Child Study Center Grand Rounds: Imperative Resilience - What Latina Migrant Mothers Can Teach Clinicians about Trauma and Recovery
Viola Bernard Special Lecture
This session has been approved for one Continuing Education Credit Hour by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapist, Professional Counselor, and Licensed Psychologist Licensure renewal.
1) Characterize the multiple oppressions of state failure, gender-based violence, racism, and economic oppression that constrain opportunities for Latina migrant mothers;
2) Describe imperative resilience as resistance to oppression and the limitations of conventional trauma inventories and clinical risk assessments
3) Advance policy reforms to promote a more nurturing environment for Latina migrant mothers and their children.
This talk centers the stories of mothers who migrated from Latin America, settled in New Haven, Connecticut, and overcame trauma and ongoing adversity to build futures for their children. First, I briefly characterize migration-related trauma, discussing the state failure that contributes to many women's decisions to leave their home countries and the gender-based violence, racism, and economic oppression that constrain their opportunities. I then describe how women engage engaging cognitive and social strategies to resist these interlocking oppressions to press onward, or "seguir adelante," upending conventional notions of positive coping and trauma recovery. I discuss the limitations of clinical trauma inventories and risk assessments in this population emphasizing the need for broader understandings of traumatic events and pathways toward healing. Finally, I address policy reforms that would promote a more nurturing environment for Latina migrant mothers such that they would not need to rely on their intrinsic mental and emotional strengths, but could rather harness that energy as surplus and invest it to further their goals for themselves and their families.