Christina Gillmore

School of Psychology
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Profile

Thesis Title
Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth of Women who have Experienced Childhood Sexual Abuse: An Aotearoa-Based Qualitative Study

Research Description
Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth of Women who have Experienced Childhood Sexual Abuse: An Aotearoa-Based Qualitative Study A growing area of research in resilience and posttraumatic growth supports favourable results in treatment of women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Despite this, deficit-based research and practice of therapeutic interventions prevail for treating those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, even though there is evidence suggesting this treatment may have ill-effects on clients. My PhD thesis will explore the lived experiences of resilience and posttraumatic growth of Aotearoa women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Some of the questions that may be addressed through this research are: what does resilience mean to you; in what ways do you believe you may have experienced positive psychological growth posttrauma; what suggestions do you have for increasing the way that therapeutic professionals apply resilience and positive psychological growth to their approaches? The ultimate goal of this research is to make a unique contribution to this growing area of resilience and posttraumatic growth research and treatment interventions with those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse both internationally and within the context of Aotearoa.

Research Importance
I believe this research is important for academics, and therapeutic professionals and their clients. A strengths-based lens supports favourable results in treatment. I believe it breathes a breath of fresh air to those working in trauma and for clients who have experienced trauma.

Personal Description
My university studies are from Massey University, including a double major bachelor of arts (business psychology & social anthropology), a master's of management (marketing), a postgraduate diploma of education (counselling & guidance) and a master's of counselling. The research I completed as part of my master's of counselling (systematic literature review of resilience of women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse from qualitative studies) was one of the conduits to piquing my interest in this topic. I chose Massey because of the two supervisors I connected with and their strong academic and professional alignment and backgrounds in strengths-based approaches.

Supervisors
Dr Kirsty Ross
Dr Rachael Pond