2012: Issue 1
Welcome to the first on-line issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. This special issue features a number of papers which break new ground in relation to:
— Narrative practice with survivors of torture and trauma
— Narrative therapy and mental health (with those experiencing paranoia)
— Home-based narrative therapy
The issue also includes keynote addresses from Marta Campillo (Mexico) and Stephen Madigan (Canada) that were delivered in Brazil at the 10th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference; and a detailed paper, by David Denborough, that traces the intellectual and relational histories of narrative therapy and collective practice.
It is a journal issue that we believe will be relevant to practitioners and scholars. We’re really pleased that this first on-line edition contains papers from Colombia, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the USA.
‘Narrative therapy: Constructing stories of dignity and resistance with survivors of torture and trauma in Colombia’— Mariana Saenz Uribe
This paper introduces readers to the sociopolitical context within Colombia and provides examples of the use of narrative therapy and collective narrative practice with survivors of torture. In particular, this paper focuses on responding to women who have been subjected to sexual violence in the context of organised political violence. Detailed accounts of work with a mother and her two daughters, and a group of women survivors, are offered.
Inviting paranoia to the table— Amanda Worrall and June
This article describes conversations that Amanda had with a woman called June, whose life had been affected by a condition called ‘schizoaffective disorder’. When Amanda first met with June, June was in good health but paranoia was influencing her life in a way that wasn’t acceptable to her. This article describes how Amanda and June invited paranoia to come to the table, to explore how June could reclaim her life and move forward in a preferred direction.
Matt’s knacks: Home-based narrative family therapy— Anne-Marie Rodewald
In the past decade, home-based family therapy has become an increasingly popular approach and alternative to residential treatment for substance abuse, addictions, and many psycho-socially related issues. This paper discusses a therapist’s experience in homebased family therapy while working with a teenager severely affected by the impact of substance abuse and life struggles. The therapeutic techniques illustrated are a direct result of the therapist’s interest in narrative approaches to therapy.
Anti-individualist narrative practice: Listening to the echoes of cultural histories— Stephen Madigan
I wrote this keynote speech for Dulwich Centre’s July 2011, International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference in Salvador, Brazil. The purpose of the talk was to convey a critique on individualism and its plague on therapeutic thinking and practice. As a response to individualism, I offered up the communalising relational practice of therapeutic letter writing campaigns. The talk was also a place where I sought to publicly appreciate my longstanding apprenticeship with David Epston and Michael White. I then tied these narrative ideas together with my early growing up experiences inside an immigrant Irish family who worked tirelessly with the poor and dispossessed and who never once found cause to pathologise anyone.
Keys to a subjugated story: My favourite narrative therapy questions— Marta Campillo
This paper was given as a keynote address at the 10th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference held in Salvador, Brazil, in July 2010. The author was asked to speak on her ‘favourite narrative therapy questions’. Here, Marta Campillo describes ways in which questions informed by the concept of the ‘absent but implicit’ can act as keys to open subjugated stories.