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Towards Care-based Design: Trusted Others in Nurturing Posttraumatic Growth Outside of Therapy

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ACM Press, New York


Communities and social networks play a significant role in providing care and support for people who have experienced trauma. Increasing use of digital and networked technologies in people's everyday lives present opportunities for connecting, communicating, interacting, and caring for one another in new ways, as evidenced in the recent emergence of technologies that are designed to support the post-trauma journey. At the same time, there are distinct shortcomings among the existing technologies in effectively responding to the diverse and changing needs and desires of individuals, including meaningful engagement of trusted others, such as friends and family outside the therapy environment. After examining 83 existing design interventions that provide trauma-related support, this paper identifies six broad themes evident in their approaches: symbolic engagements, creative offerings of comfort and encouragements of self-care, the creative sharing of stories, online communities and agony aunts, the digitisation and re-design of psychology intervention, biometrics and data-driven. It further interrogates related opportunities and challenges to deliberate on how interventions might be designed with and for care at the intersection of communities and technologies, with a focus on engaging trusted others who in various ways and degrees, have a substantial impact on the post-trauma journey beyond therapy.


Brown, Alice V.; Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong (2017): Towards Care-based Design: Trusted Others in Nurturing Posttraumatic Growth Outside of Therapy. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies. DOI: 10.1145/3083671.3083703. ACM Press, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4503-4854-6. pp. 56-63. Long Papers. Troyes, France. June 26-30, 2017