Beginning to use narrative practices

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Uncategorised | 14 comments

In this final chapter we take some time to reflect on your learning and the next steps you might take in your journey with narrative practices.

 

 


 

Here we consider the process of beginning to engage with narrative ideas and practices. In this article Alice Morgan shares some of her thoughts:

Beginning to use a narrative approach

You will have found this exercise within the article for this chapter. We invite you to:

  • Think about just one thing that has particularly resonated for you about narrative ideas and practices that you have been trying to apply more in your work.
  • What would you call the principle or idea? Give it a name. Say something about it – describe what it is about, your understandings of it, in your own words.
  • Give some more details about it, e.g.: When did you first notice this idea or principle in the work? What told you that it was important to you?
  • What are you currently doing that you would say is a reflection of this particular idea, practice or principle? Say a little bit about the times you thought you had managed to apply the idea or principle to your own practice.
  • When you did it, what did you notice? How did it affect, for example:
    1. The conversation you were engaging in at the time?
    2. Your thoughts about yourself?
    3. The other people who were with you?
    4. Your hopes or plans?
    5. Your feelings?
    6. What was this like for you? Did you like it or not?
    7. Did it suit you or not? Or something in between?
    8. Why is it that you give this evaluation? What did it seem to fit with?

Please now share your thoughts and responses with others below!

 


 

To join with others in ongoing and further conversations you can visit:

Narrative therapy Facebook Communities

For other avenues to learn and exchange ideas you can visit:

Training @ The Dulwich Centre

International Narrative Therapy & Community Work Conferences

The Dulwich Centre Email News

International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

More detailed online courses in Externalising conversations and Re-membering conversations

 


 

Feedback:  Please provide us with your thoughts on how this course was for you or your hopes for future courses! We would really like to hear from you … thanks!  Email [email protected]

 


Certification Module

If you would like to receive a certificate for completing this course you can do so for a fee of $77. In order to qualify for this certificate you will need to:

  • complete a brief essay about narrative practice (1,000 words)
  • complete a short quiz with a passing grade of at least 80% (the quiz can be taken more than once).
Click here to take the certification module

 


Thank you for joining us on this journey.

We hope you have found this course helpful in some way!

We hope to see you again soon. 


14 Comments

  1. As I have not used narrative therapy practices at this point it is difficult for me to reflect on times when I have done so. I am eager to get started and have enrolled for the online course in externalizing conversations after witch I will do re-membering conversations. I am planning to use narrative documentation as part of a project I will shortly be beginning with a group of people who wish to produce a play about lived experience of mental illness. The aim is to show the play to interested groups and in schools to help reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. My plan is to begin the process of writing the play by asking people in the group to draw a time line of significant happenings for them in their experience of mental illness and then introduce this to the group. I will then invite the group to identify common themes and the strengths people used to help them through difficult times. From this we will look at the story we wish to tell.

  2. Now that I have read through the chapters in this course and listened to fantastic presentations, I see the chapters intertwined and therefore find that no single chapter resonates for me more than the other. This course has been inspiring and has made me reflect on my ways of working. The multiple stories, presentations and articles have provided insight and motivation to utilise narrative practices – validating the person seeking assistance as the experts of their own lives and inviting the person to find those hidden competencies and strengths to reclaim ” their preferable lives”.

    I had a great opportunity to apply externalising conversation and writing a letter after a session with one of my clients. I had just finished reading those chapters and was full of excitement of applying those methods. The opportunity came so naturally and I thought now I’ll give it a go. From the very first moment I walked through the door to greet my client she described feelings that she was experiencing, strong and very descriptive words which had a strong impact on her. The descriptions she used “stood out to me ” and I began asking questions about The feeling and how it was making her feel and act etc. As other mixed feelings and thoughts rose during conversation I asked if she was comfortable for us to do a ” Mind map” as we spoke using her own words – to visualise The feeling/ impacts and the aspects she would prefer. I asked if she would prefer to do the mind map – she preferred me to do the writing. I believe this visualisation was a useful tool for her to gain control of those mixed feelings and to visualise her purpose.

