The National University System Repository exists to increase public access to research and other materials created by students and faculty of the affiliate institutions of National University System. Most items in the repository are open access, freely available to everyone.
ItemChild Sexual Abuse and South Asian Adult Intimate Relationships(2023-12)Child sexual abuse (CSA) is when a child is forced into sexual activity they are developmentally unaware of and are unable to give consent. CSA occurs in every country all around the world. In Canada, children who have been sexually abused have a hard time disclosing due to secrecy, fears of reporting and the social consequences. In India, the stigma and shame around the topic exacerbate the issue leading to higher rates of children underreporting. The impact of CSA is severe for the general population and for South Asian women (SA). In the SA community, there are high rates of intrafamilial child sexual abuse (IFCSA). CSA impacts survivors psychologically, physically, and spiritually and negatively impacts how they feel about themselves and the world. Survivors of CSA are more self-critical towards themselves and struggle with healthy communication and expressing emotions. The relational trauma of CSA impacts a child's future intimate relationships. It impacts their ability to trust their partner, feel safe and be sexually open. In SA culture, there are cultural norms and traditional attitudes that foster silencing of sexual coercion. This paper will include in-depth research for each of these topics pertaining to CSA, SA women, and intimate relationships. Lastly, this paper will conclude by creating a framework for a workshop designed to help counsellors and professionals in this field. ItemEmpowering Resilience: A Trauma-Informed Approach to High-Conflict Divorce in Children(2023-12-02)This capstone explores the use of trauma-informed care to build resiliency in children who have experienced high-conflict divorce. The research explores the traumatic experience of high-conflict divorce in children and how this childhood trauma can have life-long effects. The literature review highlights how trauma-informed care and resilience can influence the effects of trauma on children. The literature review outcomes illustrate the implications of using trauma-informed care to help foster a higher level of resilience through building coping mechanisms and providing safe places for children. Recommendations for counselling practice and next steps for research are discussed. Trauma-informed care with children experiencing high-conflict divorce aligns with the Canadian Psychological Association's (2017) Code of Ethics for Psychologists and the College of Alberta Psychologists' (2023) Standards of Practice. ItemSelf-Esteem and Social Media(2023)Social Media use is so common and frequent that it may be safe to assume that no reader of this paper would argue against such a statement. While social media existence and use are a relatively new phenomena, historically speaking, their impact and position in the zeitgeist of modern living are unimpeachable. Social media has become more than a digital neighbourhood or a way to stay in-touch with others, though these are still within its scope. Social media is now the vehicle for commerce, politics, entertainment, public discourse, news and more. However, there is growing concern about the ways social media use is impacting users, including reports of increased anxiety, poor self-esteem and a distorted sense of oneself online versus in the real world. This capstone reviews some of the ways social media impacts self-esteem and the development of self. ItemAn Exploration of the Risks and Benefits of Incorporating Physical Activity, Specifically Walk and Talk Therapy, into the Therapy Session(2023-11-24)Accessing mental health support is not an easy feat for many people. From perceived stigmas, associated costs and lack of access, many barriers can impact the ability to attend psychotherapy. Research indicates many positive correlations between physical activity and positive mental health outcomes. Additionally, much research exists supporting the benefit that time spent in nature has on people experiencing isolation, stress, burnout, depression or other mental health disorders. Incorporating both physical activity and nature into therapy by performing walk and talk therapy has excellent potential to help many different presentations of mental illness, can help eliminate barriers and lead to better outcomes for many. This project reviewed studies on the potential risks and benefits of performing walk and talk therapy with diverse populations presenting with various symptoms of different mental health issues. Studies included both therapist and client perspectives and a variety of variables that come into play during walk and talk sessions. The research revealed that walk and talk therapy elicited many biological responses, including connections to the natural world and positive neurobiological changes. Psychological responses, including improved mood, focus and a lessening of symptoms for many mental disorders, were also reported. Finally, social responses, such as feelings of social connectedness and reduced stigma, were also associated with walk-and-talk therapy. It is recommended that psychologists wanting to incorporate walk and talk therapy into their practice consider possible risks and ensure all ethical guidelines are followed to hopefully reduce barriers and more positive overall outcomes for their clients. ItemMissing Jason: The Story of a Kidnapping and the Aftermath(2023)One Monday morning in 1984, the school principal entered my classroom with a smile and whispered to me, “Jason is a missing child!” Her odd cheerfulness about this news confused me. Every student was present, including Jason, a boy who struggled with his emotions. His desk butted against mine, allowing him to receive extra support with academics and social skills. As the principal explained the circumstances swirling around the nine-year-old boy seated at the front, I had no idea of the depth of the story beginning to unfold. It would be weeks before I understood the immediate implications for Jason and his family, but decades would go by before I learned of the full dimension of Jason’s experience and the significance of my role as his teacher. This case study is my effort, along with Jason's, to shed light on a story of undiagnosed and untreated complex trauma, as well as emotional and social dysregulation. Together, we further illuminate childhood trauma and its impact, resiliency, and the need for trauma-informed schools. What follows proceeds from my memory, readings, personal reflections, and from conversations with Jason.
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