Darren McGarvey’s trauma industrial complex

Darren McGarvey leads an evening of exploration of trauma, lived experience, and the stories we tell ourselves about our wounds.

Trauma is everywhere.

As a concept, its salience cannot be denied. It frames public debates on education, criminal justice, and health. It’s cited as a root cause of addiction, countless mental health problems and relationship breakdowns. It’s the topic of countless media, whether music, television or film. This new openness must be welcomed, but with this explosion in public interest in the topic, there is a parallel explosion in disinformation.

Every day, trauma-related content drives billions of views on social media platforms where the quality of information varies wildly; creating a cottage industry of confusing, contradictory and sometimes harmful advice and guidance. As a consequence of rising public interest in the topic, trauma is quickly becoming a marketable commodity and is distinct as a clinical condition in that we are increasingly confident to diagnose ourselves and others with it. Central to this new trauma-related discourse, is the notion of cathartically sharing your ‘story’. But the pitfalls of putting it out there have yet to be adequately explored.

This event will explore the contested definitions of the topic and examine how a term which was once clinical in nature became a colloquial mainstay.

Ticket sales for this event will be staggered. More tickets will be available on Wednesday 3 April, 12:00.

About the RSE signature events

All are welcome to the RSE’s signature events, designed to educate and encourage new thinking, ideas and conversations. This event aims to amplify the RSE’s mission of ‘knowledge made useful’ by enhancing our understanding of national and global scientific, cultural and economic topics.


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Darren McGarvey, FRSL

Author and social commentator

Darren McGarvey is an award-winning author and broadcaster. His debut book, Poverty Safari, won the Orwell Prize for Political Writing in 2018. McGarvey is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, inducted in 2023, having published ‘two works of outstanding literary merit’. Darren is also a critically acclaimed hip hop artist, releasing music under the alias ‘Loki’ and a regular fixture at the Edinburgh Fringe.
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Miriam Taylor


Miriam Taylor is a registered non-clinical psychotherapist, supervisor, writer and international trainer. Having retired from clinical practice, in which she specialised in trauma for over twenty-five years, Miriam now includes aspects of collective trauma, social justice issues and climate change in her thinking on trauma. Her interest is in the formation of intersecting relational processes which create traumatic experiences. She teaches in the UK and overseas, and is on the Leadership Team of Relational Change. Publications include ‘Trauma Therapy and Clinical Practice’ (2014; second edition in press); ‘Deepening Trauma Practice’ (2021), and several peer-reviewed and invited articles.