Attending to “Survivors as Experts”: Lessons Learned

  • Michelle Walsh
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Lived Religion and Societal Challenges book series (PSLRSC)


Walsh addresses the issue of normativity and attending to survivor experiences as expert in lessons learned from the two case studies. The Peace Institute case study yields lessons of the significance of language and stories, as well as poetic material art and body practices, with opportunities for survivor public testimony. The Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry case study also yields lessons in the significance of how stories were shaped after the Knoxville church shooting and of a ministerial presence to witness to sacred ambiguity and holy humor in stories. Healing and wholeness as useful language are challenged by participants in both case studies. Differing perspectives on the need for professional clinical training versus credibility derived from shared lived experiences also arise in both case studies.


Pastoral Care Critical Race Theory Ministry Leader Narrative Therapy Cultural Humility 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Walsh
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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