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We send this issue out with hopes that it will assist you in your ongoing explorations of narrative ideas. In each edition of this journal we try to bring together a diverse collection of hopeful, thought-provoking papers that are relevant to practitioners.
This collection begins with a paper by Linette Harriot, entitled ‘Town Bikes Unite’ which is an invitation to all of us to question attitudes to women’s sexuality, particularly how these attitudes influence women who have been subjected to sexual assault. This is then followed by a paper by the founder of the Deconstructing Addiction League, Anthony C., which offers a series of proposals for using narrative maps of practice to assist people in changing their relationships to substances. A letter to the ongoing ‘Feminism, therapy and narrative ideas project’ is then included. This letter is by Arthemis Rodhanthy, a Belgian woman therapist of transsexual/transgendered experience, and raises important questions. The final paper in the first section of this journal, by David Denborough, describes a recent gathering on Robben Island, South Africa, in which participants from Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, Samoa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Germany, Burundi, Eritrea, Northern Ireland, the USA, Australia and South Africa came together to try to find ways to contribute towards the healing of histories of trauma that have occurred in their respective countries. We hope you enjoy these four extremely diverse contributions.
The second section of this journal focuses on the theme of research and narrative ideas. This is the first installment of papers on this particular theme. A further number of papers will be included in the next issue. Many months ago, Andrew Tootell and Stephen Gaddis approached Dulwich Centre Publications about the idea of publishing a special issue of this issue on the theme of research and it has been their enthusiasm for this project, along with the contributions of Wendy Drewery, that have resulted in this collection of papers! We would like to thank Andrew, Wendy and Stephen for their efforts over the last eighteen months.
This first installment begins with a question and answer paper which explores the origins of narrative therapy being understood as co-research and the many vibrant links between narrative practices and research practices. The second paper, by Stephen Gaddis, describes the author’s personal commitment to reposition traditional research in ways that honour clients’ accounts of therapy. Cate Ingram and Amaryll Perlesz then convey to us the benefits of inviting those with whom we work to document their ‘wisdoms’ and to make these available to other families. Amanda Redstone describes her journey in trying to develop ways of evaluating therapy conversations that are congruent with narrative practice. And Kathie Crocket documents her professional identity story as she moved from engaging with narrative practice in counselling, to narrative practice in research. We hope that each of these papers will spark new ideas for practitioners.
Finally, this journal also includes two invitations to you the reader. We hope you will become involved in our new project about ‘Responding to trauma: including the trauma of war, occupation, terror, political violence and torture’. And we also hope you will join us in a new ‘Village-to-village’ project which is attempting to build links between our readership and a number of villages in Papua New Guinea.
This journal issue represents view points from a wide-range of countries. We hope you enjoy it.