Read more about the article Caring for trans community – Tiffany Sostar
Yellow faced honeyeater perched on a grevillea tree

Caring for trans community – Tiffany Sostar

This audio practice note and the collective document it describes are part of “narrative projects in support of trans lives”, and are the first to be published in this collection of work. Not to fix anything, but just to offer a millimetre of relief or breath or humour or companionship": A collective document about caring for trans community brings together many stories of care within and with trans community. Our hope is that this document will help connect readers to a sense of community and collective action, and will invite readers, regardless of gender identity, to join us in taking actions of care within a social context that is increasingly hostile to trans lives. These stories, reflection questions, and invitations describe and welcome a wide range of care, including small, personal, and beautifully imperfect actions taken by and alongside trans community.

2 Comments
Read more about the article Standing upright against trauma and hardship: Checklists of innovative moments of social and psychological resistance – Muhammed Furkan Cinisli
Closeup photo of beautiful, vibrant red eucalyptus blossom and green leaves growing on a tree

Standing upright against trauma and hardship: Checklists of innovative moments of social and psychological resistance – Muhammed Furkan Cinisli

Trauma represents a profound and emotionally intense experience within the human condition. Beyond its evident impacts on both the physiological and psychological dimensions of an individual, this complex phenomenon encapsulates moments of resistance and strength in the face of adversity. From a narrative standpoint, individuals invariably manifest unique responses to trauma, which necessitate a close and nuanced examination for recognition and comprehension. This article proposes a framework for the systematic collection and organisation of diverse responses to trauma through a checklist of innovative moments of social and psychological resistance, contributing to a greater comprehension of this intricate phenomenon.

2 Comments
Read more about the article Narrative therapy, Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese medicine: An interview with Ming Li, Mandarin translation read by Ming Li and Qianyun Yang
Sunlight filtering through the canopy of Eucalyptus trees on a foggy morning, next to a country road.

Narrative therapy, Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese medicine: An interview with Ming Li, Mandarin translation read by Ming Li and Qianyun Yang

In this audio translation of a paper from the journal’s archives, David Denborough interviews Ming Li, a narrative practitioner in Beijing, China, with an interest in the resonances he sees between some narrative ideas and practices, and those of Buddhism, Taoism and other aspects of Chinese culture, history and medicine. Ming draws on multiple domains of knowledge and experience to describe some of the congruencies and points of difference he has noticed, and to explain what draws him to using a narrative practice approach in his own context.

0 Comments
Read more about the article “It’s a sausage, not a scone”: A recipe for getting through hard times in response to the suicide of a loved one – Beth and Ben Shannahan
A beautiful golden sunrise bursting through the eucalyptus trees as it rises over a mountain. A river cuts through a deep valley with early morning mist rising up the dense foliage on the sides of the mountain.

“It’s a sausage, not a scone”: A recipe for getting through hard times in response to the suicide of a loved one – Beth and Ben Shannahan

Ben Shannahan began meeting with Beth and her family soon after Beth’s older sister Amberly ended her own life. Their conversations lead to Beth writing a song in honour of Amberly. Here, Beth and Ben share the song along with the story of how it was written and eventually performed to family members and friends.

5 Comments
Read more about the article Games and narrative practice by Noor Kulow
Australian eucalyptus or gum tree leaves in the afternoon sunlight.

Games and narrative practice by Noor Kulow

In this presentation to the International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference in Rwanda, Noor Kulow introduces a range of narrative practices that have been used with children in Somalia who have lost their biological parents early in life. Externalising conversations, the Team of Life approach and traditional children’s games are used to respond to stigma, reconnect children with their hopes and dreams, and respond to trauma and hardship. Movement-based activities like leapfrog and jumping, and traditional games like girir and jar, provide entry points to therapeutic conversations.

0 Comments

Feminist insider research by Marnie Sather

In this presentation, made at the launch of the Narrative Practice Research Network, Marnie Sather introduces some of the possibilities and complexities of feminist insider research. Drawing on her experience of completing doctoral research with women who had lost a male partner to suicide, Marnie sets out some of the options for positioning the researcher in insider research – from not disclosing insider status to placing it as the centre – and describes how she came to a position of careful utilisation of her own experience in the research process and in the writing of her thesis.

