Meet the Author Sessions

These weekly Meet the Author zoom meetings with narrative practice authors bring people together from many different parts of the world. Some have referred to them as ‘pop-up communities’! Hosted by Dulwich Centre Foundation, the University of Melbourne and Evanston Family Therapy Center (USA), we look forward to seeing you at a future session.

Upcoming sessions

Tuesday 27th February, 9:30am (Adelaide, Australia time)
This event is being held online on Zoom, please register here

The next Meet the Author features Larry Zucker

Reviving Couples’ Dreams

Larry Zucker is a Narrative Therapist in Los Angeles, California. He trains therapists through both the Southern California Counseling Center and the Miracle Mile Community Practice, as well in private consultation. He maintains a private practice specialising in couple therapy. He is an active board member of the non-profit organisation Reauthoring Teaching, whose mission is to create and maintain a community that support each other and the continuity and evolution of Narrative Therapy around the world and across generations. Learn more at ReauthoringTeaching.com.

The Reviving Couples’ Dreams video interview was made especially for this Meet the Author session and attempts to convey both the practice and spirit of his couple therapy model.

This very brief reading, ‘Escaping Blame with Larry Zucker’, will give you another window into Larry’s work. It will appear in the forthcoming An Encyclopedia of Radical Helping, edited by Chris Hoff and to be published by Thick Press. It is available with thanks to Thick Press, and this pre-publication draft is not to be shared.

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder. Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch Reviving Couples’ Dreams and read Escaping Blame with Larry Zucker.

And then bring your questions for Larry!

The session will take place for one hour at the following time*.
Adelaide – Tuesday, 27 February at 9:30am
Perth – Tuesday 27 February at 7:00am
Singapore – Tuesday 27 February at 7:00am
Beijing – Tuesday 27 February at 7:00am
Hong Kong – Tuesday 27 February 7:00am
Auckland – Tuesday 27 February at 12:00pm
Vancouver – Monday 26 February at 3:00pm
Los Angeles – Monday 26 February at 3:00pm
Mexico City – Monday 26 February at 5:00pm
Winnipeg – Monday 26 February at 5:00pm
Chicago – Monday 26 February at 5:00pm
Atlanta – Monday 26 February at 6:00pm
Toronto – Monday 26 February at 6:00pm
Santiago – Monday 26 February at 8:00pm
Rio de Janeiro – Monday 26 February at 8:00pm

* We take great care ensuring that the times displayed are correct, however it is always best to confirm your local time if you are unsure. Check your time zone here.

Please register in advance for this session. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Meet the Author sessions are free, not recorded and go for one hour. In the spirit of building community and creating an inviting space for our author, we ask, if possible, for cameras to be on during the session.

Organised by Dulwich Centre, Evanston Family Therapy Center and University of Melbourne.

Past sessions:

Luke practices narrative therapy on unceded Muwinina land in Nipaluna (or so called Hobart). At the time of publication, they identify as nonbinary, transmisogyny-exempt and recognise they experience heterosexual, white, male and able-bodied privileges. Luke’s practice of narrative therapy is predominantly situated in partner relationships. They were raised in both London, UK, and so-called Sydney, Australia, by Dutch and Greek “Australian” parents. Their favourite mode of transport is cycling and they love games. Contactable via l.j.kalaf@gmail.com

Luke’s paper documents ways of incorporating gamification (using game design elements in a nongame context) into therapeutic conversations using narrative therapy principles to uncover skills and knowledges suppressed by dominant discourses.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations).

To prepare for this session, please read Gamification: How game design and narrative therapy can work together

And then bring your questions for Luke!

Lúcia Helena Assis is a narrative therapist who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and works with children, young people, couples and families in her own private clinic. She also develops community work projects with teenagers, youngsters and community leaders who live in disadvantaged communities in extreme vulnerability through Recycling Minds Institute, where she is director. She can be contacted by email at luciahelenaabdalla@gmail.com

This video was made especially for this first Meet the Author session for 2024! It describes the ways the Team of Life Narrative Approach has been used in Brazil in a collective context to illuminate the ‘causes’ that people wish to struggle for in relation to different social injustices and to assist in building teamwork and sparking ‘social movement’. This is a collective use of the Team of Life approach which is also used by therapists and counsellors with individuals and families.

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder. Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch Creating teams to fight against social injustice: from the Team of Life adventure series

 And then bring your questions for Lúcia!

Jonaki (she/her) is a psychologist and narrative practitioner based in New Delhi, India. She works independently with a diverse population of adolescents and youth. Jonaki is passionate about gender justice and questions social norms in her practice. Outside of her professional endeavours, Jonaki enjoys reading children’s books, traveling, and daydreaming.

More often than not Jonaki meets young people who routinely compare and measure themselves with normative standards that lead them to a sense of ‘I am not good enough’ or a sense of personal failure. This video helps to understand the phenomenon of personal failure and its relationship with modern power. Jonaki has explored the usefulness of failure conversations map in subverting modern power, questioning ideas of inadequacy, and in generating preferred identity conclusions.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa and Zan Maeder will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch The ‘Not Good Enough feeling’ – Exploring the use of failure conversations map to address ideas of inadequacy in young people

And bring your questions for Jonaki!

Kelsi (she/her) is a Canadian cisgender woman currently living in Adelaide/Tarntanya on Kaurna Land, in South Australia. She is feminist narrative practitioner and researcher who has a particular interest in supporting people with experiences of sexual abuse, interpersonal violence and associated trauma. Kelsi recently completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne (and Dulwich Centre) on the video archive of Michael White and his therapeutic practice in the realms of abuse and trauma. In this research project she was particularly interested in how she might investigate not only the archive (the past) but also explore the ways in which feminist-informed archival research could possibly influence contemporary narrative practice (the present). Specifically, Kelsi endeavoured to resist viewing White’s archive as a static thing to solidify the present (or current narrative practice), but as a way of continuously engaging with history in ways that might expand or complicate contemporary practice. Currently, Kelsi works as a psychologist at BlueSky Psychology in Adelaide, where she is enjoying being reconnected with therapeutic practice and the people who consult her.

The resource for this Meet the Author session, is a chapter from Kelsi’s PhD thesis on Michael White’s video archive, entitled: ‘Narrative practice at times when the therapist is more centred’. Specifically, this chapter was written with the aim of articulating what she learned from those moments in Michael White’s therapeutic conversations (as viewed in his video archive) when he appeared to be stepping into a relatively more centred and influential stance – in relation to the narrative therapeutic stance of being ‘decentred and yet influential’. In viewing many of White’s therapeutic encounters recorded in the video archive, it was Kelsi’s sense that the vast majority of White’s work took place on the ‘less imposing’ (decentred) but influential side of the continuum. However, she also noticed that there seemed to be instances when he travelled towards the ‘more imposing’ (centred) end of the continuum and/or he seemed to be doing something that didn’t seem to quite fit with what she previously knew about the decentred but influential position. These noticings left Kelsi pondering over questions such as:

  • What might have been influencing White at these times?
  • What might he have been thinking?
  • What might he have been resisting or attending to?
  • What can we learn for our own practice from these moments?

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman and Clare Kempton will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Narrative practice at times when the therapist is more centred.

 And then bring your questions for Kelsi!

Joseph is a licensed clinical psychologist and narrative therapy practitioner. He is interested in the intergenerational transmission of resilience, survival skills and resistance after genocide as well as collective approaches to mental health. He works at Dulwich Centre Foundation and Geruka Healing Centre and the University of Rwanda as well as being a clinical tutor at the University of Melbourne. Joseph has co-edited with other Rwanda Narrative Practitioners a book called “Land of a thousand stories: Rwandan Narrative Therapy and Community Work”.

