What is Narrative Practice? A free course

G’day and welcome to this free online course about narrative therapy and community work!

This course is a gateway to free papers, videos and extracts to enjoy at your own pace. Across 9 ‘lessons’ or ‘chapters’ we have brought together papers, videos, images, interviews and questions.

This course is freely available to anyone, although we think it might be particularly relevant for those interested in counselling/psychology/community work/social work. We hope it is relevant for those seeking a ‘refresher’ working with narrative ideas and those looking for new ways of working with people in their context. Included are materials that are relevant for those working in therapeutic and/or community work contexts. Wherever you come from we hope you will find something interesting here!

By no means will this course answer all your questions – rather we hope it inspires more!

Along the way, your host will be Phillipa Johnson, who is a member of the Dulwich Centre International Faculty and completed her Masters in Narrative Therapy and Community Work in 2014. Thank you Phillipa for all your work in creating this course!

If after completing this online course you would like a certificate of completion this is also possible by taking the ‘certification module’ which involves completing a quiz and short essay and posting a number of reflections on the course forums. This certification module costs AUD$77.

But the course itself and all its resources are freely available to all! This course has been created by Dulwich Centre Foundation with the assistance of Community Benefit SA (Government of South Australia).

We hope you find it helpful!


Certification Module

Please note, an optional certification module is available at the end of the course. Click here for more details.


This Post Has 21 Comments

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    Thank you so much for this very interesting course. It is well laid out, well documented and very varied (article, videos). I would recommend writing the 1000 words assignment as it is a very good way to summarize in your own words what impacted you the most in this course.

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    Glynis Thorp

    Thankyou very much I have really enjoyed relearning some of what I learnt many years ago. it is such a valuable tool to have in ones box of skills.

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    Jessica Van Mourik

    I loved Amanda Worral’s video “Inviting paranoia to the table”. I work with young people who experience psychotic symptoms and when reflecting back now knowing the power of externalising the problem and use of creative imagery to do this, many young people are already doing this including bringing drawing in of what their visual hallucinations look like or one young man had named his hallucination as “Fear”. Without even realising using “Fear” in our assessment together was so helpful to externalise the problems this young person was presenting with. I wonder how much more effective the session would have been had I learnt about narrative therapy beforehand but am excited to see it’s impact in future practice.

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    Kylie Webster

    I have found this free course very rewarding with information that has assisted me to change my practice style to incorporate aspects I believe will improve my therapy sessions with clients. This has encouraged me to look into improving my overall knowledge of narrative practice as it fits with my style of therapy.

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    debbie webster

    Thank you for providing this course as a free resource to gain an insight into this valuable approach to therapy and its wider applications. Narrative practice in therapy is a very appealing approach to empowering clients to be fully engaged in their therapy and healing.

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    Holly R

    Regarding this module – I found the video about the black dog very helpful in demonstrating how externalizing a problem can look. Having the visual of this large aggressive dog who by the end has shrunk to a harmless sidekick is very powerful. Problems weigh our clients down they take them on and often cannot separate themselves from them. The concept of separating the person from the problem is so empowering. I try to be anti-oppressive and empowering in my practice with clients and concepts like externalizing and metaphors align so nicely with these frameworks.

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    Nikki Turner

    Thank you for this free introductory online course. It’s a great introduction in preparation for further narrative therapy training.

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      Linda Thai

      I really like the idea of Narrative therapy because of the idea that we are not the problem, but rather the problem is external from who we are. I also really like the idea of understanding how to externalize using symbolism and a metaphor, such as, “The black dog” which is the worry that we have. Once we externalize our problem, we can then begin to take more control of the problem, rather than trying to ignore it. I also appreciated the idea that each and every person can create their own story, and their story can represent several meanings to that person, with several interpretations to represent their experiences.

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    Judith Wood

    Sounds wonderful and just what I have been thinking about. Thank you for a chance to explore Narrative Therapy in a free really accessible short course.
    I’m sure that I will find it very useful in my support work with people.

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    Thank you for making this free online course available! So grateful for the generosity you have extended! Thanks to the team that put this together.

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    gaylene walker

    I am so excited to have found this online course. I have recently completed a bachelor of arts/counselling and am very interested in Narrative therapy.

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    Ivy Niu

    Thank you so much for providing this online course. I am a student who just graduate with a bachelor degree of social work who is really interested in counseling and narrative therapy.Wish this course will offer great insights to my future practice.

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    Hails from Bertrand, Forcalquier, France.
    I’ve completed this online course. Slowly and serioulsy. Three weeks of work, since I was reading some narrative books at the same time.
    I enjoyed every video and document ! Being so far from Adelaïde, I nevertheless felt the abundance of ideas, projects that reigns in the Dulwich Centre. This place is so full of life! If some day I fly from France to Australia, I’ll definitely go to Adelaïde, Dulwich Centre !

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    Thank you so much for making this course freely available. Being able to access such helpful and comprehensive is great for personal and professional development, and might inspire people to take a new stance in the way they interact.

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    I am a Psychotherapist in training with Asian-cultural background. I found Chimamanda Adichie’s speech of ” the danger of a single story” is particularly helpful in terms of understanding clients who are from non-western backgrounds and further assist them to form their unique identities.

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    Kwe’ – Hello, I am 7th generation African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq. I live and work in the territory where I was born, K’jipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki. I’m a mother of 6 and grandmother of 9.
    Now after many years of doing community development work and teaching in public schools – I’m doing my PhD in Health. I am part of a Team, coordinating a CBPR project with urban Indigenous youth on matters specific to health, well-being, resilience, and healing. Story work is central to this project. Wela’lin – thank you for allowing me to take this course. This course will inform and strengthen my work in good ways.

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      Eirik Pettersen

      Hi, l work as a family therapist in Bergen, Norway, whit family’s and couple.
      I would love to follow the course, for learning more so I can yous in my work.

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    Nanci Lee

    Also very grateful. I have been considering a shift from facilitation more toward counselling and coaching. Narrative has always been central to my work. This course provides a real opportunity to ground my curiosities and bridge my experience.

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    Thank you for making this course freely available and accessible online it is much appreciated. I live in a remote area am semi retired from 30 years of working in NGOs I have been contemplating returning to counselling work as a private practitioner but not sure how to start going about it. Discovering an opportunity like this to refresh a much valued though inactive Narrative Practice offers hope that I can now start to move forward in a direction that appeals greatly to my sense of adventure.

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    Joel Bartlett

    I’m a doctoral student of Counseling Psychology who is very interested in narrative practices. A free training resource like this is an incredibly valuable tool! Thank you for making it available.

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    Thank you for this overview of Narrative Therapy. I am returning to practice after some time away, and these reminders are timely and appreciated.

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