Walter Bera, USA
Here are some brief reflections on developments, innovations, and achievements in narrative practice in my local context:
- I’m fortunate to work in a therapy centre with 12 therapists, all of whose work is based on narrative practices and ideas. This is something of an achievement, and is testament to the skills Michael White had in inspiring therapists in ways of working with clients that were ‘effective’ but also energising of the therapist.
- We’ve now come quite some way: our nine-month narrative therapy certificate program and follow-up advanced groups has graduated almost 60 people over the last four years. These practitioners are now bringing narrative ideas in their contexts of hospitals, community clinics, research, teaching, and leadership. Michael’s ideas on trauma are especially influential in the Veterans Administration Hospital and the local community Veterans’ Centres.
- The Kenwood Center, led by John Stillman, has a won a grant to help ‘empirically’ validate narrative therapy for war trauma with the VA Hospital.
- The Narragram for visualising narrative therapy is a recent innovation for people who are not highly verbal and whose English may not be strong. The Narragram is often digitally photographed, printed out, and even emailed as a visual narrative document.
My wish is to just keep going and build the community of practitioners. I’d like to see practitioners writing about their innovative ideas, and helping create manuals and documents to support these developments, to spread these innovations further.