Rape & Consent

Rape & Consent

08 December 2019
10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Rape & Consent – The encounter between client and therapeutic practitioner in the time of #MeToo: new understandings of rape and consent.

Facilitated by Judith Fewell

In the afternoon we will be joined by Dr Justine Leach, Judith’s daughter, via Skype from Boston USA

Since the #MeToo movement the dismissed and denied, the secret and the private, the shameful and the blaming, the living with, the search for truth and justice have entered into the public domain. Women and men have come forward to tell their stories of rape, of maybe rape, of confusions around what it means to consent, to say no and of the traumatic long-term consequences. How these narratives are told and received exposes the ambiguities surrounding rape and consent in the public and private discourse. This has profound consequences for the client, and the therapeutic encounters between client and practitioner.

As a supervisor I have recently encountered the questions “How do I work with this?”. “Should I ask my client what happened”. “Should I name it?”. “Should I explore the details?”. “What if she says she is to blame, she didn’t say no, she didn’t fight?”. “What should I do, say?”. “It frightens me”. “How do I make connections between then and now?”.

In this workshop we will explore how we meet our clients when they speak of or try to speak of their experiences and consequences of rape and the ambiguities that surround consent. Through explorations of readings from fiction and non-fiction, of our work with clients, of our own prejudices and stories we will shine some light on this most darkest of human experiences. And in doing so we will discover the myriad ways in which we can support our clients to tell their stories and develop our capacities to bear witness to such sufferings.

There will be some literature to read and YouTube to listen to before the workshop, taken from both fiction and memoirs. Also, some material and references for afterwards.

The workshop will have no more than 15 participants. Since this is the first time a workshop focussing specifically on rape and consent has been offered we will spend time at the end for feedback on order to inform how I might shape future workshops.


Judith Fewell practiced as a counsellor and psychoanalytic psychotherapist and supervisor for thirty five years. During this time she developed and taught on the postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Counselling at the University of Edinburgh and supervised MA and PhD students. She has been on the Board of PF Counselling Service for eight years, and also served on the Board of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland. Since retiring from practice and teaching, Judith has continued to offer supervision to colleagues and CPD workshops. She has a special interest in the meanings of storytelling and its implications for therapeutic practices especially as these relate to women’s experiences.

Dr Justine Leach has a PhD from the University of Toronto on representations of sexual consent and rape. After the birth of her two children she realized the impact her rape as a teenager had had on her experience of birth. Subsequently she established Resilient Birth, a company that offers childbirth education to parents who have a history of trauma, and trainings in trauma-informed care in the perinatal period to healthcare workers and other professionals. Justine has some very powerful offerings that have come out of her own experience, which she has used as part of her work


£25 booking fee – Exclusive to PF Counsellors

PF Counselling Service