Can folks use punk as a qualitative tool to process trauma? I’m convinced they can. Trauma dissipates with therapy, creative expression, and physical activity. Punk combines all three. For me, punk is both the sword and the shield I use to fight my daily battles. – Jason Schreurs, ‘Scream Therapy’ (2023, p.21)
Back in late 2020, I had the honour of being interviewed by Canadian writer, creator and punk diehard Jason Schreurs as part of his Scream Therapy podcast. The series is an ongoing deep-dive into Jason’s theory of punk rock and its community ethos as a ‘catalyst for mental health’ – and for some people, a life-changer/saver in the face of severe mental health challenges.
At that time, Jason was working on a book project based on his personal experiences of punk and trauma, interwoven with the stories and insights of his podcast contributors – an expansive mix of musicians and mental health professionals, advocates and activists, linked by a common connection to punk music and the many individual ways that can manifest. It is with great fraternal pride that I can now present the wonderful fruits of his labour.
‘Scream Therapy: A Punk Journey through Mental Health’ is available to purchase from ScreamTherapyHQ here: https://screamtherapyhq.com/book – and the AK Press website here: https://www.akpress.org/scream-therapy.html
Posting on a humble little website blog such as this can sometimes feel like writing into the ether, so it was a very lovely surprise to have Jason contact me on the back of a 2018 entry here called ‘Punk Rock Doesn’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Critic,’ which he had come across as part of his research.
Fast-forward to last week, where I receive the ‘Scream Therapy’ book in the post from Jason and find 4 pages centred on our conversation and shared ideas (‘Yes, punk is therapy, but therapy is also punk’) – now that’s a real full-circle moment, and a nice reminder that the concepts of connection and community can take many forms.
Equal parts congratulations to Jason on this achievement – and gratitude for being a small part of it!