After the country was shattered by genocide against the Tutsi, they were many orphans, widows, children born of rape, fear, ongoing struggle, physical and emotional wounds, fractured communities, and families, and more than 120,000 people in perpetrators of the genocide, international organizations, and practitioners from around the world flocked to Rwanda, armed with models and practices that had proven successful in other contexts.

But Rwandans had different ways of doing things rooted in their own culture and traditions. They had tried Western models and found them not to fit not only in healing but also in social justice. Local ways of responding to these issues were very much needed. A team from Dulwich Centre together with Jill Freedman and Gene Combs started coming to Rwanda in 2007, when they came, they came to learn. The Ibuka counsellors spoke intensely and expressively of grief and pain and this would intersperse that talk with laughter, singing, jokes and dancing. These were really different ways than the conventional way of speaking about hardships and trauma. In a conversation with Jill Freedman and Gene Combs, Joseph speaks about growing up in this community of practitioners and himself. He speaks about witnessing this way of practice and how he’s been able to get inspiration as a young practitioner to support the people he meets in practice. He speaks what it means for his generation of practitioners.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Annonciathe Niyibizi and Clare Kempton will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch Re-imagining Practice: Drawing Inspiration from Community Practitioners’ Responses to Adversity in Rwanda: An interview with Joseph Kalisa by Jill Freedman and Gene Combs

And then bring your questions for Joesph!

Emily is a transmisogyny-exempt narrative practitioner of settler-colonial ancestry and 2021 graduate of the Masters in Narrative Therapy and Community Work program. She holds multiple, often-invisible neurodivergences and disabilities and works remotely in private practice alongside fellow 2SLGBTQIA+ people located across a few continents. She lives and works on the unceded traditional and ancestral lands of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ (Nlaka’pamux) peoples (colonially known as ‘kamloops, bc, canada’) and pays respects to elders past and present. 

Landscapes of Possibility holds an invitation to consider the impossible when in conversation with the people we walk alongside: what might happen if the limits of our material plane were not present? What might happen if you didn’t have to worry about whether you could pay this month’s rent, whether your mom would be mad if you changed your name, whether you could walk down the street and not be harassed? When we look outside the constraints of our material world, rich maps of possibility become, well, possible. This article and reflection builds on Michael White’s landscapes of action and meaning as well as re-membering practices, inviting the realms of fiction and magic as spaces for building stories that contradict deficit-focused conclusions people might hold about their lives. 

“A practice that has sustained me during the innovation of this project/work is walking the dog twice a day with my spouse, in the mornings and evenings, talking about anything and everything that flitted across my mind and chewing on questions until I had a solid idea of where I stood on them at the moment. Literary analysis has been a long love affair, and being able to puzzle out the ‘what was said, what wasn’t said, what was the personal and global context, and what multiplicity of conclusions can we draw from that’ of stories and ideas with someone has been a gift.”

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder. Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read:

Landscapes of possibility: An introduction to fantasy in 2SLGBTQIA+ and disabled therapeutic contexts, followed by

Re-membering with Fictional Characters – Revisiting Landscapes of Possibility.

And then bring your questions for Emily!

Rachael (she/her) is a Munanjali woman on her father’s side, and has Greek and English migrant connections on her mother’s side. Rachael runs a private practice as a counsellor and supervisor in Meeanjin (Brisbane). She is a current PhD candidate and has completed the Masters of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. Rachael has worked in community social and emotional wellbeing spaces, specifically with First Nations people, women and children escaping domestic violence and youth for the past 13 years. Rachael has co-facilitated the Teaching Narrative Practice to First Nations people and other workshops. Rachael’s PhD research is focusing on First Nations knowledges and ways of doing ‘supervision’ complimented by narrative practices.

Something that Rachael loves about the Narrative community is the meaningfully light-hearted accessibility to ‘therapeutic’ practices as a way of community living, as opposed to this strictly privatised, serious expert centric way of therapy for problemed people.  As a consumer of podcasts, Rachael has thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the availability and diversity of content and creators. Podcasting has made known the voices and ideas of people that not so long ago would not have been able to be present on such large platforms in mainstream media.  The idea to merge both her own and a large societal love for podcasts with narrative informed yarns seemed too good to dismiss. The Bunjie Series was inspired by a number of people and works including storytelling and interview based podcasts, No Filter with Mia Freedman being one of those. Ian Maund’s work with the Soundtrack of Your Life, highlighting peoples intersectionality’s of identity, experiences and knowledge through yarns of folk psychology. David Denborough’s collective community works (all various examples) were big in helping her think about ways of showcasing collective values and contributions. Of course all the deadly yarns she has had with fellow First Nation practitioners along the way. Lastly, Rachael’s very different and treasured bunjie’s inspired her to showcase the power and significance for honouring bunjieships.

“What has sustained me through this is a sense of desire to complete something that I have thoroughly enjoyed co-creating with Bunjies that are also excited about it. We collectively want these yarns shared and so this is what keeps me going in trying to squeeze in time here and there to edit and be sure that I don’t rush the quality of what is shared.”

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa and Zan Maeder will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch Yarning with Bunjies, podcast interviews using narrative practices: An interview with Rachael Sandy-Whiteman by Clare Kempton

And then bring your questions for Rachael!

Evren is a non-binary, queer, and trans narrative practitioner working solely with other queer, trans, and gender-diverse folks in independent practice since February 2020. They are currently living and working on the unceded lands of the T’Kemlúps te Secwépemc and the Nlaka’pamux peoples. They have called these lands home after being displaced from their homeland (Kosovo) in 1999 due to genocide.

Evren is also a nerd who loves young adult fantasy fiction (all books Tortall), animated shows (i.e., She-Ra; the Owl House) and movies, and ‘spoiling’ stories for themselves by watching or listening to literary analyses on YouTube. They have a growing collection of colourful pens, markers, and fountain pens, and is looking forward to The Good Place when they can learn and do all the things they want.

A conversation with Zan Maeder about a practice of adapting whiteboard work to digital spaces for and within a queer, trans, neurodivergent, and remote-only context. Evren talks about the role of mapping in conversations; mapping, safety and power relations; effects of mapping for their conversation partners; how mapping shapes their questions; using illustration; and accessibility considerations.

This event will be facilitated by Clare Kempton. Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch Conversation (Mind) Maps.

And then bring your questions for Evren!

Kynan Barnes is an Arrernte man who comes from Anapipe in Central Australia but currently lives and works in Mparntwe aka Alice Springs. Through Arrernte kinship Kynan is an Ampetyane making him a Kwertengurle for Anapipe where he is continually learning in his traditional role as a caretaker for his Country. Kynan is a youth mentor with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. He works with Clontarf Foundation at the Centralian Middle Academy and supports young Aboriginal boys and men to learn and grow across areas of sport, leadership, education, wellbeing and employment. Kynan is also the Chairperson of the Apmwerre Aboriginal Corporation working with the Board and his family on community development initiatives to care for Country as they strive to meet the community’s hopes and dreams for Apmwerre homelands. Kynan loves playing and listening to music, spending time on Country, playing footy and pottering around the house with his partner, dogs and his chickens aka the ‘Arrernte chicks.’

The Fire of Life methodology was inspired by the Ncazelo Ncube and David Denborough’s Tree of Life taking into account Aboriginal narrative practices including Tileah Drahm-Butler’s ‘yarning with purpose’ and Aunty Barbara Wingard’s approach in ‘telling our stories in ways that make us stronger.’  The practice was developed in opposition to deficit discourse surrounding Aboriginal young people, particularly in the education system, which I was involved in as an Aboriginal education worker at the time. However, this deficit discourse of Aboriginal people extends beyond the education system and into our society where narratives of disadvantage have been woven into the ‘stories’ of First Nations people. The Fire of Life hopes to explore and strengthen people’s ‘fires’ as they navigate their lives, hopefully by yarning around a fire with a cup of tea.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch Fire of Life: Exploring stories of passions, strengths, interests, skills and hobbies of our mob

And then bring your questions for Kynan!