1 Comment

How we deal with Autistic burnout by KJ Wiseheart

In this video, KJ introduces the accompanying collective document “How we deal with Autistic burnout: A living document created by Autistic adults for Autistic adults”. This document was created through a series of interviews with lived experience experts who generously shared their skills and hard-won knowledges. KJ describes the process of creating this document, and how they endeavoured to adapt and localise existing practices of collective documentation, for accessibility and cultural resonance with Autistic community values and ways of being.

3 Comments

A search for justice using AI-assisted image creation — Lucy Van Sambeek

As artificial intelligence becomes pervasive, therapists might be left wondering about its implications for narrative practice. This paper explores an unexpected discovery about the power of artificial intelligence in re-imagining a story of injustice. Lucy (the therapist) and Miles (the client) used an AI image creator to assist in the externalisation of problems.

1 Comment

Imagination and metaphor in narrative therapy and collective practice — John Stubley

In this paper I explore the use of metaphors in the creation of externalised problem narratives for individuals and larger collectives, as well as in the creation of preferred alternative narratives. Through practice examples, I relate some of the ways in which I have been working with imagination and metaphor in my own context in Western Australia.

0 Comments

The effort and intricacies of generating experience-near language – David Newman

In this paper I explore Clifford Geertz’s distinction between experience-near and experience-distant language. In the process, I draw from mad studies and mental health service user epistemology, both written and generated through my work. I also draw on the work of the historian of emotion Tiffany Watt Smith.

1 Comment

The Rainbow of Life: A collective narrative practice with young LGBTQIA+ people with a health condition – James McParland and Jaymie Huckridge

This article describes the use of narrative practices for LGBTQIA+ young people with a health condition. It presents a collective narrative practice: the Rainbow of Life. This adapts the Tree of Life metaphor to invite rich story development opportunities when working with LGBTQIA+ people. It involves exploring their commitments, special moments and those who stand alongside them in solidarity, and creatively mapping these on to a rainbow image.

0 Comments

An Episode of Your Life: Rich narrative engagement with episodic stories — Julie Stewart, Tiffany Sostar, Ian Myhra, Sonia Hoffmann and Jyotsna Uppal

This article describes a new practice map, an “Episode of Your Life”, which adapts existing narrative “... of life” practices to an episodic story from a person’s life using metaphors from film and television production. This practice map draws significantly on ideas of “peopling the room” and the Team of Life in order to scaffold safety in imagining the process of telling painful stories through the collectivising of the storytelling process. This practice map specifically does not require that the storyteller tell the story, but rather invites them to imagine how they might tell a story from their life in a way that aligns with their values, hopes and preferred storylines. Some of the significant effects that we discovered were related to the richness of the visual metaphor for adding another layer of possible meaning-making in the storytelling process, and allowing for a “proliferation of what’s possible” in the imagining of the storytelling, such as through the use of time jumps; computer-generated imagery; inviting rich descriptions of preferred relationships, histories and values; and dignifying of stories that otherwise might be left unspoken. Participants were left with a feeling of solidarity and a “safe riverbank” from which to imagine telling their stories.

0 Comments

Psychosocial support initiatives in the aftermath of the 2023 earthquake: A university-led community approach — Mehmet Dinç and Canahmet Boz

This article discusses the response of a university psychology department to the devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye on 6 February 2023, resulting in significant loss of life and widespread destruction. This paper focuses on the narrative practices undertaken by a university psychology department in the affected region, particularly the establishment of a psychological support telephone line staffed by volunteer psychologists.

1 Comment

Safety and solidarity: Using collective documents to share sex workers’ insider knowledges — Julia Sharp

Western culture and Western health care systems have created places of sexual health care that are highly individualised, privatised and professionalised. For people engaged in sex work, this reduces the possibilities for sharing skills and knowledges and instead leaves people with internalised feelings of shame, guilt and isolation. This paper describes collective therapeutic work that elicited insider knowledges, skills and sparkling moments from sex workers.

