School for Social Work
Testimonial psychotherapy, a socially and politically rooted theory, has been proven to be effective in alleviating symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder with populations of varying races and ethnicities from all parts of the world. All of the people who have participated in testimonial psychotherapy have also been victims of torture and persecution by oppressive governments in their countries of origin. However, testimonial psychotherapy has never been used with populations whose country of origin is the United States. Racism is a sociohistorical and political construct that affects the lives of people of color in the United States in adverse ways. Overt, but possibly more harmful covert, acts of racism at all levels (i.e., institutional, cultural, intergenerational) of society weave a tightly wound web. Daily acts of racism can have a cumulative effect sometimes resulting in race-based traumatic stress (RBTS). Applicability of testimonial psychotherapy to working with people of color in the United States to address RBTS will be explored. Adaptations of the theory will be provided. Finally, implications for social work will be addressed
Basford, Amy Beth, "Applying and adapting testimonial psychotherapy to address the effects of race-based traumatic stress on people of color in the United States" (2008). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.