Sara Warkentin, MMFT,  is a therapist working with newly arrived refugee individuals and families at Aurora Family Therapy Centre, and maintains a small independent practice, in Winnipeg, Canada.

Dunja Kovačević, MMFT, is a facilitator, writer, and therapist currently working in independent practice.

Kristin Millar, RSW, is entering her 4th year in the Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy program at the University of Winnipeg. Previously, she obtained a BSW degree from the University of Manitoba and a BA from the University of Winnipeg. She has worked in non-profits, healthcare, education, the arts and as a professional public speaker. She is passionate about the intersection of therapy, social justice, medicine and the arts.

As therapists working with newcomer communities, the practical needs of settlement often overshadow or blur with the needs of mental health for those accessing our services. The separation of mental health as a category in Canadian systems often does not reflect the more holistic vision of “a good life” more relevant to the non-Western cultures we collaborate with. In early 2023, we facilitated a therapeutic group composed of Afghan and Iranian women and youth who arrived in Winnipeg as refugees recently. Based on the Kite of Life collective narrative methodology developed at the St James Town newcomer housing in Toronto, we set out to explore intergenerational conflict in these families. What we found was disquiet in ourselves as therapists, as the work, led by the participants, deviated from this framework and focus into areas of practical resourcing, identity exploration, political outrage, and grief processing. Releasing ourselves from the fidelity to the original plan, what emerged was a space in which to create and play in the tension of dualisms. For the participants, this looked like exploring and integrating contrasted and coexisting realities like disappointment in/gratitude to Canada, longing for/feeling unsafe back home, and belonging with/rejection from family and culture. As emerging therapists, we leaned into our own felt tension between “doing Therapy” clinically in the way we had been taught, and supporting meaningful and healing experiences for participants. In this presentation we explore what constitutes a therapeutic experience, and what can be generated when we let go of the planned or proper way to do therapy.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman and Clare Kempton Sladden will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read the collective document here (or listen to an audio recording here) and watch Flying Kites and Changing Plans: Exploring & Editing the Kite of Life with newcomer families in Winnipeg

And then bring your questions for Sara, Dunja and Kristin!

We are a Spider’s Web: the friendship in times of crisis storytelling project

Frankie Hanman-Siegersma (they/them) is a descendent of Dutch, British and Irish immigrants, living on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung country in narrm (Melbourne, Australia). Frankie is a queer peer worker and narrative therapy practitioner. They work within community-led LGBTIQ+ suicide justice space, and with folks whose lives have been shaped by the effects of ‘mental illness’. Frankie is interested in the movement of neoliberal, individualistic therapy towards activism, and collective liberation. They enjoy facilitating opportunities for ritual, poetry, music, cultural practice and pop culture in their work alongside community members.

We are a Spider’s Web: the friendship in time of crisis storytelling project aims to make visible the skills, knowledges, values, beliefs and histories that inspire community and friendship-based responses to ‘mental health crisis’. This video shares stories from the project, from people who helped their trans kin to access psychiatric support during a difficult time in their life, to the sustaining magic of queer covens, to home cooked meals, Uber eats ice-cream deliveries and chosen whanau. Our hope is that these stories travel to other networks of friends and communities who have their own practices of solidarity and peer support, and as such, that there is a building upon non-medicalised, and non-carceral approaches to responding to ‘mental health crisis’. We also hope this project is a useful resource for those working within the formalised mental health system here in Australia, and internationally, and that it might provide ideas and opportunities to uplift the insider knowledge of friendships and communities, in local contexts.

“I really appreciated being able to acknowledge domains of sparkling achievement outside of the norm. For example, taking friendship as a site of resistance, and political change. This helped me sustain curiosity and commitment in regards to peoples stories about how friendship had helped them during a time of crisis.”

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder. Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please watch We are a Spider’s Web: the friendship in times of crisis storytelling project

And then bring your questions for Frankie!

Frankie has chosen to share the song ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ by Johnny Nash. They share it in the spirit of connection that it was shared with them by one of the participants of the project. This person spoke about what it was like being one of the first peer workers with lived experience of psychiatric admission and mental illness, to be working on the wards, running a music group. He told me about where it all began…

I had lots of psychiatric admissions, and every time I had an admission, I would ask my friends, “Please bring me a guitar”. I would sit there in the backyard with a guitar and people gathered around me. One day, I asked, “Why can’t we bring in some music groups, from a lived experience perspective?” So I became a peer worker.

I had to go through this vetting process. As a worker it was extremely difficult. I remember my friend and I arrived together on our first day. We waited at the door for a nurse to let us in. Everyone was coming through with their swipe cards. I said to my friend, “Look, I can see a lot of people like us working on inpatient units”. He laughed at me, “This is never gonna happen, look at how they treat us, no swipe card, no nothing”.

Eventually there were a few of us on the ward, helping people out. I continued with my music. We had a group called ‘The Consumer Cover Band’. We used to play ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ by Johnny Nash. Because, you know, there’s times where we don’t see things as they really are. We can have dark, dark times.

There’s an image that will never ever leave me. There was a guy on the ward and had an excellent voice. One day, he said, “Brother, can I sing this song for you?” I said, ”Of course, let’s do it”.

He was always isolated, but whenever he saw the guitar, he came out to join us. It was pouring rain. I could see the rain hitting the glass windows as we were playing in the lounge. People in the entrance door to the psych unit, the nurses and the families coming in and out, everybody stopped to listen to him, they were so amazed. The rain stopped. It’s like his voice cleared away the rain. His voice cleared away the pain. The next day, I came into work, and asked about him, and he had passed away overnight. I will never forget him. 

As we listen to this song, we can hold in our hearts those who continue to be impacted by coercive and punitive mechanisms of the mental health system. And we can be inspired to think of transformative responses that exist outside of these domains.

Carla Galaz Souza is a feminist lesbian and narrative therapist from Abya Yala (South America) currently living in Galinyala / Port Lincoln, South Australia. Carla has worked as a therapist with women and children who have experienced violence and sexual abuse in central and southern Chile, as an undergraduate teacher, and in projects aimed at psychosocial, educational, and healthcare teams. As a feminist activist, she participated in the Feminist Autonomous Movement of Abya Yala and in collective projects. She is interested in bringing feminist ideas to therapy and in translating narrative practices to the Latin American context through culturally appropriate methods.

In this project, Carla explored using narrative ideas to engage with therapeutic meaning-making of dreams as a pathway to support the development of alternative stories in culturally appropriate ways with women and children from Chile. In the video, Carla shares three stories of practice to show how dreams were introduced in the conversation and, in the article, one story of practice is shared in a thorough way. In her therapeutic practice, dreams came to provide a way of connecting with complex ideas and experiences around fear, meaning and identity. The process of meaning-making of dreams also offered potent spaces of cultural connection, personal reflection, and strength beyond being internalised sensory experiences. Similarly, by drawing links between dreams and waking life, Carla’s narrative conversations focused on how dreams offer a way for recognising skills and knowledges that people already have for dealing with their predicaments.

“The idea of bringing dreams into the conversation came as an invitation from Nina, one of the Chilean women I worked with online. In an exchange of emails to arrange our next session, Nina wrote that she had been having many dreams and nightmares, and she attached narrations of five of these dreams. Being aware of psychology’s influence and its traditions of interpreting and constructing meanings from dreams, I wondered how to embrace Nina’s desire to talk about dreams.” 

This event will be facilitated by David Denborough.

To prepare for this session, please watch Inviting Dreams to the Conversation or read Dreamtelling: Making meaning from dreams using narrative practices.

And then bring your questions for Carla!