    At the end of our session I asked if she would feel comfortable and agreed to me writing her a letter based on “her story” in todays session. I described a little about narrative approaches and if she felt comfortable trying this approach. My client agreed to this and I wrote her the letter. Although I was very excited of the opportunity to write my first ” narrative letter”, it wasn’t as “easy” as I thought. I questioned myself if I was using the right language; how well did I use externalizing questions and metaphors, was I interpreting her use of words correctly… I worked on the letter trying to apply the wisdom from chapters I had completed in this course and by validating her story. With some guidance and suggestions from my supervisor whom has a wealth of knowledge in Narrative Practices I had my first therapeutic/ narrative letter written. I felt so pleased to have had this experience. When we met the next time with my client she felt slightly hesitant to read the letter. I asked if she wanted to read it at the appointment or take it with her. She chose to read it at our session and stated ” I like this, this is what is happening”.

    A great experience, something I will endeavor to continue in my context, however I think ” practice makes a master” and you learn by doing – to become more confident in using narrative practices, – the usage of language, scaffolding questions and understanding in practice for example ” Statement of Position Map” in externalising conversations.

  3. One thing that resonated with me was the idea of outsider witnesses. I have begun to use this idea to advocate for people I work with who find it difficult to get their voice heard. I used it to start a conversation and then invite the person to join and then let them take over and express themselves.
    The word I would like to call the principle or idea is respect. The reason I want to use the word respect is because I remember a person who I support wear a cap with the words respect printed on it , no one really took notice of the cap. We used go for various therapy appointment and the person used to always be upset after the appointment. I asked his why this was and he told me no one cared for his opinion and did not let him express himself and respect him. Using the outsider witness idea on the next appointment I spoke to the therapist about how the person was dealing with his life. The person then joined the conversation felt respected about positive things being said about him and as a result the therapy session have been productive and have helped the person be valued and manage the problem that impacts his life.

    In a nutshell for me narrative therapy is about communication, power and privilege, for very often stories get lost due to the dominant discourse. Narrative therapy provides resources so that everyone has a voice and feels valued. This is what I will take with me on completing this course.

  4. There were so many ideas and aspects in this course, which inspired and encouraged me to transform and improve my practice and existence. Like others already said, it doesn’t necessarily feel like single pieces, but more like a flow of connected ideas and transformations.

    When I think about what I have tried to apply most until now, I think about the idea of creating thick und multiple stories and the idea, that all of us are the authors of our own stories. The story-metaphor resonates very strongly with me and others in the context of my theatrical work. And working with people whose stories are written and marginalized by others, I feel and felt that the idea of primary authorship was a very comforting and encouraging one. The questions shared throughout this course were and are immensely helpful in researching and embracing these stories. I would call it ‘Telling stories TO make us stronger’. I noticed this idea for the first time two years ago, even though I didn’t have words for it at that time. It was, when I facilitated the first women’s theatre-laboratory in Nepal and realized how important and powerful it was for the participants (whom I prefer to call co-researchers from now on) to tell their stories. A few months later a woman’s theatre group (Madalenas Nepal, if you want to learn more about us) had evolved out of this laboratory and we staged the Nepali adaption of ‘The Vagina Monologues.’ It was very controversial at the time of rehearsal, but afterwards random spectators would approach us, hug us and encourage us to tell these stories all over Nepal; they were telling us that it was powerful and healing for them to listen to and watch these stories and that it has supported them embracing similar stories about themselves and others with compassion, rather than with fear about talking about some of the biggest taboos in Nepal.
    These two events were the first of many to come, when I felt like I was becoming the teller of stories, which made me, my co-tellers and our audience and community stronger.

    Ever since this realization, I have focused on developing skills that allow me to learn about and share stories in ways, which make the teller and her/his audience and community stronger. This also includes that in my recent workshops I have encouraged people to re-member their own stories and feel the ownership, agency and right for edits they have in their own stories. Through this course, I feel like I have gotten the language for processes, feelings and directions I have been following and investigating for a while now.

    I am currently planning a bit of a long-term project of developing a storytelling-performance with people from different backgrounds living in Austria in the present time. I do this in an attempt of bringing people across generations, countries and cultures together, who live in Austria nowadays, in order to celebrate diversity and the value it can have for all of us, while also making clear that at the end of the day, we are all human beings.

    Since I started this project, but also before, I noticed that there are many people who are eager to share their stories with me and a wider audience, if they find a space where they feel comfortable and confident to do so. In this sense, I have also embarked on a journey to create ‘a safe space that pushes us’, which will be further enriched in the future by Mary Heath’s and Bell Hook’s ideas of creating safe spaces in ways, that allow us to cope with risks of disagreement and conflict.
    I realize now, that the conversations I am having are much deeper and whether it is in my work or private life, I value the depth of conversations and the connections that can be developed or strengthened as a result of that. These stories and connections enrich my life. I find meaning and peace in my being, and am much kinder and more compassionate towards others and myself (at least I try). I also realize that in my head I started re-writing my own story. This time, instead of all the violence and trauma I had focused on before, I focus on bringing a balance to my story – one or many stories which are able to acknowledge the pain, but also the healing, beauty and wisdom I have encountered in my journey.

