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The imprint of trauma on family relationships: an enquiry into what may trouble a ‘troubled family’ and its implications for whole-family services

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For some families facing complex difficulties, an underlying issue can be the impact of traumatic experiences, such as child abuse or domestic violence. While the impact of trauma on individuals is relatively well understood, its impact on the functioning of family or relational systems is less well theorised. This article takes forward the development of an original theoretical framework by which to understand both the impact of trauma at a collective level and the resources that people may need in order for them to overcome its legacy – building principally building on concepts of family schema and recovery capital. This discussion is grounded in the practice context of whole-family support and decision-making services, and is explored through an analysis of narrative data obtained as part of a wider national study into whole-family approaches.
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Keywords: Family Group Conference; family schema; recovery capital; trauma; whole-family support

Affiliations: University of Birmingham, UK

Appeared or available online: August 10, 2018

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