At the time of writing this paper, Clare resided on the unceded lands of the Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali peoples. She has worked across schools in both a rural and metropolitan context, and seeks to hear students’ expertise in matters relating to their own lives. Clare has a specific interest in finding micro-opportunities to unsettle practices of power within a duty-of-care context. 

Clare’s article explores the use of narrative practices in a school-based setting to approach safety planning with young people. They/she proposes an alternative safety planning tool: The River of Life safety map, which draws on the migration of identity metaphor. Clare 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.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Zan Maeder and Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read The River of Life safety map: Narrative journeys in a school-based setting

And then bring your questions for Clare!

The Rev. Cody J. Sanders is Associate Professor of Congregational and Community Care Leadership at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Prior to this, he was the pastor to Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he also serves as American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University and Advisor for LGBTQ+ Affairs in the Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life at MIT. He is a pastoral theologian with teaching and research interests in the areas of LGBTQIA pastoral care and counselling, death and dying, corpse care and natural burial, narrative therapeutic theory, and practical theological approaches to care in the Anthropocene. His latest book is Corpse Care: Ethics for Tending the Dead (Fortress Press, 2023).

In this paper, Cody addresses the problem of human supremacy in the methods of practical theology. He puts forth a practical theological method for experimentation shaped around five interpenetrating dimensions: Ecological, Anthropological, Relational, Technological, and Health/Harm/Healing (the EARTH method). Cody’s anticipated outcome of this method is the construction of practical theological projects that aim toward practices of care that continue to address concerns of the human, but always and only as the human is understood to be inextricably situated in an expansive cosmic web of entanglement.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Tiffany Sostar will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Decentering the Human in Practical Theologies of Care: An EARTH Method. This article is available until September 27, 2023 – with thanks for permission from De Gruyter.

And then bring your questions for Cody!

Launch event for new version of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

There are exciting changes afoot for the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. Please join us to launch the first issue of a new look journal!  

This issue (and all future issues) will include not only the rigorous and practical peer-reviewed papers that we have always delighted in publishing, but also original audio and video content, interviews making connections with innovative thinkers, and a special focus on contributions from young and emerging practitioners. The journal’s new look will also enable more interaction, with invitations for readers to respond to and discuss papers.

The journal will be published on an Open Access basis, so our new papers and multimedia contributions will be freely available to read and share with no paywalls.

The other significant news is that after 20 years at the helm of International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work – and 40 years editing Dulwich Centre’s journals and newsletters – Cheryl White is handing over the editorship of the journal. We are delighted to announce that the new Editor-in-Chief will be Shelja Sen. Based in New Delhi, India, Shelja is a narrative therapist, author and founder of Children First Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Cheryl will remain involved as Editorial Consultant.

We are really excited about all of these developments!

To celebrate, we are going to use this Meet the Author session to reveal the new issue! As well as to introduce our new Editor-In-Chief and talk with some of the people who have contributed to this first new-look issue.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations).

To prepare for this session, you can preview a sample of the contributions in the upcoming issue of the journal:

This is just a small sample of the journal issue. Please preview these and bring your questions for the authors!

Chelsea is a narrative practitioner and ordained deacon in the Uniting Church of Australia. She lives on Kaurna Country in South Australia and is currently working as a spiritual care coordinator in aged care. Chelsea is committed to climate activism and is curious about how the sharing of resonant stories, connection to place and insider knowledges can encourage wider contribution to the climate movement.

Chelsea’s paper considers the confronting existential realities of the climate crisis and ways in which narrative practices can be used to help resist overwhelm and sustain climate activism. Recognising that stories shape our lives and the life of our planetary home, she examines both broad systemic issues and the everyday effects of living in a time of climate crisis. Recognition is given to modern/colonial ways of being and anti-colonial practices. Narrative questions are offered in connection to three themes: place, spiritualities and acts of resistance. Chelsea documents rich stories, insider knowledges and skills of living to invite further exploration of collective practice to respond to the climate crisis in urgent and significant ways.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Resisting the cycle of apocalyptic overwhelm: Exploring place, spiritualities and acts of resistance in the face of climate crisis

And then bring your questions for Chelsea!

Ryo lives in Tokyo and works as a case officer at the Hague Convention Division, which concerns international parental child abduction.  By hotline, she also counsels women who are facing challenges, such as domestic abuse, and bullied children, in English and Japanese.  She also has counselled families on general matters and young people with hikikomori syndrome.

Ryo’s paper explores how narrative approaches – externalising, unique-outcomes, re-membering and re-authoring conversations – have been used in work at a domestic violence hotline to assist clients in deconstructing dominant stories and getting in touch with their personal agency. Examples are drawn from experiences in Japan and highlight certain aspects of Japanese culture. However, the focus is on the applicability of narrative techniques to counselling in a single telephone conversation.

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder. Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Narrative approaches in a domestic violence hotline.

And then bring your questions for Ryo!

Loretta works in private practice through Narrative Therapy Connections Sydney, offering counselling and supervision. Prior to this, she spent 20+ years working in non-government organisations in communities facing intersecting oppressions. Loretta meets with people responding to a range of issues in their lives including relationship concerns, anxiety and depression, grief, stress and distress. Loretta is particularly passionate about assisting people where expressions of distress have arisen from witnessing or being subjected to violence, in reclaiming their lives from these effects. She enjoys her work very much, especially seeing the liberating effects of conversations deconstructing dominant ideas about ‘mental illness’ labels, gender, family, race and class.

Later this year, Dulwich Centre Publishing will be publishing the book Honouring Resistance and Building Solidarity: Feminism and narrative practice by Loretta Pederson. At the next Meet the Author, you will have the chance to discuss the ideas raised in the chapter Working towards cultural change and against sexual assault on campus. In this chapter, Loretta shares stories of practice that connect local actions and initiatives to social movements, bringing a sense of solidarity and enhancing agency for those who are responding to sexual assault in their local community. Loretta also provides some example questions to deconstruct negative responses from authorities and from family and friends after disclosures of assault and requests for support. Additionally, there is an exploration of what may be absent but implicit in expressions of distress over sexual assault and inadequate support received.

This session will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Working towards cultural change and against sexual assault on campus from Loretta’s upcoming book. This preview chapter is not for further distribution.

And then bring your questions for Loretta!

Sekneh is a highly respected Senior Registered Psychologist and Narrative therapist with extensive experience in therapy, teaching, consultancy, and supervision. With over 20 years of national and international experience in various settings, including private, public, and academic. She values curiosity, kindness, and a collaborative therapeutic alliance, and is committed to continuous learning and professional growth. Outside of therapy, Sekneh is a community advocate, enjoys reading, and participates in competitive sports.

Bernard is an early career academic, currently engaged in a higher degree by research, and has a longstanding excellent teaching track record at the UTS School of Public Health. As a lecturer, Bernard’s main role centres around the design, development, and coordination of a range of subjects within the Bachelor of Health Science program since its initiation in 2016. As a researcher, Bernard is currently exploring the ways in which intersectionality impacts health, with a specific focus on ethnic and sexual community connectedness and health access for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men from Arab backgrounds.

In this Meet the Author session, come and chat about Sekneh’s paper and Bernard’s videos and podcasts. Together, they offer a groundbreaking insight into the transformative potential of nuanced therapeutic conversations that challenge prevailing western norms regarding sexual identity within queer communities. By deconstructing these societal ‘games of truth,’ this intersectional approach underscores the utmost significance of respecting an array of narratives and embracing creative acts of resistance.

The concept of “coming / inviting in” has emerged as a conscious effort to disrupt and expand upon the conventional discourse surrounding “coming out” within the LGBTQ+ community. While acknowledging that coming out holds immense significance, it inadvertently subscribes to a binary framework, leaving individuals either out or in “the closet.” This binary perspective can inadvertently uphold heteronormative standards, pressuring people to divulge their sexual orientation or gender identity according to predefined expectations and timelines. Coming/ inviting in fosters an inclusive environment where people can delve into and define their identities on their own terms, rather than adhering to societal pressures or predetermined narratives. This approach champions a sense of safety, fluidity and embraces the intricate nuances as people choose how, when, and to what extent they wish to share their identities with others.

