards people as future social workers. Also given the fact of the realities of the prevalence of crime and violence in South African society and that South Africa is regarded as the country with the highest incidence of rape and murder in the world (Stewart & Swartz, 2005), it was assumed that many of the students might have been exposed to traumatic events.