1 Comment

Departing from stigma and secrecy and elevating stories of agency: Narrative practice in the voices of sex workers — Kaur Serendipity

This paper explores the use of narrative therapy and community work to respond to the complexities surrounding women’s experiences in the sex industry. It offers practices for therapists and community workers seeking to engage with sex workers in ways that are respectful of their hard-won knowledge and seek to elicit double-storied accounts in relation to hardship, thicken stories of preferred identities, and explore absent-but-implicit values, hopes and commitments.

1 Comment
Read more about the article My album, by Chaste Uwihoreye, Jean Marie Zivugukuri and Emmanuel Kigundu
Snow gum trees (Eucalyptus pauciflora) in Baw Baw National Park, Australia.

My album, by Chaste Uwihoreye, Jean Marie Zivugukuri and Emmanuel Kigundu

My Album is a poignant collection of artworks by children and adolescents engaged in “Mobile Arts for Peace” (MAP) clubs across multiple schools in Rwanda. The artworks vividly portray painful pasts, current challenges, and aspirations for the future. The vibrant tapestry of colours, symbols, and metaphors encapsulates the resilience and courage of these young people.

0 Comments

Indigenous storyWORK as research by Tileah Drahm-Bulter

In times of hardship, talking directly about painful or traumatic experiences, overwhelming emotions, or problematic actions with children, young people or families can be difficult. As co-researchers, we invite children, youngsters and their families and networks to contribute in playful ways to unravelling the tentacles of hardship and re(dis)covering a sense of agency, belonging and coherence. Together, we look in unexpected corners for safe places to build a team of support and solidarity. In dis-covering a multiplicity of stories rather than being trapped in one dominant story of trauma or loss, we co-create relief and develop more coherent storylines that weave the experiences and stories about hardship into the fabric of their lives.

0 Comments

On critical thinking by Mary Heath, read by Mary Heath

In this audio recording of a favourite paper from the journal’s archives, Mary Heath sets out a personal history of her journey toward becoming a critical thinker. She considers two common barriers to critical thinking: cultural disapproval of critique, and confusing critical thinking with criticism. In response, Mary argues that rigorous thinking offers benefits – and not only risks – to cultures as well as individuals.

0 Comments

Complexities of disability, chronic illness and able-bodied privilege — Gipsy Hosking

This video explores Gipsy’s lived experience of chronic illness to give an introduction to disability politics. She invites the listener to investigate their own relationship to disability and able-bodied privilege and how this may show up in their narrative work. Gipsy shares with us the methodology (participant action research) that enabled her PhD research work (on young women’s lived experience of chronic illness) to also be a tool for social change and to create a positive impact for participants by the collective coming together and sharing of stories.

0 Comments

Unravelling trauma, co-creating relief and weaving resilience: Playful collaborations with children, families and networks, by Sabine Vermeire

In times of hardship, talking directly about painful or traumatic experiences, overwhelming emotions, or problematic actions with children, young people or families can be difficult. As co-researchers, we invite children, youngsters and their families and networks to contribute in playful ways to unravelling the tentacles of hardship and re(dis)covering a sense of agency, belonging and coherence. Together, we look in unexpected corners for safe places to build a team of support and solidarity. In dis-covering a multiplicity of stories rather than being trapped in one dominant story of trauma or loss, we co-create relief and develop more coherent storylines that weave the experiences and stories about hardship into the fabric of their lives.

2 Comments
Read more about the article Planet stories: Using AI-generated science fiction to externalise conflict in relationships — Andrea Ng
Photo of Adelaide Parklands from the Aunty Barb Walking History Journey

Planet stories: Using AI-generated science fiction to externalise conflict in relationships — Andrea Ng

Externalising can be useful in addressing conflict in relationships. It can provide space for deconstruction, the consideration of shared values and new meaning-making. It also avoids the labelling and deficit identity conclusions that can accompany internalised accounts. This audio practice note describes an emerging practice for working with couples experiencing conflict: using an artificial intelligence tool to generate science fiction stories to support the externalising of a problem and open space for reauthoring conversations.

0 Comments

My favourite questions by Jill Freedman, read by Esther Benz

In this audio recording of a favourite paper from the journal’s archives, Jill Freedman offers three sets of questions that she names as “favourites” in her own work. The first two sets of questions are ones therapists can ask clients. The first set may help people link their lives with others. The second may help people organise their experiences into narratives. The third is a question that therapists can ask themselves to help them come to questions that promote experiential involvement.