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder. Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please:

And then bring your questions for Sekneh and Bernard!

Vikki is an activist and therapist who works from a Decolonising and Justice-doing framework. As a consultant, facilitator, and supervisor she has worked with refugees, survivors of torture — including Indigenous survivors of state violence in Canada — mental health and substance use counsellors, rape crisis counsellors, frontline and housing workers, and qt2sbipoc communities. Her specialties include ‘Trauma’ and Witnessing Resistance to Violence and Oppression and a Supervision of Solidarity.

In this Meet the Author session, come and chat with Vikki about the politicisation of forgiveness, and possibilities of transformation of accountable community practices that centre the person harmed and resist carceral logics and practices.

This event will be facilitated by Loretta Pederson.

To prepare for this session, please read The F Word: Vikki Reynolds on the Politics of Forgiveness, an interview with Natasha Sanders-Kay.
You are also invited to view the two part video of the interview that informed Natasha’s article: Vikki Reynolds interviewed by Natasha Sanders-Kay for SubTerrain.

And then bring your questions for Vikki!

Peter loves Narrative Practice and enjoys photography. Narrative practice allows him to see the world from a different perspective, while photography enables him to capture the beauty that he sees. Through narrative practice and photography, he can connect with the world in a different way, appreciate everything around him, and love this world even more.

The “Pic of Life Journey” cards were designed to facilitate re-authoring conversations, allowing us to revisit the positive moments and emotions in our lives and open a door to our preferred memories. We can bring to light and enrich the stories that involve important people, events, and beliefs, so as to construct our preferred identities, helping us see the best version of ourselves. Peter hopes that the photos of the “Pic of Life Journey” can help us feel the things that we love and value, evoke important emotions, and through the lens of narrative practice, we can share the stories of our lives more deeply. He hopes that by combining these two things that he loves, everyone can explore and appreciate the beauty of life. In this session, Peter will exchange ideas about what inspires him to create the cards. He would also share some experiences of using these cards in therapy sessions. He would love to hear from all of you about how you plan to use them in your work.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations).

To prepare for this session, please download the printable version of the cards.

If you are interested in printing a physical version of the cards, you can use a local printing company. There are 235 double-sided cards in total.
Suggested printing information:
Material: 300g double-sided coated paper
Finished size: 105x148mm
Printing: Double-sided printing

And then bring your questions for Peter!

Join us for an extra special launch of The Power of Hope in Action: Raising Our Heads Above the Clouds Facilitation Guide by the Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project.

The Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project, based in rural Uganda, uses narrative practices to spark and sustain local social action and economic development among isolated and disadvantaged communities. Quite often, people in vulnerable communities are positioned as passive recipients of aid programs developed elsewhere. The Mt Elgon approach is different. It starts with local knowledge and values.

This facilitation guide has been created to assist practitioners to use the ‘Raising Our Heads Above the Clouds’ methodology developed by the Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project. The guide describes the local values this approach is built on, and the narrative assumptions and principles that underpin it. We take the reader through each step of this innovative process, and also share stories from practitioners in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and reflections about how the Mt Elgon approach fosters community economy through collective narrative practice.

The mission of the Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project is to improve the quality of life of rural people affected by poverty, disasters, conflict and disease through capacity-building, income generation, self-help groups and using our resources in ways that benefit people and the environment.

Please view The Power of Hope in Action: Raising Our Heads Above the Clouds Facilitation Guide and then bring your questions for Caleb Wakhungu and the rest of the Mt Elgon Self-Help Community Project team!

Dr Ian Percy MSW PhD is a therapist, supervisor, consultant, trainer and published author in narrative and mindfulness approaches. He is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. Ian teaches professional development courses in counselling and psychotherapy for social service agencies, universities, and private organisations. He has specialised in training colleagues in Narrative Therapy since 1997. Ian has given workshops and papers at state, national and global conferences, teaching in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Singapore, the USA, Spain and Bhutan.

In this Meet the Author session, come and chat with Ian about two linked articles, which present concepts and practices for expanding the territory of narrative therapy to include working with attention and present moment awareness. While the narrative literature richly describes how persons are recruited by normative discourses into problem stories and offers a wide range of practices for developing counter narratives, less has been written about how dominant discourse also captures moment-by-moment attention. Ian and co-author David Paré identify parallels and differences between narrative therapy and the attentional practices associated with mindfulness. Both traditions support persons in living in a manner congruent with their values. Practices are depicted in terms of the ethics of daily life, in the sense that enhanced moment-by-moment attention promotes ethical intentionality.

This event will be facilitated by David Denborough.  

To prepare for this session, please read Ian and David’s articles from the Journal of Systemic Therapies:

Narrative Therapy and Mindfulness: Intention, Attention, Ethics. Part 1.

Narrative Therapy and Mindfulness: Intention, Attention, Ethics. Part 2.

These articles are available for free via link only until July 21, 2023 – with thanks for permission from Guilford Press.

And then bring your questions for Ian! 

A short intro from Cathy:
I am a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Montreal and a therapist in private practice. I work a lot with the Indigenous community addressing issues of historical violence as well as responses and resistance to oppression. I am a Metis woman with Cree, Gwichin and Dene ancestry, as well as a cancer survivor. I am a co-founder of the Centre for Response-Based Practice.

In this Meet the Author session, come chat with Cathy about her article Relating to illness in therapy: A pilgrimage through uncertain terrain. As Cathy describes: In this article, I author explore the subject of supporting clients living with illness in the context of my counselling practice. I weave this approach to clinical practice,  informed  by response-based  practice  and  the  use  of metaphor,  together  with  my  personal  story  of  illness  and  recovery.  I contextualise my own history as a Metis woman and therapist into the life of my family, living in Canada’s north. There, my maternal family lived in the midst of uranium extraction, a form of mining that resourced the Cold War and fueled the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Canada’s implication in militarism had devastating effects on Indigenous community members. I explore the use of metaphor as a form of co-constructed meaning in therapy. I present my own symbolic journey through cancer and treatment as a sacred pilgrimage in Spain. The various key points in treatment parallel significant  stops  along  the  Camino  de  Santiago  de  Compostela.  As well,  I explore  how  clients  negotiate  medical  systems,  impositions  and  negative social responses, as well as how they resource love, strength and care from family and friends. I apply a framework of response-based practice, seeking to understand the ways in which people preserve dignity and try to maximize safety  and  well-being.  This  includes  the  ways  in  which  patients  manage unsolicited advice and undesirable procedures with courage and grace.

This event will be facilitated by Zan Maeder.  

To prepare for this session, please read Cathy’s article: https://murmurations.cloud/ojs/index.php/murmurations/article/view/34/12

And then bring your questions for Cathy!

The concept of psychiatric genetics, the notion of a “family history” or “genetic loading” of so-called mental illness, has a long history in the conception, scientific status, and practice of psychiatry. There is much that is contested about this concept, including the effects of putting it to use and the construction of humanness it assembles, locating the historical contingency of the concept, and its scientific validity. When there is a history of psychiatric diagnosis in a family, there are alternative interpretations and practices that can contribute to more livable lives, or lives where individual, familial, and collective knowledge, as well as complexity, is honored.

David Newman lives and works in Sydney. He is currently passionate about working with those who are struggling with suicidal experience, narrative approaches to mental health work and the possibilities of group work. He is the author of the influential paper ‘Rescuing the said from the saying of it: Living documentation in narrative therapy’; founder of Sydney Narrative Therapy Centre; and a member of the Dulwich Centre teaching faculty.  

