2002: Issue 4

Posted by on Dec 3, 2016 in | 0 comments

2002-no-4Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to this final issue in our inaugural subscription year. Looking back, it seems we have covered a lot of territory. From ‘The Question of Forgiveness’, to ‘African American perspective on healing the past and present’, to practicebased papers addressing personal failure, externalising conversations, remembering conversations, and much more! We hope you have enjoyed the diversity of writings and interviews.

This final issue for the year focuses on a theme which we have wanted to publish on for some time – ‘Reflecting on teaching and supervision’. We often receive requests for articles on this topic. In this publication, practitioners and teachers from Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, the USA, Norway and England all discuss the aspects of teaching narrative ideas that are bringing them the most challenge and delight.

We have also included here two interviews considering the meaning of education in South Africa – a country that is teaching us all so much. We’ve included these perspectives because they remind us of the broader meaning of teaching for many of the people of this world.

This journal begins however with a practice-based paper by Maggie Carey about externalising conversations with children, and a paper by Michael White on journey metaphors within therapy, teaching and community contexts.

Thank you for subscribing to this journal in its initial year. We’ve been delighted with the response we’ve received from readers. We’d love to hear your comments about this year’s content and would welcome any suggestions you may have for future issues. Please contact us c/o feedback@dulwichcentre.com.au

We hope you have enjoyed your subscription and that you will join us again next year for further explorations of narrative therapy and community work!

Warm regards,

Dulwich Centre Publications.


Showing 1–16 of 17 results

  • What the Wildman, the Dragon-Arguing Monster and Camellia the Chameleon taught me about externalising conversations— Maggie Carey


    In this paper, Maggie Carey relates three engaging stories about her use of externalising conversations with children. In doing so, this paper illustrates the diversity of metaphors that are engaged with in externalising conversations and the ways in which the knowledges, imagination and stories of children can be an intricate part of therapeutic conversations and how these can be shared between families.

  • Journey metaphors— Michael White


    In this paper Michael White documents the use of katharsis and rite of passage metaphors within therapy, teaching and community work contexts. This paper was written to be given as an evening address to participants prior to the Dulwich Centre Publications’ International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference held at Spelman College in Atlanta in June, 2002. As practitioners from many different countries gathered together in the beautiful grounds of the historically black women’s college, there was an increasing sense of anticipation about what experiences lay ahead of us. Never before had such an event been held at an historically black college, and participants and organisers alike felt powerfully welcomed by Vanessa McAdamsMahmoud of Spelman College and the local African American community. We didn’t know exactly where this was all leading, we only knew that we were delighted to be travelling together. What was clear was that thorough preparation would be required to make this event all that it could be. The writing and delivery of this paper was one aspect of these conference preparations. Now, six months later, we would once again like to thank Vanessa McAdams-Mahmoud, Vanessa Jackson and Makungu Akinyela for inviting us to host the conference at Spelman College, and for making possible what was a rigorous, generous-hearted and healing event.

  • Introducing counsellors to collaborative supervision— Kathie Crocket


    Preparing counsellors for supervision is a long-neglected area. In this paper, Kathie Crocket explores the positioning of counsellors in supervision and offers an example of a letter she writes to students as a way of introducing them to the notion of collaborative supervision and all this can entail.

  • Outsider-witness practices and group supervision— Hugh Fox, Cathy Tench and Marie


    This paper describes the work of a ‘narrative supervision group’ organised and run in Sheffield, UK. It conveys how the work of supervision reached out of the room in which the group met and touched the lives of the people who were at the centre of the discussions. In doing so, this paper illustrates a possible model for the use of outsider-witness practices in group supervision.

  • Storying professional identity: from an interview with John Winslade


    This paper describes the implications of shifting a counsellor education program at Waikato University in New Zealand, to a narrative or poststructuralist orientation. One of the key implications has been to open up the possibility of viewing counsellor education as a process of storying professional identity.

  • Starting with values— Yael Gershoni & Saviona Cramer


    Yael Gershoni and Saviona Cramer are therapists and teachers at the Barcai Institute in Israel, and the following paper is an extract from an interview that took place in Adelaide in November 2002. This paper describes a way of approaching therapy training and supervision as a project related to values and ideals. It describes the use of narrative ideas in building upon students’ preferred stories of being a therapist and the use of reflecting teamwork and deconstructive questions in this process.

  • A Mexican perspective on teaching narrative ideas— Emily Sued & Barbara Amunategui


    Emily and Barbara are well-respected therapists and teachers within the Instituto Latinoamericano de Estudios de la Familia (ILEF) in Mexico City. In this short piece, derived from a lively and enjoyable interview which took place in Mexico City, Emily and Barbara speak about the ways in which narrative and social constructionist ideas, and the local Mexican context, shape their teaching.

  • Developing skill ambitions— Mark Hayward


    This paper addresses some of the dilemmas and contradictions experienced in teaching and supervising narrative therapy within a western educational institution’s culture of assessment and describes a supervision structure used to address the predicament. The paper also takes up the ideas of Michel Foucault about the constitution of self as moral agent and uses these ideas to elaborate the author’s learning aims and a path towards them.

  • Cultural racism – the air we breathe— Norma Akamatsu


    In this piece, Norma Akamatsu, a Japanese American family therapist, describes the histories that led to her teaching on issues of racism and some of the key principles that inform her work at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

  • Discerning between structuralist and non-structuralist categories of identity: a training exercise— Alice Morgan


    Through the description of a training exercise, this paper illustrates the relevance of assisting trainees to discern between structuralist and non structuralist categories of identity. This piece assumes knowledge of various narrative therapy concepts. If you are not familiar with these, recommended reading is offered at the end of the paper.

