Hope during crisis

In these times of crisis, practitioners are finding diverse ways of engaging with narrative practices in relation to hope.

Here we share a number of examples. 

Glimmers, stories and practices of hope
By Jill Freedman & Gene Combs (USA)

Here in the US, we have been meeting with nurses. One group identified hope as the theme they wanted to focus on. In that group in the second meeting we had conversations around four questions:


  1. Although this has been a very challenging time, you recognize the possibility of seeing a glimmer of hope. When you think about hope in this context, what is it that you are hoping for?
  1. We have heard what you are hoping for. Can you tell a story that has to do with that kind of hope? It could be just a glimmer or even a hope for that hope. It could be in this context or in another context. But tell about an incident that has to do with one of the kinds of hope named.
  1. When you think back on the stories, what practices of hope do you think they rested on?
  1. How might these practices apply in your work context?

We facilitated this conversation, asking the first question and after everyone had a chance to answer, went to the next question, and so on. For a larger group, not everyone would answer each question or they could be adapted for small group conversations.

From these conversations we put together a document in the words of the nurses. At the third meeting we read the document and made additions and changes that the nurses suggested. 

We hope this process may resonate for others. 

Thinking collectively about a collective problem

Lúcia Helena Abdalla and the team at Reciclando Mentes (Recycling Minds) in Brazil 

In the midst of the pandemic crisis in Brazil, Lucia and the Recycling Minds team have developed a sparkling form of collective narrative practice which they have been facilitating online with groups of colleagues, parents and young people. It takes place in four parts: 

Part 1: Let’s talk about what we’ve been facing lately!

Facilitator: Let’s talk about what we’ve been facing lately! We’re trying to find a collective response for “the presence of Corona in our lives” and also to identify who usually accompanies him, such as fear, despair, hopelessness, insecurity…

Part 2: In these times of extreme concerns, what has been supporting us?

1. During this period, what do you do to lift up your spirit?
2. Would you consider what you do a practice of hope?
3. Could you give a nick name for this practice? Which?
4. Was this practice important in another moment of your life? When? Why?
5. Where did you learn this practice and/or who you learnt it from?
6. If you have ever lost connection with this practice, how did you reconnect with it?
7. What keeps your dreams safe and alive?
8. How do you try to assist others when they fall?
9. What tips about hopes and dreams could you share with someone that is hopeless?
10. What are your hopes for our planet?

Part 3: Investigating Corona’s life

I’d like to invite you to participate of an interview with “Corona and his Gang”. We’ll have two groups. A group will take the role of investigative journalists and the other will play the characters of Corona and his Gang, like Fear, Despair, Hopelessness…

Part 4: Writing a letter to Corona and/or his Gang

Facilitator: Now that we got to know Corona and his Gang, how about writing a letter to them, to Corona or to one of the members of his Gang? You can tell me what you’d like to put on the letter and I’ll write it down. How can we start this letter?

For more details about this process, click here 

An example of a letter to Corona 
Rio de Janeiro, April 18th, 2020

Despised Mr. Corona and Gang,

We hope your departure to Pluto will be soon!

We learned a lot from you. Despite the fact that you were not welcome, we thank you for everything we

You reminded us of the importance of taking care of ourselves, of others, of our connection with
the divine, of being more human, of valuing the encounters, the professionals and the family. You’ve made us cry and suffer greatly, but our creativity and solidarity have strengthened us.

Till never!
Team of Life

Dalila, Geovana, Lucília, Denise, Adiene, Ana Luiza, Victória, Regina, Ana Cecília, Rosa Maria, Patrícia, Renata, Valéria, Yasmin, Júlia, Marcela, Lúcia, Carolina, Marcia, Jéssica, Sol.

A further letter to  Dangerous members of the Corona gang

And a letter to  ‘Dear Corona Virus‘ 
For more information about this process, contact Lucia

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