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.  

To prepare for this session please read David’s paper, Psychiatric Genetics

Newman, D. (2023). Psychiatric Genetics. In: Lester, J.N., O’Reilly, M. (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12852-4_60-2

And then bring your questions for David!

 

Amelia (she/her) is a mental health social worker and narrative therapist working with people who have experienced trauma. She lives and works on both unceded Gadigal and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung country. Amelia is interested in the intersection of social justice and therapy as well as the ways in which mindfulness can and does play a role in narrative conversations, connecting and reconnecting us to preferred stories and ways of living. Her work is as much shaped by a narrative lens as it is by the people she consults with, and her practice is always evolving.

In her work, Amelia talks about ways in which the body can be included in narrative therapy conversations through both mindfulness (of the present moment experience and the questions we ask) and deconstruction, fostering a greater sense of connection to, and preferred stories of, the body. Working with people who have experienced multiple traumas, it is acknowledged that both the body and mind are impacted, therefore both are included in therapy aimed at healing and recovery. There is a growing interest in the body in therapy and this conversation seeks to contribute to this space, demonstrating both how narrative therapy already works with the body in a multitude of ways, and what also might be possible within these conversations. As narrative therapists, we are always co-structuring safety with those we meet, never imposing our questions or approach, and always taking care that the conversations are in the control of those consulting us.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations).

To prepare for this session, please watch Amelia’s recent Friday Afternoon Video below.

And then bring your questions for Amelia!

Tuesday 13th June / 4:30pm (Adelaide, SA time)

Our next Meet the Author event will feature Dr Abdul Ghaffar Stanikzai who as medical doctor and human rights advocate was the first investigator of the war crimes by Australia troops in Afghanistan that are now widely acknowledged. Dr Stanikzai (aka Dr Cricket) now lives in Adelaide and has worked for Dulwich Centre Foundation on a range of community projects, including Overcoming the ocean of depression and a Friendship Cricket match between Afghan interpreters and Australian military veterans. His collaborations with David Denborough have resulted in the paper Moral injury and moral repair: The possibilities of narrative practice. This session will be a chance to hear Dr Stanikzai’s perspective on the search for justice in relation to war crimes in Afghanistan and also about his current community projects.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). David Denborough will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session please:

Emily Salja (she/her) is a narrative practitioner whose ethics and politics often clash with clinical professionalism and institutionalism. She seeks to gather stories, learn and share in ways that strengthen community. Born on the west coast of ‘canada’, Emily lives and works on the unceded traditional land of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, Secwépemcúl’ecw and Nlakaʹpamuxʷ (Nlaka’pamux) peoples (‘kamloops, b.c., canada’).

In this Meet the Author session, come chat with Emily about her article which introduces the concept of ‘landscapes of possibility’ as an extension of and prequel to Michael White’s landscapes of action and meaning. As Emily describes: This article focuses on landscapes of possibility found in fantasy realms as they affect 2SLGBTQIA+ populations and disabled populations (communities in which I and many people I am in conversation with hold membership). I discuss considerations and limitations for landscapes of possibility and offer examples that illustrate the mechanics of implementing landscapes of possibility and integrating the results into landscapes of meaning and action.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for the session please read Emily’s article.

And then bring your questions for Emily!

The meeting will take place for one hour at the following times:
Adelaide – Tuesday 6 June, at 9:30am
Singapore – Tuesday 6 June, at 8:00am
Beijing – Tuesday 6 June, at 8:00am
Hong Kong – Tuesday 6 June, 8:00am
Auckland – Tuesday 6 June, at 12:00pm
Vancouver – Monday 5 June, at 5:00pm
Los Angeles – Monday 5 June, at 5:00pm
Mexico City – Monday 5 June, at 6:00pm
Chicago – Monday 5 June, at 7:00pm
Atlanta – Monday 5 June, at 8:00pm
Toronto – Monday 5 June, at 8:00pm
Santiago – Monday 5 June, at 8:00pm
Rio de Janeiro – Monday 5 June, at 9:00pm  

Register in advance for this meeting: https://unimelb.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwsdeyorjkrGdUITiDEPdHbJwduxPGcLSHY 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We take great care ensuring that the time differences displayed are correct, however it is always best to confirm the time difference yourself if you are unsure. Check what time this meeting is running in your timezone here.

These events are organised by Dulwich Centre, Evanston Family Therapy Center and University of Melbourne. They are free, not recorded and go for one hour.

Anthony Newcastle is a descendant of the Tjingali in central Northern Territory and Mutijebin around the coast west from Darwin. Originally from Darwin, Anthony has worked in community development and theatre right through the Northern Territory, through Queensland and remote communities too. Anthony is a graduate of the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work and is soon to complete a PhD: ‘Didgeri and the search for Green Ant Dreaming: An Indigenist decolonising action research project supporting Aboriginal masculinities’.

To prepare for this Meet the Author please read Anthony’s paper ‘Didgeri, individual therapeutic conversations and No More Silence’. This paper describes work among a group of Aboriginal men who meet regularly in Brisbane. It interweaves stories of individual therapeutic conversations, the development of a community group called Didgeri, which connects people to culture and to each other, and the creation of a social action project to reduce the shame and silence experienced by Aboriginal men who were subjected to sexual abuse in childhood. It explores how narrative therapy ideas have informed this work.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

Prior to this session, please read Anthony’s paper, and then bring your questions for Anthony!

When working with people who are living with grief, finding ways to honour and ‘keep alive’ the relationship with the person who has died can be sustaining and hopeful. Lorraine’s approach to working with grief focuses on where and how stories of love not only transcend death, but can be grown and refashioned for deeply powerful connections that live on well beyond the time when our loved one is no longer breathing.

Dr. Lorraine Hedtke publications have appeared in numerous professional journals and magazines and she is the author of several books about grief. Her children’s book, My Grandmother is Always with Me, (2nd Ed), is written with her child, Addison Davidove. Her book, Breathing Life into The Stories of the Dead: Constructing Bereavement Support Groups, outlines an innovative and practical model for practice. She, along with John Winslade, co-authored two books on the topic:  Remembering Lives: Conversations with The Dying and The Bereaved, and The Crafting of Grief: Constructing Aesthetic Responses to Loss.  She regularly consults and presents virtually and in person around the world on how to create life and love affirming conversations with people who are dying and people who are living with grief.

Her work has turned the world of modern-day grief psychology completely upside down. She specializes in working within a post-structural, narrative therapy frame with people who are dying as well as with families after a loved one has died. Dr. Hedtke is a Professor and Coordinator at California State University San Bernardino in the Masters Counseling program and the proprietor of The Fabula Center for counseling and training in Redlands, California, and the website www.rememberingpractices.com

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for the session please read Lorraine’s article, The Origami of Re-membering watch the following video

Ben Shannahan (he/him) is a family therapist who lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has many years of experience working primarily in social work and child and adolescent mental health contexts in London, UK and in Perth. He is part of the teaching faculty of Partnership Projects UK, The Institute of Narrative Therapy (UK) and Dulwich Centre. In recent years, Ben has worked alongside young people and their families in diverse contexts. This includes working with families where child and adolescent-to-parent violence is a concern; foster families; young people of diverse genders, sexualities and bodies; and presently with children, young people and their families bereaved through suicide.

In this session, hear more about Ben’s work using narrative practices in developing a community response to a family affected by adolescent-to-parent violence. In his paper, We don’t give up: Developing family and community responses to adolescent-to-parent violence, Ben offers examples of some of the ways he seeks to:

  • elicit parental skills that support the re-building of relationships and practices of safety and agency in the face of adolescent-to-parent violence
  • promote experiences of strength and solidarity in the face of shame
  • support the development of a community response to adolescent-to-parent violence
  • develop collective and partnership accountability through multi-generational men’s meetings to address problematic aspects of men’s culture and support the development of alternative and preferred ways of being.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Ben’s paper We don’t give up: Developing family and community responses to adolescent-to-parent violence

In Brazil, as elsewhere, the COVID-19 pandemic and related upheavals exacerbated problems like unemployment and domestic violence. Climate change related disasters, such as flooding, have also brought considerable suffering in communities already dealing with so much. In such situations, feelings of hopelessness, isolation and impotence can became pervasive. 

