Adele Sheridan-Magro, my guest in this podcast, came to social work later in life. Her first degree in sociology was undertaken in her forties: specialising in women and gender studies. She was particularly taken by post-stucturalism, including the theorists Foucault, Lacan, and the feminist Helene Cixous.
In our conversation Adele described how she faced the challenges of using these perspectives in her social work degree and her subsequent clinical practice.
Adele now has extensive experience in the NGO sector as a specialist domestic violence counsellor, educator, trainer and service coordinator. She has presented on domestic violence at conferences both nationally and internationally, including the 2015 European Conference on Domestic Violence, held in Belfast.
Adele points to the research that now makes a compelling case for a direct link between women’s experience of intimate partner violence and heightened rates of depression, trauma , and self-harm. Critically however, women who are victims of intimate partner violence, consistently report poor treatment by mental health services. It is clear that the service paradigm is often unhelpful, and profoundly lacking in its recognition of the complex and multilayered trauma experienced by victims of intimate partner violence.
Adele makes the crucial point that communities will have a far greater chance of keeping a child safe if the mother is kept safe.
Our conversation turned to exploring ideas of love, where Adele has been very much influence by queer theory. We go on to discuss how rigid, stereotyped notions of love may carry within them the seeds of oppression.