Dear Reader,

Welcome to another issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work.

The first half of this journal focuses on an issue dear to our hearts – mental health. The Hearing Voices Network offered a series of papers within a keynote address at the 5th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference in Liverpool, UK in July. We have received many requests for written copies of their moving presentations and are delighted to be publishing these here. The work of the Hearing Voices Network is offering alternative ways of understanding and responding to the experiences of hearing voices and seeing visions. Their work is inspiring many people both in the UK and further afield.

Also within this mental health section is a write-up of a recent community gathering, which took place in Canberra, Australia, and documents the skills and knowledges of those living with mental health issues. Entitled ‘These are not ordinary lives’, this paper richly describes the perspectives, ideas and stories which give meaning to lives lived out of the ordinary. The skills and knowledges that are illustrated here are heartfelt and hard-won. They are also, we believe, of vital relevance to health professionals working in the realm of mental health.

The second half of the journal changes tack. It includes a sparkling article by Judith Milner entitled ‘Narrative groupwork with young women – and their mobile phones’, and a short practice-based paper by Mike Boucher on the rarely discussed topic of ‘Exploring the meaning of tattoos’.

The final piece in this journal is another in the popular series of questions and answers compiled by Maggie Carey and Shona Russell. This rigorous paper contains thorough examples of therapeutic consultations and detailed descriptions of the thinking that informs ‘re-authoring conversations’, one of the key practices of narrative therapy.

This issue, we believe, contains a collection of moving and varied papers that are of direct relevance to therapists, counsellors and community workers. We hope you find them relevant, engaging and in some way stretching of your thinking and practice.

We’d love to hear your reflections!

Warm regards,

Cheryl White,
David Denborough,
Jane Hales,
Dulwich Centre Publications.