2003: Issue 4

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in | 0 comments

Dear Reader,

G’day and welcome to the final issue for 2003 of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work!

Throughout the year we have greatly appreciated the feedback we have received from readers and we hope that the collection of papers in this issue will also provide stimulating reading.

We have particularly enjoyed the conversations that have been sparked from the articles published in this journal over the previous twelve months. These conversations and the resulting creativity in people’s therapy and community work practice is what makes the production of this journal rewarding for us.

This issue introduces a new topic for conversation. The first paper included here is entitled, ‘The Mother-Daughter Project: Co-creating pro-girl, pro-mother culture through adolescence and beyond’. This piece has been created by a group of mothers and daughters (including SuEllen Hamkins and Renee Schultz) and it describes inspiring conversations involved in the deconstruction and construction of mother-daughter discourses. This is followed by a reflection from Anita Franklin and a related piece by Amy Ralfs. We also offer an invitation to you, the reader, to become involved in further conversations on this topic. If you are working with mothers and daughters, if you are a mother or a daughter, and especially if you have a perspective on this topic that may not have been described in any detail in this issue of the journal, then we would love to hear from you.

The second half of this journal issue consists of a series of practice-based papers on different topics. Hugh Fox offers a sparkling review of the use of therapeutic documents in narrative practice. Jacqui Morse and Alice Morgan describe group work with women who have experienced violence. John Winslade explores how narrative mediation can assist in the re-negotiation of discursive positions. Lorraine Hedtke further articulates the use of re-membering conversations with people who are experiencing loss and grief. And Elspeth McAdam and Peter Lang offer descriptions of the use of appreciative enquiry within schools and school communities in England, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, and in Southern Africa.

As you can see, it is a diverse collection!

Over the course of the last two years, within this journal we have published papers from Australia, Indonesia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Israel, the UK, New Zealand, Mexico, Norway, Ghana and Samoa. In the first few issues of 2004 we are looking forward to publishing a number of papers from Hong Kong and elsewhere.

We are also looking forward to publishing more first-time authors. Over the course of 2003, we published 31 papers in the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. Of these, 24 (77%) were from authors whose work we had never previously published in any of our journals or books. For a considerable number of these practitioners this was the first time they had their writing published in any forum. We are delighted about this as it means that the ‘community’ of narrative practitioners continues to grow.

We are also delighted that you, our readership, continues to engage with the ideas included in these pages and continues to encourage, challenge and support us. Thank you!

Warm regards,

Dulwich Centre Publications.


Showing all 7 results

  • The Mother-Daughter Project: Co-creating Pro-girl, Pro-mother Culture Through Adolescence and Beyond … the Construction and Deconstruction of Mother-daughter Discourses


    This paper documents the ongoing attempts of a group of mothers and daughters to deconstruct dominant discourses about mother-daughter relationships and to create and sustain pro-girl and pro-mother cultures in their lives. This community work has three aims: to support girls coming into their power as women; to support the motherdaughter connection; and to support mothers in the work of mothering. It is hoped that this work will be relevant not only to the work of therapists and community workers but also to readers’ own relationships with mothers and/or children.

    Includes a free article:

    A Reflection— Anita Franklin


  • Living Feminism in a Queer Family— Amy Ralfs


    In this paper, Amy Ralfs describes how her experiences of growing up and living in a queer family have contributed to the development of a particular feminism. This feminism has certain themes which are explained here: ‘Your body is your own’, ‘The personal is political’, ‘Girls can do anything’ & ‘Difference can be different’. This paper was originally delivered as a keynote at the 5th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, in Liverpool in July 2003.

  • Using Therapeutic Documents – A Review— Hugh Fox


    The use of therapeutic documents is a key aspect of narrative practice. This paper describes four different categories of document – letters recording a session, documents of knowledge and affirmation, news documents, and documents to contribute to rites of passage. Examples of each of these documents are offered here and the author also shares some of his experiences, dilemmas and learnings in creating therapeutic documentation. This paper was originally created as a keynote at the inaugural Dulwich Centre Summer School of Narrative Practice which was held in Adelaide in November 2003.

  • Group Work with Women Who Have Experienced Violence— Jacqui Morse & Alice Morgan


    In working with women who have experienced violence in heterosexual relationships, groups provide the opportunity for linking lives around shared themes, values and commitments. The work described in this paper utilises narrative practices to highlight the context of women’s lives, to centre women’s knowledge, to locate responsibility, to accentuate alternative and preferred descriptions of identity, and to build connections between women. Specific attention is also paid to deconstruct dominant gender discourses.

  • Working in the Worlds of Children: Growing, Schools, Families, Communities Through Imagining— Elspeth McAdam & Peter Lang


    This paper describes the use of appreciative enquiry within schools and school communities in England, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, and in Southern Africa. Elspeth and Peter describe the thinking that informs their work and offer a series of hopeful examples.

  • The Origami of Remembering— Lorraine Hedtke


    When so much of work in the realm of grief has focused on ‘letting go’ and ‘saying goodbye’ to those who have died, the ideas in this paper offer an alternative path. 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. In this paper, Lorraine introduces the metaphor of ‘origami of remembering’, using it to describe the process of folding and re-folding the stories of people’s lives and how they are linked to those who have passed away.

  • Narrative Mediation: Assisting in the Renegotiation of Discursive Positions— John Winslade


    This paper describes how the practice of mediation might be pursued from a narrative perspective. In the process, it introduces an emphasis on the analysis of ‘discursive positioning’ which can be helpful in making sense of what happens in conflict situations, as well as being a useful conceptual tool in the practice of mediation.


  1. I’m Clayre Sessoms from Vancouver, BC, Canada, traditionally known as Coast Salish Territories. I acknowledge that my work takes place on the ancestral, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Nations of the Coast Salish People whose relationship with the land is ancient, primary, and enduring. I’m an uninvited settler in what is colonially known as Vancouver. Because my place of work is on stolen land I commit to support a reconciliation, which includes reparations and the return of land. Here I study counselling psychology and art therapy, and I get to incorporate narrative therapy at my practicum placement, a site that provides free counselling services for LGBTQ2S individuals.

    These materials help me to begin to wrap my head around the complexities of narrative therapy. I especially enjoyed learning about how others have used narrative therapy in practical counselling settings.

    I’m moved by how we often tend to hear, accept, or retell the thinnest stories of our lives and the lives of others. I imagine that not valuing the richness of an individual’s diverse range of stories, perhaps, it has been much easier to cling to tired old preconceived notions about others, which can cause undue harm.

    I’m left thinking about the TEDTalk by Chimamanda Adichie about the dangers of accepting a singular story of someone else, rather than leaning in and committing to understand the wholeness of that person’s narrative.

    I look forward to continuing to learn. Thank you to The Dulwich Centre for providing this accessible forum. <3

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!