  • Pedagogies of hope— America Bracho


    In this piece, which was created from an interview, America Bracho describes some of the principles that inform the educational work of Latino Health Access – an institute of community participation in Santa Ana, California. The inspiring work of Latino Health Access has many influences. For the purposes of this publication, we specifically asked America to speak about the ways in which the work of Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, has influenced their community practice.

  • Teaching in Genderland: therapy, performance, conveyance of knowledge and self-disclosure— Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad


    In this paper, bi-gendered Norwegian family therapist Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, describes some of the joys, dilemmas and nervousness associated with teaching when this is understood to involve therapy, performance, conveyance of knowledge and self-disclosure.

  • The art of teaching— Phebe Sessions


    This piece is an extract from an interview with Phebe Sessions, a family therapist who for the last twenty six years has taught social workers at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. This piece describes a number of themes including caring for teachers, diversifying authority, responding to students’ past experiences of trauma, and articulating the similarities and differences between teaching and therapy.

  • Writing at the interface of therapy, academic and community education cultures—Jane Speedy


    In describing the relationship between therapy, academic and community education cultures, particularly the different forms of writing practices that occur within them, this paper seeks to contribute to a conversation about the development of a ‘community of narrative practice’ involving teachers and learners within all three realms.

  • Perspectives on teaching family therapy from the Bouverie Centre


    A paper by Amaryll Perlesz, Jenny Dwyer, Robyn Elliott, Banu Moloney, Colin Riess, Pam Rycroft, Ann Welfare and Jeff Young.

    The Bouverie Centre at La Trobe University in Melbourne runs the longest established family therapy teaching program in Australia. ‘Bouverie’, as it is known, is highly regarded for its innovative teaching program, as well as its work in relation to HIV/AIDS, mental health, sexual abuse, acquired brain injury, and with homophobia in schools. This paper describes some of the current issues being faced and grappled with in therapy training programs both in Australia and elsewhere. We are delighted to include it here.

  • Our country was saved by students from an interview with Lolo Mabitsela


    This interview took place around the diningroom table at Lolo’s Guesthouse in Soweto. Cheryl White, Makungu Akinyela and David Denborough had the pleasure of staying with Lolo Mabitsela and speaking with her about her life and her career as a teacher in Soweto’s schools. Earlier in the same day, we had travelled through Soweto and visited the Hector Peterson Museum which honours the lives of those school students who were killed during the Soweto riots of 1976.


  1. in what ways have you entered into collaborations before? What made these collaborations possible?

    As a peer worker most of my work was entering into collaborations with young people. I would use curiosity to further inquire into their experience, and looking back wow these narrative practices would have been amazing to use in our youth group discussions! We would use art mostly in telling stories. Many of the young people heard voices and saw characters only they could see. They would enjoy painting these voices, externalising the character, giving it a name and talking about the story and nature of the relationship between the voice and the character. I also enjoyed illiciting these stories, as I could tell they would begin to separate themselves from the voices, allowing for guilt and shame to reduce.

    What might make it hard to enter into these practices?

    The one difficult way of entering into these practices was the note writing. The managerial culture of my last workplace meant it was not considered good practice to have clients sit with us to write notes. In fact most clients probably were unaware that workers did regularly make notes each time they had contact with the centre. We were a strengths based centre that thrived on person centred practice. I think there is a bit of a stereotype that note writing is quite clinical and removed from person centred practice, hence a certain avoidance of bringing up notes in front of clients.

    If these ways of working fit for you, what next steps could you take to build partnerships/collaborations in your work?

    I definitely believe I could continue to use art to help young people tell their alternative stories. In mental health many workers draw thin conclusions of clients – bipolar, poor attachment, violent, with even their strengths really talked about in third person. It would be great to start drawing peoples strengths out with the use of story telling, so that clients can start to own their strengths, rather than have clinicans cherry pick these out.

  2. Thank you to Tileah for a wonderful presentation. I love hearing the word “yarn” used in this powerful way (Americans also have that term). The practice of “translating”, of shifting concepts into language that can be more usefully heard, is very powerful. As coaches we can make good use of this to help clients uncover their hidden or forgotten resources.

  3. These stories are amazing examples of what we can discover when we hold onto our “beginner’s mind” and remember that the other person (client, patient) has the information and understanding, not us. We talk a lot in leadership development about “co-creating” and I think this is a beautiful example of two very complementary roles: the person who has the story and the person who helps to explore and shape it.

  4. I like the idea of narrative – there is something about giving people the power to create a narrative, rather than simply appearing in a story told by someone else. Within the narrative metaphor, I especially enjoy the fabric metaphor – the idea of strands. These may touch each other, or not, may go well together in tone or color, or not. But again, there is some power in creating and weaving the narrative.
    In my own work with coaching and leadership development, I find that the emphasis on narrative(s) helps make things more tangible, and therefore brings them to their true scale, instead of letting them take on imaginary and unclearly described proportions.

  5. I love this. Telling our stories in ways that make us stronger. Such a powerful sentiment. Sometimes through trauma, it is hard to access the words that really encapsulate that experience – though using the written word does help us access those hard to utter parts of our memories … in those cases though perhaps the story we tell ourselves is not one that makes us feel strong in the first instance – so finding a way to tell that story in a way that focuses on the strength of surviving to tell that story is just amazing!