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Research Solutions, November 28, 2019


Re-authoring Life Narratives after Trauma is our recent research output. This book was published by Dr Manda as a Research Associate of the University of Pretoria. He was a principal researcher in the project "Pastoral engagement in psychological, moral, and spiritual injury". The book is an interdisciplinary, specialist resource for traumatic stress researchers, practitioners and frontline workers who focus their research and work on communities from diverse religious backgrounds that are confronted with trauma, death, illness and other existential crises. This book aims to argue that the biopsychosocial approach is limited in scope when it comes to reaching a holistic model of assessing and treating individuals and communities that are exposed to trauma. Thus Manda developed a holistic narrative model of care that must integrate an understanding of and respect for the many forms of religion and spirituality that clients might have. It will not only bring a spiritual perspective into the psychotherapeutic dialogue, but it will also assist in dealing with the different demands in pastoral ministry as related to clinical and post-traumatic settings.


The book makes several contributions to scholarship in the disciplines of, although not limited to, traumatic stress studies, pastoral care and counselling, nursing, psychology and psychiatry. Firstly, the book brings spirituality into the psychotherapeutic dialogue. Traditionally, religious and spiritual topics have not been a welcome part of the psychotherapeutic dialogue. Secondly, it underscores the significance of documenting literary narratives as a means of healing trauma. After coordinating a Trauma Healing Research Project in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa for five years, in which many hours were invested facilitating the telling and documenting of personal life stories with trauma survivors, Manda discovered that giving trauma survivors an opportunity to document their own stories enabled them to express things that could not be conveyed in words, and brought to light what had been suppressed. Writers were able to imagine new possibilities of living meaningfully in a changed world. You can find the book on: DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aosis.2019.BK107

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