    Lastly, I want to thank all those involved in offering this course. Thank you for allowing me to move ahead in my own journey of ‘finding medicine in the wound’ and sharing it with people around me. Thank you for allowing us to create new stories and generate new meaning of old ones.

  5. Emmalene – Tweed Coast

    Having now finished all the readings in the course provided, my mind is whirring with ideas about how I might reflect, improve, refine and employ some of the ideas contained. I have enormous gratitude for the amount of work and effort that has gone into developing this unique and free course. What a great wealth of knowledge and a thoughtful approach to training.

    I think I was draw to this study at a time when I find myself becoming increasingly eclectic about the ways in which I work with people. I think about the dominant theories of my discipline and how increasingly, I am moving away from some more of the manualised CBT approaches. The overwhelming observations I make about my use of these concepts is that I use the ideas around thinking-feeling being connected and thinking traps and this is about where I leave it. Though, as part of medicare funded work, I guess I am invited to relay on this ideology. One which I actually feel disconnected from and find arduous to ‘teach’ to people. It’s interesting to consider what dominant ideas deliver to our work and when we stop to challenge them, how easily they fall away in importance.

    I have found the idea’s about externalising resonate clearly for me. I was first introduced to this idea in working with a young girl around disordered eating. Around half way through our work together, my supervisor encouraged me to help the girl to see the eating disorder as separate from her and therefore an adversary that she could either invite into her life or take steps to minimise it’s impact on her daily functioning. She was able to give her eating disorder a name and this went some way to her being able to communicate with her family and friend’s about it’s influence in her life. Once we put a name to the disorder, it was like we were all in a battle against it and this proved to improve the therapuetic alliance tremendously.

    The second idea that resonates for me it about being curious and developing skills to open conversations with patients in order for them to do the thinking. I first witnessed this type of idea in watching ‘Good Will Hunting’ and was amazed at Robin William’s character’s ability to draw out thoughts and ideas from Matt Damon’s character. I was later lucky enough to have a skilled narative therapist as a supervisor and would regularly find myself answering my own questions and having my own revelations long after the sessions were over for the week. I guess this is the type of therapist I am working toward, from the value I have that lasting change comes from within.

  6. This got over-long, and I’m not entirely sure it makes sense anywhere except in my head, but anyway …

    Like others who’ve recently commented, I’ve found it hard to isolate just one thing to talk about. But I think that what I find compelling, above all, about narrative practice is the way it seems to be a never-ending process of creation.

    From a ‘client’ conceptualising and naming a problem as a character in their story … to a theorist writing about new ideas they’ve begun to incorporate into practice … to a whole community coming together to dream up a grand metaphor for an impactful, ongoing project … those who are involved in narrative practice just keep on creating – collaboratively and tenderly – in myriad ways and at all scales, building on and augmenting what has gone before.

    I couldn’t think of a good, pithy phrase to express exactly what this means to me (‘continual creating with tenderness’ got closest), but a metaphorical image in my mind sums it up:

    I imagine the narrative practice community as a huge team of builders, who welcome all comers, as they work on a strong, intricate structure, that they’re growing ever outwards and upwards.

    It’s colourful and ornate in parts, utilitarian-looking in others. It has places to shelter, platforms to stand on, corners to confer, places to play and shout.

    Some people work on central parts; others round the edges. Some build massive frameworks; others add detail.

    Now and then, a person builds a new structure a little way away, and then a group builds a bridge to it. Sometimes someone builds something, doesn’t like it, dismantles it, and tries something new.

    Everyone has different roles; and they often switch around and regroup. They challenge and help each other.

    As for how that relates to my work …

    As background: I cobble together a working life from a number of freelance and part-time jobs and roles – writer, researcher, interviewer, tutor, magazine editor. Most of my jobs have an activist aspect. I’m excited to think about all the ways I could start to incorporate elements of narrative practice into what I do. (Outsider witnessing, documentation, and externalisation all offer interesting possibilities.)

    In doing so, I’m quite interested to keep the above building-team metaphor in my mind, and imagine myself – and the other people I work with in different jobs – working on various edges of the structure.

