Why (not) simply loving? Polyamorous reflections— Marion Herbert and Erik Zika
This short reflective piece was offered at the 12th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, in Adelaide, Australia, in November 2014. It deals with the relationship option of polyamory: this is a relationship concept that enables the people involved to live sexual and/or love relationships with several partners at the same time in a transparent way. Possible aspects regarding the psychotherapeutic practice are discussed.
Making a meaning-full life at Montefiore— Dafna Stern and Caroline Serrure
This paper examines the question of whether the elderly can make a meaningful life for themselves while residing in residential aged care. This question was explored in a joint project with twelve residents of the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home in Hunters Hill, Sydney. Their reflections were put into a collective document which is available for newcomers to the Home. The document demonstrates a process of meaning-making in which elderly residents play an active role. While participating in the project, attention was drawn to the residents’ skills and knowledges.
‘I gracefully grab a pen and embrace it’: Hip-hop lyrics as a means for re-authoring and therapeutic change— Travis Heath and Paulo Aroyo
This paper documents the use of hip-hop culture and rap music as a vehicle for change within the context of narrative therapy. Ways in which hip-hop lyrics can provide a voice to a population that is often not granted one, are explored. In addition, dominant stories about hip-hop music as a genre that is exclusively misogynistic, irresponsible, derogatory and offensive, are challenged. A framework for using hip-hop lyrics to assist in core narrative processes such as deconstructing the problem story, unique outcomes, circulation of the new story and re-membering, has been developed. Finally, one of the authors shares his insider experiences with hip-hop music as a tool for change.
Includes free bonus article ‘Reflecting on Hip-Hop’ by Dzifa Afonu.
Protection, collaboration and action: Research and power— An interview with Anita Franklin
Anita Franklin teaches community workers at Sheffield University in the UK. This interview about research and power was conducted by David Denborough.
Serious play with computer games: A sometimes useful approach for connecting with young people who choose to wait and see— Clive Taylor
Many young people are wary about engaging in counselling and this article explores one approach to connecting with them and inviting useful co-exploration of issues that may have intruded into their lives. The playing of computer games is widespread amongst young people and they have a passion for them and expertise that can be very helpful for narrative explorations. Computer games provide young people with ways of gaining skills and of achieving outcomes against the sometimes overwhelming challenges that games set against them, achievements that can seem completely lacking in their ‘real’ lives. This article follows one such exploration. Counsellors who are not ‘gamers’ can enlist the assistance and expertise of the young person in their exploration of this approach.
Narrative Therapy: Wandering with King Arthur and Dr. Watson— Povl E.B. Jensen
It has been my ambition in recent years to persuade psychiatrists and doctors to include narrative therapy in their daily work practice. Likewise, by taking the best of two worlds, narrative therapy and psychiatry in harmony, I hope to inspire narrative therapists to consider that psychiatry is not the enemy, but can be put to very valuable use. My main point is that a person’s sense of identity, competence and ‘personal agency’ is paramount. Mental illness or disorder has a unique ability to undermine this, and mainstream psychiatry (with medical focus on pathology) is poorly equipped to hold the pieces together, let alone help strengthen selfconcept and self-esteem. By including basic narrative therapy strategies and concepts (like ‘double-listening’, rescuing exceptions to the disqualifying problem-story, use of metaphors and attending to ‘the absent but implicit’) we can achieve a far better engagement between patient/client and psychiatrist/therapist.