In this session, come and discuss ways in which Recycling Minds have been developing friendship projects shaped by ‘checklists of psychological and social resistance’ and created a manifesto and definitional ceremonies to acknowledge the skills of communities in response to natural disaster and collective grief. 

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for the session please read the paper: ‘Fala aí checklist: Peer conversations recognising practices of care, hope and solidarity in times of loss and difficulty; the checklist methodology; and “The Manifesto” – a document that has been made in response to an environmental disaster that occurred in Petrópolis.

And then bring your questions to ask Lúcia!

It is now over 16 years since the first folk cultural narrative methodology was developed: the Tree of Life narrative approach (Ncube, 2006; Denborough, 2008). Since then, the idea of combining narrative practice with a metaphor from treasured local cultural life has been embraced by practitioners and communities. Colleagues in many different contexts have now developed exquisitely diverse forms of metaphoric narrative practice. These include the Tree of Life by Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo and David Denborough; Team of Life; Seasons of Life by Nihaya Abu-Rayyan; Recipes of Life by Natale Rudland-Wood; Crossing the River (Hegarty, Smith, & Hammersley, 2010); Kite of Life; Rhythm of Life by Adriana Muller; Narratives in the Suitcase by Ncube-Mlilo; Smartphone of Life by Chris Tse; Bicycle of Life by Marc Leger; Beads of Life by Sara Portnoy; and the Mat of Life and Fair Winds by Lúcia Helena Abdalla.

The development of these methodologies was spurred by the following questions or challenges:

  • How can narrative therapy be used in contexts where therapy is either not possible (due to lack of resources) or not culturally resonant?
  • Can cross-cultural inventions and partnerships enable narrative practices to be used in ways that limit the likelihood of psychological colonisation?

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read the chapterDiversifying and democratising narrative practice through folk cultural methodologies from Do you want to hear a story? Adventures in collective narrative practice, and peek at any of the above links.

Then bring your questions for DD!

Maya Sen is a mental health social worker and narrative therapist from Kolkata, India.  She started her journey with narrative practices in the child protection sector. Currently she is working at Heal Grow Thrive Foundation, a psychotherapy service in India. She is also a part of the Dulwich Centre International Teaching Faculty.

The resources for this session describe some of Maya’s experiences responding to hardship in these spaces. The article on “Responding to Grief and Loss in the context of COVID 19” is a collaboration with Anwesha that explores the possibilities of using narrative practice to respond to grief that is complicated by the pandemic. The paper “Working with young people in residential care in India: Uncovering stories of resistance” makes visible what young people are up against while accessing institutional care.  It also explores the ways in which narrative practices can acknowledge injustice, highlight resistance and connect young people to preferred ways of living.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Maya’s articles Responding to Grief and Loss in the context of COVID 19 and Working with young people in residential care in India: Uncovering stories of resistance.

And then bring your questions for Maya!

The meeting will take place for one hour at the following times:
Adelaide – Tuesday, 18 April at 4:30pm
Brisbane – Tuesday, 18 April at 5pm
Wellington – Tuesday, 18 April at 7pm
London – Tuesday, 18 April at 8am
Paris – Tuesday, 18 April at 9am
Kigali – Tuesday, 18 April at 9am
Johannesburg – Tuesday, 18 April at 9am
Istanbul – Tuesday, 18 April at 10am
New Delhi – Tuesday, 18 April at 12:30pm
Singapore – Tuesday, 18 April at 3pm
Beijing – Tuesday, 18 April at 3pm
Hong Kong – Tuesday, 18 April at 3pm
Tokyo – Tuesday, 18 April at 4pm

Register in advance for this meeting: https://unimelb.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdOGvqDopEtPmNvgC48LkXmGh96gsQUdG

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We take great care ensuring that the time differences displayed are correct, however it is always best to confirm the time difference yourself if you are unsure. Check what time this event is happening in your timezone here.

These events are organised by Dulwich Centre, Evanston Family Therapy Center and University of Melbourne. They are free, not recorded and go for one hour.

Katie Christensen is a Wurundjeri woman who was born and raised on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Central Victoria. Katie has extensive experience working in the domestic violence sector supporting women who have experienced violence and men who have used violence via case management and facilitating healing groups. Katie trained and worked as an Aboriginal health worker and a Koori maternity support worker and facilitated Kaalinya Inyanook, a mums and bubs group that focused on wellbeing and information for new mothers. Katie has a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. Katie currently works with Open Circle Restorative Justice Services as a restorative justice conference facilitator, embedding narrative therapy skills into the restorative justice process.

Renee Handsaker lives and works on Wurundjeri land, Melbourne, Australia.  Renee is currently the Practice Lead at Open Circle Restorative Justice Service. Renee is interested in adapting and drawing on narrative practices to facilitate restorative processes in response to harm.  Renee facilitates restorative processes in response to various contexts of harm including death (culpable driving and homicide), sexual violence, racism, armed robbery etc.  Renee also facilitates restorative and acknowledgment/apology processes between leaders of institutions and survivors of child sexual abuse. 

Katie and Renee work together at Open Circle Restorative Justice Service in Melbourne, Victoria.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for this session, please read Katie’s paper Yarning as decolonising practice, and Renee’s chapter Narrative approaches to restorative justice conference: Considerations of power, struggle and social transformation from the book Intersecting Stories: Narrative therapy reflections on gender, culture and justice.

And then bring your questions for Katie and Renee about their work!

 

Angel Yuen works as a narrative therapist in private practice using narrative approaches with individuals, families, children and young people. She also offers narrative supervision and consultation. Part of her previous work for over 20 years was at the Toronto District School Board as a school social worker. Angel is the author of the 2019 book titled’ Pathways beyond despair: Re-authoring lives of young people through narrative therapyShe also is co-editor with Cheryl White of the 2007 book Conversations about gender, culture, violence and narrative practice: Stories of hope and complexity from women of many cultures.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for this session, please read Part 2 of Pathways Beyond Despair: Re-authoring lives of young people through narrative therapy.

And then bring your questions for Angel!

The meeting will take place for one hour at the following times:
Adelaide – Tuesday 28 March, at 9:30am
Singapore – Tuesday 28 March, at 7:00am
Beijing – Tuesday 28 March, at 7:00am
Hong Kong – Tuesday 28 March, 7:00am
Auckland – Tuesday 28 March, at 12:00pm
Vancouver – Monday 27 March, at 4:00pm
Los Angeles – Monday 27 March, at 4:00pm
Mexico City – Monday 27 March, at 5:00pm
Chicago – Monday 27 March, at 6:00pm
Atlanta – Monday 27 March, at 7:00pm
Toronto – Monday 27 March, at 7:00pm
Santiago – Monday 27 March, at 8:00pm
Rio de Janeiro – Monday 27 March, at 8:00pm

Many women in prison face multiple oppressions that intersect. They are experienced not singly but as a single synthesised experience. Women who have been incarcerated have lived experiences of early abuse and trauma, poverty, violence as an adult and systemic racist discrimination. Prisons are not spaces of healing. Instead, they continue experiences of violence, abuse, subjugation and oppression. The prison–industrial complex appears to be the preferred approach to issues of poverty, homelessness, victimisation and systemic racism, continuing injustice for women, in particular Aboriginal women who are the fastest growing group of incarcerated people. This chapter explores conversations I have shared with women in prison. These women have both used and been subjected to interpersonal violence. In this context, it has been important to find ways to make the operations of power visible. It is my contention that some of this power is concealed and contained in binary constructions of sex, gender, race and class, and that disrupting binary constructions makes it possible to reclaim the complexity of women’s lives. It is my hope that these conversations can invite a shared interest in exploring a practice of examining, disrupting, shifting and dismantling the deep historical and structural systems of interlocking violence and oppression that are connected to interpersonal violence.

