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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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