Telling Ourselves Stories To Survive. Fay Keegan
Fay Keegan is a Clinical Social Worker, writer and an amputee who turned her early experiences of trauma, loss, grief and disability on their head to become a successful therapist, community organiser, businessperson, political spokesperson, co-farmer and mother.
Fay has a Master’s Degree in Cultural Psychology, and post-graduate qualifications in Couples and Family Therapy and Mediation.
Since 1980 Fay has worked in public and private settings across a range of services including mental health, child and family therapy, relationship counselling, and trauma counselling-including child and adult sexual assault, domestic violence and victims of crime.
In 1968 at age eleven, Fay suffered a disabling injury, when she fell from a train and her foot fell into a moving wheel. In 2012, following chronic and severe infections, Fay had a below knee amputation. Now able to walk more than a short distance, she started hiking for the first time in forty four years. Twenty months following surgery, she hiked twenty kilometres in one day.
Fay’s completed manuscript, All Stations to Waterfall, begins with the train accident, but the real story is the aftermath in which the initial trauma is overtaken by the much greater tragedy of her traumatised family tearing itself apart.
In this interview, Fay lays open the path of her life and shares with us how the experiences of her early childhood influenced her passion for working with individuals who’ve been impacted by trauma, as well as solidified her diehard resilience.
I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.
The Little Engine That Could
The person is never the problem. The problem is the problem.
We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
Joan Didion, The White Album
Fay’s Go-To Book
Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and their Families, David Epston, Jennifer Freeman, Dean Lobovits