    It’s intriguing me to think about how I can use this to conceptualise my work in ways that are useful for me. For example: When should I be doing some building, and when should I, instead, be gathering materials for others to build with?

    Exactly what kinds of structures should my groups be building? For what purpose? When should I be holding a framework steady while someone else hammers it together? When should I ask someone else to do the steadying? Do we need to get together and draft a plan for a particular bit of structure, or should we just start making and see what happens? And so on.

    Thinking about my work in this way could help keep me focused on collaborative creation (even at times when I feel either less than creative, or less than collaborative!) and also provide a framework for me to think about what is the way I can contribute most usefully to any given job, and provide the type of input or support that is likely to lead to productive and creative outcomes for everyone. (This is something I struggle with sometimes – knowing just where and how to place myself in relation to others when it comes to any job.)

    Sorry – I’ve slightly veered away from the questions in the exercise, but this was really helpful for me nonetheless.

    Anyway, overall, I just want to say – I have LOVED this course, and this feels very much like a beginning for me, rather than an end.

    I acknowledge that Dulwich Centre stands on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people, and I pay respect to the Elders, past and present.

    A huge thank you to all involved in creating and maintaining this course.

  7. So many narrative ideas and practices have resonated with me throughout this course however, I wish to focus on documentation. Throughout this course I have been challenged about the way in which I complete my documentation and how it could be more transparent and empowering. When completing the documentation and audiences section of the course I was interested in the living documents which David Newman discussed in his article “rescuing the said from the saying it”. I was interested in how creating a record of people’s experience, skills and knowledge could both empower the individual who is writing it as well as encouraging the reader.
    A client who was nearing the end of their time in therapy came to mind. This particular client has made great progress in overcoming the challenges they were originally facing and had begun writing poems and songs about the emotions they previously felt. Although nervous about how the client would respond I decided to ask. The client’s face lit up with excitement at the prospect of sharing their journey with other people who had experienced similar difficulties. The client also stated that it would provide a sense of closure to leave the creative writings of the previous challenges with me to be used to encouraged others. I believe asking the client to contribute to a living document gave a sense of empowerment as they felt that their experience was knowledge worth sharing. I hope that this assists the client to move into the next stage of their life feeling empowered and able to overcome with the skills and knowledges they brought with them and developed along the journey. I look forward to seeing how the sharing of this documentation will influence future clients.

  8. There are so many different points to N/T that I am interested in, and as I am still a student with very little fieldwork experience I will talk of being the client in those times that the tenets of N/T could have worked.
    The role of the therapist being more of an influence than an expert – I believe this is where therapy differs from community or social work – a therapist listens whereas a community or social worker ‘fixes’.
    Externalizing – I was able to move past many of my issues by divorcing them from myself. Almost a take on ‘the monkey on my back’, my addiction was not me, merely one chapter in the book of my life, just as being a mother was not all that I was.
    Thickening a story – “I’m just a mum” I would answer for two decades as I raised my children – thickening that story gave me more self-confidence to go forward and start studying and volunteering.

  9. I see Narrative Practice as a holistic approach and the way one idea flows into the next to make up the whole, makes it difficult for me to single out one specific idea or practice, but what really excites me the most and keeps me thinking, is the process of scaffolding questions. It is not easy and requires a lot of skill! I am still very young in the practice and stumble quite often, but I take courage in Michael Whites words, that it takes practice, practice and more practice.

    I call the process of scaffolding questions the ‘process of finding the things that are not lost’. It is through the asking of the right questions at the right place during conversations that we encourage people to fill the gaps in their stories. To find the descriptions that externalize the problem, to find the unique outcomes that will eventually be the beginning of the alternative story, finding words or names that are near descriptions of those outcomes, and finding the connections or relationships in the person’s history that unearths hidden skills and knowledges. Ultimately, for me, scaffolding questions lead to the person’s finding of the new, richly described alternative story with a multi-stranded story line that creates the distance between themselves and the problem story. In my opinion it is therefore the vehicle for all of the Narrative principles and practices.

    I first came across scaffolding questions when I was on the other side of the practice. I was looking for help to overcome a problem and was most fortunate to get it in the form of NT. Having gone through years of structuralist approaches and finding no solutions, Narrative Practice was completely new to me. I remember that I found the questions a bit unsettling at first because it assumed I knew things. When the scaffolding of questions revealed that I did indeed know quite a bit, I could start writing my alternative story. Within two months I no longer required medication to quiet the voices and my knowledge of my skills made it possible to put methods in place to live a productive life. This is where my interest in Narrative Practice began and my total fascination with the process of scaffolding questions.

