The Tree of Life Project— Ncazelo Ncube
Looking at the work that we have been doing with bereaved children and communities I realize that part of our problem was basing our practices on the western notions of catharsis, the idea that bereaved children and communities are not given platforms to express their grief and therefore have feelings and emotions trapped deep inside them which need to be vented out. We have for a long time seen ourselves as playing a role in providing the space for trapped feelings and emotions to come to surface. The reality of such expressions, however, has been clearly overwhelming for both the individuals that seek our help and the counsellors’ providing support services. This paper documents a way of working with children using the ‘Tree of Life’ tool which we have adapted through our engagement with narrative ideas. Before I describe this, however, it maybe helpful for me to provide some background information about the work of Masiye Camp which is where we will be using this new way of working.
Surviving Juvenile Justice: Imagination, Kindness and a Toasted Sandwich— David Denborough
This interview with Belinda who spent much of her late childhood within juvenile justice institutions describes her experiences in these places and the ways in which imagination and occasional acts of kindness made all the difference. It is hoped that this interview will be of relevance to other young people who are currently within juvenile justice settings, and to those adults who previously spent time within them. It is also hoped that it will be relevant to those working with young people as it clearly demonstrates the significant differences that caring workers can make. The interviewer was David Denborough.
Taking a Journey with Young Women Who Are Subjected to Sexual Abuse within Families— Delphine YAU Cheuk-wai
For many years in my work setting, I have been responding to young women who have been subjected to sexual abuse. One challenge for me is how to respond to the effects of abuse in these young women’s lives in ways that are not pathologizing or re-traumatizing. Apart from addressing the direct effects of the abuse, another challenge in therapy involves addressing the context of telling and its effects on these young women As an alternative, I think it is important to locate the effects of abuse in the particularities of the broader context of their lives.
Working with Adolescents Who Have Committed Sexual Abuse: Establishing a New Place to Stand— John R. Stillman
In my practice, I have observed children in the process of receiving blanket ‘sex offender treatment’. Children are exposed to numerous stories of other children’s misconduct and are treated as a general sex offender, stripped of any individual identity which could help them to step away from practices of sexual abuse. A central goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of future offences. In order to achieve this goal and for the sake of the children who have experienced abuse, alternative means of treating older children who have perpetrated abuse are needed. This paper will discuss another way of going about treatment which offers these older children something different than strengthening the label they have as sex offenders.
Using Michael White’s Scaffolding Distance Map with a Young Man and His Family— Mark Hayward
This paper addresses the questions: 1. How can people become more knowledged about their lives, more in touch with those problem solving skills and knowledges that even young people exercise routinely in everyday life? 2. How can I render these knowledges visible, significant and relevant so they can form a basis for addressing current predicaments? 3. The gap between the familiarity of their problem experience and the not-yet-known of problem solving knowledges – how is this space to be traversed? 4. In trying to bridge this gap, where should I place my questions? And how should the questions relate to each other? I describe my early efforts to interpret and utilise Michael White’s Scaffolding Distance map.
Loss and Letters— Alex Millham and Natalie Banks
This paper consists of two letters. The first letter is from a therapist to a young woman consulting her about her experience of the therapy sessions they had shared together. The second letter is the young woman’s response. It is hoped that these letters will provide other therapists with ideas for working with young women around issues of loss and grief.
Ethical Curiosity and Poststructuralism— Katy Batha
In this paper, the author explore the idea of ethical curiosity in therapeutic inquiry and the ways in which poststructuralist theories supports her work as a school counsellor. The paper also poses some questions to reflect upon whilst aiming to perform ethical curiosity.
Turning Depression on Its Head: Employing Creativity to Map Out and Externalise Depression in Conversations with Young Women— Sarah Penwarden
This paper explores the counter-effects of creativity on depression, and gives an example of creative narrative therapy strategies in externalising and storying depression in conversations with young women at a New Zealand high school.
True Leadership— Wayne Dhurrkay
This paper consists of a message from a young Yolgnu (Indigenous) man from Gunyangara, an Aboriginal community in North East Arnhem Land, Australia. It has been offered by him as a message to other young people in different communities both in Australia and elsewhere. It is a message about the significance of questioning commonly held beliefs about leadership. It is an invitation to all to take up the responsibilities of caring, kind and thoughtful leadership. By including this story here, it is hoped that readers of this journal will be able to share this message with young people with whom they are working.