2 Comments

Addicted to Life, Written and directed by Pola Rapaport (2022), reviewed by David Newman

In the opening scene of the 2022 documentary Addicted to Life, about the Belgian athlete Marieke Vervoort, diagnosed with a painful degenerative spinal disease, we hear powerful defiance. Over an internet call, Vervoort, who has obtained papers to end her life via euthanasia, says to the filmmaker Pola Rapaport: "Everyone is pushing me and asking me, 'When are you going to die? Do you know already the date that you’re going to die?' I said, 'Fuck you. … You don’t know when you want to die. When the time comes, when I feel it’s enough, then I will decide'.” ... It is a powerful start to a tender and at times harrowing story of the last three years of a life and the intricate weaving of pain, extraordinary athletic accomplishment, determination, relationships and euthanasia. It’s a story that carefully explores the idea that “not only life but also death is political” (Özpolat, 2017, p. 28).

1 Comment

Curiosity, power and narrative practice, Perry Zurn interviewed by Zan Maeder

What are some of the dominant and alternative stories of curiosity? How do we wield it and to what effect? What does it mean to attend to the politics of curiosity in our lives and work and to acknowledge it as a collective practice and social force that can colonise, normalise and divide us and disrupt, liberate and connect us? Zan Maeder interviews Perry Zurn, Provost Associate Professor of Philosophy at American University and author of Curiosity and power: The politics of inquiry (2021) about work tracing histories of curiosity in philosophy and political theory and co-creating (with many other transgressors, past and present) possibilities for ethical and liberatory curiosity praxis.

3 Comments

Making history come alive: Seeking truth and justice, Vijaya Teelock interviewed by David Denborough

In this interview, Mauritian historian Vijaya Teelock discusses breaking historical silences, democratising history, intangible heritage, memorialising and the complexities of seeking justice and reparation for historical wrongs. The interview took place in Vijaya’s home in Mauritius with David Denborough, Cheryl White and Diana Shanto present.

0 Comments

A personal reflection on “depression”: Not only a problem but also a learning opportunity — Barry Sullivan

For most of 2022, I was challenged by depression. One of its effects was to derail action-taking skills in my personal and professional life, leading to a sense of paralysis. This paper documents the narrative therapy skills and knowledge that helped me to move out from under depression’s dark cloud and shows how I applied learnings from my personal experience to my work with clients, including those also dealing with depression.

1 Comment

Building bridges across stories: Developing cross-cultural partnerships to challenge masculinity — Nicolas Mosso Tupper

This paper explores the possibilities of developing cross-cultural partnerships to support men in defying dominant prescriptions of masculinity. It focuses on the individual stories of two men of different ages and experiences living on different continents, and shows the coming together of their stories. Both undertook a migration of identity away from dominating ideas and beliefs that justified harm and abuse, and towards a preferred form of masculinity aligned with their values, and with practices of dignity and nonviolence. Through the creation, translation and sharing of documents of resistance, each of these men was able to contribute to the other, and to receive something in return.

1 Comment

Using narrative practices to support academic development in an after-school program — Deborah Mrema

This paper describes the use of narrative practices in work with young people in an after-school academic support program in Tanzania. Through games, outsider witnessing, re-authoring conversations and the Tree of Life process, we brought to light skills and experiences that had previously been left unrecognised by the evaluation tools we had been using to track students’ progress. The Tree of Life in particular created space for our students to rediscover unique abilities and areas in which they shine. These had previously been hidden behind dominant stories about living in an orphanage or not meeting expectations at school. The use of narrative practices supported growth, development and healing for our students.

0 Comments

The River of Life safety map: Narrative journeys in a school-based setting — Clare Kempton Sladden

This article explores the use of narrative practices in a school-based setting to approach safety planning with young people. The article proposes an alternative safety planning tool: The River of Life safety map, which draws on the migration of identity metaphor. The author explores opportunities for collaboration in safety planning and risk management, drawing on feminist ethics. A story of practice gives suggestions for how one may use the map.

1 Comment

End of content

No more pages to load