    I have studied Mark Hayward’s notes on using Michael White’s Scaffolding Distance Map and have found it extremely useful and helpful. I have started using it in assisting two people who are seeking help with overcoming the problem of active addiction. Having overcome the problem of addiction myself using the principals of narrative therapy, I knew it could be useful but addiction is a complex and cunning problem that tend to stick around stubbornly for a long time.
    Scaffolding the questions within the zone of proximal development proved to be very helpful and we made great progress in externalizing and discovering unique outcomes that surprised us.
    Once we discovered unique outcomes, the conversation became energized and the person was more eager to search further. In fact, the optimism was of such a high level that I had to take great care not to applaud and not to take sudden leaps in levels, but rather build on and explore the discovery and what it meant.
    I felt like I was a privileged observer. I was genuinely curious and asked questions that I truly did not know the answers to. I also discovered new ways of looking and listening, and learnt a lot from the person and the process.
    The person was surprised at what they discovered of themselves and it was as if the light went on inside them. Like an a-ha moment. I think that is what it looks like when someone finds a place to stand outside of the problem story.
    I have great hope that a deeper understanding and continual practicing of the process of scaffolding questions could lead to successfully externalizing addiction. I believe it could lead to the discovery of histories, unique outcomes, skills and knowledges that could be useful over the long term to keep addiction and its effects at a distance. My dreams are that long-term programs of Narrative Practice to keep the problem of addiction at a distance, will be put in place in South Africa. My biggest dream, however, is to become as proficient as I can at applying all the principals and practices of Narrative Therapy in my endevour to assist others in writing their preferred, multi-stranded and richly described autobiographies.

    I try to keep a decentred influential position, so my feelings around finding things that are not lost remain that of intense curiosity. I have feelings of deep gratitude for what I get to learn through experiencing the effects of scaffolding questions and find the challenge of doing it ‘right’ (timing and wording etc.) very stimulating.

    As a writer and a poet, I experience scaffolding questions as a very exciting and a creative process. It is like watching a plot unfold. It is like sitting in a room with an author while he is writing his autobiography and you just know it will be a best-seller! There is not much that can be more beautiful than that!

    I would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge Phillipa for the thoughtful way in which she lead us through the course materials and would also like to convey my thanks to Dulwich Centre for making this online course available. I realize that Dulwich Centre’s history is tied to that of the Kaurna people and would therefore also like to respectfully acknowledge the Kaurna Nation and their Elders, both past and present.

    Thank you for a very pleasant learning experience!

  10. I found Alice Morgan’s paper very useful in helping me reflect on the way I am using narrative practices. My comments below come from the exercises in this paper:

    One thing that has particularly resonated for me:

    Externalising conversations – I think of this principle as externalising, but also as renaming; that is being able to rename a problem or issue in a way that is helpful and not a within person narrative.

    I first noticed externalising when I was training as an EP, I had a supervisor who was experienced in using NT and this caught my interest. I brought Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends (White and Epston, 1990) and externalising jumped out to me straight away. It spoke to my frustration of all the within child/person narratives that I was hearing around problems and gave me something to work with. I tentatively started using these ideas and was quite stunned with how powerful it could be to externalise, especially for children and young people who had been labelled and were now living in a self-fulfilled prophecy type bubble. I still feel a sense of wonder when a problem or narrative shifts because a person has had the space to think about a problem in a different way.

    I also use externalising language in the reports I write, for example rather than saying X was angry I tend to write X experienced anger when…the word experienced shifts it to an externalised narrative as it is happening to X rather than being within them. I also write therapeutic/narrative letters to the young people I have worked with using externalising as a reminder to them (and a prompt to others) about the different ways we can frame the ‘problem’.

    I try to use externalising as much as I can and I think I have started to use it without thinking about it so may not always conscious reflect on what I am doing and the effect it might be having. I think this mirrors the quite hectic work life I have at the moment and reminds me I need to be more thoughtful in my work. I know this approach helps me and I get a feeling of wonder when I use externalising and can sense of shift in people’s ways of thinking about a problem.

    Externalising fits with my social constructionist way of thinking that there is always more than one way of viewing something dependent on the person and the tools (language) they have to understand and describe something. Externalising helps people develop different tools to think and face a problem.

    Thank you so much for this course. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and have gone back to all the chapters to re-read and will again I am sure as different ideas and elements come out in every read.