This chapter was published in the book Intersecting Stories: Narrative therapy reflections on gender, culture and justice, edited and published by Dulwich Centre (2020).

Jill Faulkner was born in Aotearoa, and has lived on the lands of the First Nations peoples of Australia longer than she has lived on the country of her grandfather, descendant of the Ngati Te Whiti hapu of the Ati Awa iwi. Jill has worked with children, families and communities for more than 40 years. Her thinking and work are shaped by these multiple relationships and storied journeys. A therapist/activist, consultant, researcher, community practice worker, supervisor and social justice storyteller, Jill is committed to sharing knowledges.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read the chapter Responding to women in prison who have used interpersonal violence: a narrative approach disrupting binaries and then bring your questions for Jill! 

The meeting will take place for one hour at the following times:
Adelaide – Tuesday, 21 March at 4:30pm
Brisbane – Tuesday, 21 March at 4pm
Wellington – Tuesday, 21 March at 7pm
London – Tuesday, 21 March at 6am
Paris – Tuesday, 21 March at 7am
Kigali – Tuesday, 21 March at 8am
Johannesburg – Tuesday, 21 March at 8am
Istanbul – Tuesday, 21 March at 9am
New Delhi – Tuesday, 21 March at 11:30am
Singapore – Tuesday, 21 March at 2pm
Beijing – Tuesday, 21 March at 2pm
Hong Kong – Tuesday, 21 March at 2pm
Tokyo – Tuesday, 21 March at 3pm

Register in advance for this meeting: https://unimelb.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpduuoqDIsHNCLxVemUj0HOYuA4PvG0u9D

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We take great care ensuring that the time differences displayed are correct, however it is always best to confirm the time difference yourself if you are unsure. This is a great website to calculate time differences: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

These events are organised by Dulwich Centre, Evanston Family Therapy Center and University of Melbourne. They are free, not recorded and go for one hour.

This Meet the Author we welcome Makungu Akinyela to discuss two of his papers: ‘De-colonizing our lives: Divining a post-colonial therapy’ & ‘Cultural Domination and Therapeutic Resistance: A discussion on decolonization and telling our own stories’.

As a scholar and a therapist Makungu Akinyela has been a committed Social Justice organizer for over forty-years focused on struggles for human rights and justice for Black people in the United States and the African diaspora. His research and writing includes such subjects as cultural democracy and mental health care; cultural domination and therapeutic resistance; reparations and the role of mental health workers in repairing oppressions wounds and African centered family therapy. He is the developer of a culturally specific approach to narrative called Testimony therapy.

This event will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for this session, please read Makungu’s two papers, De-colonizing our lives: Divining a post-colonial therapy & Cultural Domination and Therapeutic Resistance: A discussion on decolonization and telling our own stories.

And then bring your questions!

Amanda Tay is a social work practitioner providing psychosocial services to people facing terminal illness in a home hospice in Singapore. Her interests include therapeutic social work with lived experiences, and positioning people as authors of their preferred narratives within their communities.

In this meet the author we will discuss Amanda’s paper: STEPS Together: Conversations with people facing terminal illness as well as her Friday Afternoon Video.

Terminal illness, death and dying are universal human experiences, but discussing them can be challenging. This paper demonstrates the use of a therapeutic conversation guide, ‘STEPS Together’, which employs narrative practices to develop preferred identities in the face of hardships related to terminal illness. The paper also demonstrates the localisation of narrative practices so that they are culturally appropriate and resonant in Singapore.

This event will be facilitated by the marvellous Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa will offer reflections.

Before this session, please read Amanda’s paper or watch her Friday Afternoon Video and then bring your questions!

Tuesday 28th February / 9:30am (Adelaide time)

Beck Paterson (they/them) is a non-binary social worker who was born and raised in Treaty 7 territory (Calgary, Canada). They are currently working as an outreach worker with young people who have been given neurodiverse diagnoses and their families. 

Beck’s paper, From seeds to a forest: Nurturing narrative practice in an adolescent mental health program, and their Friday Afternoon Video, Nurturing a Narrative Milieu discuss their work as a counselor in an in-patient mental health crisis treatment program in Calgary, Canada. The goal of this project was to support nurturance and growth of narrative ideas and work in a setting that can often be hostile to such practices. Beck also hopes this project will offer solidarity and understanding of the difficulties for practitioners new to narrative ideas in navigating the shift from dominant practices to more narrative-aligned practices. Guided by the metaphor of seed-planting, growth, and nature, the initiatives described were both intentional and organic in origin, and demonstrate how bringing narrative ideas to the forefront of Beck’s practice changed not only their own work, but the larger program as well.

This event will be facilitated by the marvellous Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections. 

To prepare for this session, please read From seeds to a forest: Nurturing narrative practice in an adolescent mental health program, and watch their recent Friday Afternoon Video, Nurturing a Narrative Milieu.

And then bring your questions about Beck’s article and video!

Tuesday 21st February / 4:30pm (Adelaide, SA time)

Today, when you move around villages, you hear people complaining about how things have changed and how it is increasingly becoming difficult for families to sustain! Our communities are further weakened by Poverty, Disasters, Diseases, chronic diseases, wars, climate change and conflict disintegrating the traditional social support systems that provided protection for people. In the absence of a comprehensive social protection plan in many underdeveloped countries, greater uncertainties and risks associated with competitive pressures in the new economy fuelled by the digital divide pushes many people under poverty line.

Communities are stretched to the breaking point and important values that kept societies, communities and families together are eroding as a result of colonization, natural calamities, extreme economic hardships, epidemics and adoption of approaches that disempower people rendering them as passive recipients of knowledge.

This event will be facilitated by the marvellous Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Joseph Kalisa (Rwanda) will offer reflections.

Before this session, please watch The Power of Hope in Action by Caleb Wakhungu below.

The first Meet the Author for 2023 features Poh Lin Lee!

Poh is a Chinese Malaysian Australian woman who comes to her practice through multiple experiences and relationships as a narrative therapy practitioner, social worker, co-researcher of trauma/displacement, writer, teacher, film protagonist and creative consultant. Since 2004 Poh has been engaged in therapeutic co-research with people and communities responding to themes of experience such as family and state violence, displacement (from rights, land, home, body, identity, relationships), liminality and reclaiming practices of staying with experience and preference. Creative and therapeutic fields intersected for Poh whilst working with people seeking asylum within a film project with director Gabrielle Brady, Island of the Hungry Ghosts (2018). Poh is currently a freelancer creating crafted exercises and content to accompany people in their practice(s)/projects/processes on Patreon alongside regularly tutoring, teaching and offering experiential workshops across therapeutic, creative and academic fields.

In this session, Poh will be discussing the paper Making Now Precious. This paper explores bringing together a series of narrative principles and practices in response to those who are seeking asylum in Australia and also experiencing the consequences of torture and trauma. This work is a description of ongoing co-research with asylum seekers into conversations that can be meaningful in a context of unpredictability and instability.

Making Now Precious was written in 2013 – 10 years on we have this chance to gather and look back together.  I wonder how these stories of practice and ideas might have us noticing about how we collectively ‘make now precious’ in 2023?

This meeting will be facilitated by Tileah Drahm-Butler (of the Darumbal/Kulilli and Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Nations). Jill Freedman will offer reflections.

To prepare for this session, please read Making Now Precious, and bring along your questions!