This edition of the journal focuses on the issue of community practice. How can narrative ideas be engaged with in work with communities of people?
The first three papers included here all address this question. The first, ‘The same in difference’, relates to a community of experience: those people who live with physical disabilities or visual impairments. This paper describes the work of the Peer Counsellors of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. Their work questions many taken-for-granted assumptions and offers practitioners new ways of responding to the experience of disability.
The second paper, ‘Narrative practice and community assignments’ by Michael White, explores the relevance of narrative practices to working with communities which are facing various predicaments and describes the principles that have informed a range of recent community assignments.
The paper pays particular attention to addressing the psychological pain and emotional distress that is the outcome of trauma, as well as describing the consultation phase and the community-wide gathering phase of these community assignments.
The third paper is by Yvonne Sliep and is titled ‘Building partnerships in responding to vulnerable children: A rural African community context’. This paper documents a project in rural Malawi and describes some emerging principles to assist community workers who are seeking to respond to vulnerable children in poverty-stricken environments.
We are pleased to publish these three diverse papers on the theme of community practice.
The second section of this journal edition contains a paper that we are very excited about: ‘Feminism, therapy and narrative ideas’. This paper, compiled by Shona Russell and Maggie Carey, is the result of considerable collaboration over the past six months. We hope the publication of this piece will stimulate thinking, ideas and conversation. So much so, that we are requesting that readers join us in engaging in an ongoing project around this theme. Upon reading this paper, if you have any thoughts or reflections we would very much like to hear from you. More information about the ongoing project can be found at the end of Shona and Maggie’s paper.
Putting together this journal issue has stretched our thinking and seeing it published is invigorating. We look forward to hearing from you about the experience of reading it and grappling with the ideas contained within.
Dulwich Centre Publications.
We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which Dulwich Centre stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders of the Kaurna Nation, both past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.