    I wish I could come over to Australia and visit The Dulwich Centre – maybe one day 🙂

  11. Sincere apologies for all the auto-correct typos in the above response.
    Regards,
    Lamia

  12. One particular idea about Narrative practice that has always resonated with me is the idea of being non-judgemental and the idea of externalizing. I say this in the same sentence, because I consider the two concepts as overlapping and having many intersections. As a novice therapist, with hardly a year’s experience at hand, and having been in traduced to Narrative Practice during my post-graduate course, I was privileged to have begun applying these practices in therapy.

    While the concepts have already been named by Narrative Therapy, I particularly am attracted to the idea of using language as a tool to put these concepts to practice. And so, I would call this ‘Non-judgemental and externalizing language’. As a therapist and educator, I have often seen how language can be a tool to put to practice the principles and ideas one believes in. For e.g. I have often seen schools who believe in the idea of holistic learning and inclusion indiscriminately label students and at time use the doctor’s clinical diagnosis as the only marker of the child’s identity. It presents to me a clear dissonance in belief and practice. I therefore try and ensure that the language I use promotes externalizing and a non-judgemental stance, in therapy and in conversations otherwise.

    I noticed this idea during my undergraduate course when we discussed concepts of stigma and discrimination in our cultural context. I was only later during the course that I could reference these to concepts within narrative practice. It was my daily experiences and my initial work in outpatient and inpatient settings at government hospitals that made me realize the significance of the same.

    I have been incorporating the use of externalizing language in my conversations with students, parents and teachers at the school where I work in the capacity of a school psychologist. One particular instance that reminds me of this practice was a reflection session I conducted with teachers of the High School. After an incident of bullying in the school and after addressing the situation at different systemic levels, I realized that students and teachers alike were beginning to view the students who engaged in bullying as a certain kind and the tag ‘bully’ was used indiscriminately to imply certain characteristics, behaviours and traits. The students had received a new identity of a ‘bully’. While I did not want to trivialize the situation or minimize the actions, I wanted to address this particular viewpoint. In the reflection session, while we discussed the concept of bullying and the people involved and their positions, I also assisted the group to explore the possibility of viewing different other characteristics of those who were termed as ‘bullies’. The person and ‘The Bully’ were presented as two separate entities and the group discussed the possible actions that ‘The Bully’ was probably getting the person to engage in.

    The above exercise and discussion, led us to explore the idea that different circumstances, past experiences and the cultural context influence the actions that constitute bullying and that these situations make the person engage in these actions. That the person is not the problem.

    The teachers and my colleagues described feeling surprised and that the discussion was eye-opening. They expressed being able to relate this t experiences in their own lives and how certain behaviours that they have seen as problems that are innate could be seen as being external to them. Some of them expressed feeling a sense of empathy toward themselves.

    I liked being party of this session because it made me feel like I was taking a non-judgemental stance yet ensuring that each one engages in a process of exploration. At times, I did see myself taking the position of an expert and on reflection now, I do feel that I could have and still can work on that.

    It did suit me because I have practised it for a while and also because in my personal life I have always been made to view problems as being something that is not within.

    This is just one practice. I have also enjoyed and learnt a lot through the use of narrative documentation like letters as well as the stance of curiosity. Here’s to the journey of narrative practice! 🙂

    Lamia B., Mumbai, India

  13. I think about collaborative representation and I believe it evokes a sense of respect, transparency, care and collaboration. I first noticed the opposite feelings in response to writing case notes. I felt a deep sense of care and respect for a particular client and felt uncomfortable writing negative things about her in a case note, and at another time, in writing positive things, felt remiss that I had this story about her–but she didn’t. She had copies of treatment plans.

    I think I try to be very genuine in my practice, and intentionally look for feelings of care, love, strengths in the client. I do not direct sessions, I invite clients to self-author. When I feel that I am carrying out these values, I feel good about my practice, and I believe the clients feel good about the therapist-client relationship (not decentered I know) and about their therapy, as well as their sense of agency/competency/welbeing.

    I don’t believe that writing case notes as I have been fits with my values and I plan to incorporate using letters more and more. I have learned a great deal and believe I will be a better therapist as a result of this course. Thank you!

  14. As a counselling student I haven’t been set loose on the public yet. I have found in this course several tools that I would like to use when I am practising.

    Also I found tools that I was able to bring to my own life. Externalising is such a great method of viewing difficulties, and I intend practising placing my own problems outside of myself.

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