Bearing Witness: Conceptualizing Our Role in the Experience of Collective Trauma and How This Shapes Community Engagement

A Conversation Between Reggie Jones, LCSW & Ricardo Ainslie, Ph.D.


February 21, 2021 EST (Sunday)


(via live Zoom videoconference)

3 CE Credits

Event is free for non-CE seekers; $30 for CE seekers

(CE credits for Psychologists, Social Workers, LPCs, and MFTs)

We invite you to review Dr. Ainslie’s work at

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“Psychoanalysis is not only a rich clinical tool, it is also a robust methodology for exploring human experience beyond the consulting room. A hallmark of my work is that I use a variety of media, including documentary film, photographic exhibits, and books, to foster reflection within the communities I study and beyond them.”  – Ricardo Ainslie


This presentation will describe an ethnographic research project with three psychoanalytically informed interventions conducted in Hempstead, Texas organized around the disappearance of an all-black high school in the aftermath of school desegregation. This community intervention included development of a space where trauma narratives could be “spoken,” and the community could bear witness to those traumas to support healing. Speakers will draw connections to the Black Lives Matter work occurring now. More specifically, speakers will discuss how concepts in this psychoanalytically informed community intervention can be utilized in the therapeutic consulting room and when working from a social justice perspective. 


Ricardo Ainslie is a psychologist-psychoanalyst who uses books, documentary films, and photographic exhibits to capture and depict subjects of social and cultural interest. A native of Mexico City, he teaches at the University of Texas at Austin where he holds the M.K. Hage Centennial Professorship in Education. His books include No Dancin’ In Anson: An American Story of Race and Social Change (1995), The Psychology of Twinship (1997) and Long Dark Road: Bill King and Murder In Jasper, Texas (2004), and The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War (2013). His films include The Mark of War (2018), Crossover: A Story of Desegregation (1999); Looking North: Mexican Images of Immigration (2006); Ya Basta! Kidnapped in Mexico (2007); and The Mystery of Consciousness (2009). 

Reggie Jones (she/her/hers) is currently the Associate Dean of Health & Wellness at Bryn Mawr College (BMC). Prior to becoming the dean, Reggie was the Director of the Counseling Service at BMC for 14 years. 

She maintains a small private practice where she provides psychotherapy, clinical supervision, and consultation. Reggie has conducted and co-facilitated numerous workshops/trainings and consults with youth serving organizations on increasing their anti-racist literacy and making their spaces more trauma informed, queer affirming, and healing-centered. 

Reggie is also a part-time lecturer at University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. A feminist, anti-oppressive social work lens frames her teaching. Empowering future social workers to interrogate what is believed to be known and cultivate curiosity to reclaim subjugated knowledge and alternative narratives/histories is foundational to her teaching pedagogy. 

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