2004: Issue 2

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in | 0 comments

Dear Reader,

Hello again.

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.

Warm regards,

Cheryl White


Showing all 9 results

  • Town Bikes Unite— Linette Harriott

    $5.50

    Written by a counsellor in an Australian Centre Against Sexual Assault, this paper questions the attitudes of the dominant culture to women who are sexually prolific. It also explores the links for some women between experiences of sexual assault and subsequent prolific sexual activity. By questioning the effects of dominant attitudes towards women’s sexuality and by inviting therapists and researchers to explore the meanings that women give to their own experiences of sexuality, this paper offers new challenges to the counselling field.

  • Narrative Maps of Practice: Proposals for the Deconstructing Addiction League— Anthony C.

    $9.90

    This paper invites therapists to consider establishing community resources informed by narrative practices as a way of challenging the culture of consumption and assisting those trying to revise their use of substances. The paper also discusses a range of specific proposals as to how various narrative maps of practice can be used to deconstruct addiction. This paper was given as a keynote address at Dulwich Centre’s inaugural Summer School of Narrative Practice, in Adelaide, South Australia, in November 2003. It was heralded by those present as both a call to action and a creative engagement with narrative ideas. The presentation has been adapted slightly for publication here.

  • A Letter to the Feminism Project— co-ordinated by Shona Russell, Maggie Carey & Cheryl White

    $0.00

    The paper, ‘Feminism, therapy and narrative ideas – Exploring some not so commonly asked questions’, compiled by Shona Russell and Maggie Carey, was published in an earlier edition of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work (2003 #2) and heralded the beginning of an ongoing project on this theme. Subsequent articles by Judy Wright (2003): ‘Considering issues of domestic violence and abuse in palliative care and bereavement settings’; and ‘The Mother-Daughter Project: cocreating pro-girl, pro-mother culture through adolescence and beyond’ by SuEllen Hamkins, Renee Schultz et al. (2003), represent ongoing explorations of these issues.

    If you were not a subscriber to the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work in 2003 it is possible to receive back issues (just contact your local distributer). A number of these feminist-informed papers are also available on the Dulwich Centre website: www.dulwichcentre.com.au

  • Stories from Robben Island: A Report from a Journey of Healing— David Denborough

    $9.90

    A three-day gathering on Robben Island, South Africa, organised by the Institute for the Healing of Memories and the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, brought participants together from many different parts of the world to share stories and ideas about the healing of memories and ways to address histories of trauma. This paper describes some of the principles and practices of healing which shaped this meeting. It describes the structure of story-telling and reflection that occurred, and includes a number of stories, reflections and the lyrics of songs to convey the experience.

  • Narrative Therapy and Research

    $9.90

    There are rich connections between narrative therapy and practices of research, and considering these links has been a source of creativity for many practitioners. This short piece seeks to describe how narrative therapy first began to be described as co-research, and describes some of the common research practices that are engaged with by narrative therapists. This piece also considers the powerful challenges that Indigenous researchers are making to the field of research. This paper has been collaboratively created. Marilyn O’Neill, Shona Russell, Makungu Akinyela, Helen Gremillion, David Epston, Vanessa Jackson and Michael White all responded to the questions listed below, and David Denborough then wove their responses into a final form.

  • Re-positioning Traditional Research: Centring Clients’ Accounts in the Construction of Professional Therapy Knowledges— Stephen Gaddis

    $9.90

    As a boy, I was subject to the ideas that therapists had about how to help me. In my experience, the ideas they used were not helpful to me and may have inadvertently created more suffering for my family and me. This experience and my interest in narrative therapy led me to want to challenge the sources that shape what therapists think is helpful for clients. One important source that constructs therapists’ ideas about therapy is research. One of my greatest concerns has to do with how traditional research practices privilege professionals’ interpretations and understanding over those of clients. I have attempted to re-consider therapy research so that its main purpose is to honour clients’ accounts of therapy. My hope is that this will enable us as therapists to be taught as much by clients as by other professionals. The research project I undertook resulted in the participants (i.e., ‘therapy clients’) reporting that their experience of the project helped them with the problems they struggled with in their lives and relationships. This was an outcome I had not anticipated but is quite exciting to consider.

  • The Getting of Wisdoms— Cate Ingram & Amaryll Perlesz

    $9.90

    An action research project was conducted by a public family therapy agency, in Melbourne, Australia, to investigate the impact of the writing of client stories and the subsequent reading of these stories to others in similar circumstances. This paper describes some of the effects this process had on individuals and families who authored their ‘Wisdom Narratives’ in the hope of inspiring and supporting others. Going through the process of putting their story/struggle into words on paper enabled people to recognise their own agency and influence, while reading stories out loud back to the author engendered self-compassion. In conclusion, the creative process of penning narratives of change might now be considered as having an important impact in generating self-worth and sense of agency.

  • Researching People’s Experience of Narrative Therapy: Acknowledging the Contribution of the ‘Client’ to What Works in Counselling Conversations— Amanda Redstone

    $5.50

    This paper explores the possibility of developing a way of evaluating narrative therapy conversations that acknowledges clients’ contribution to ‘what works’ in counselling conversations, and at the same time contributes to further rich description of clients’ preferred stories of identity.

  • From Narrative Practice in Counselling to Narrative Practice in Research: A Professional Identity Story— Kathie Crocket

    $5.50

    This article describes particular practices, learned in and for my work as a counsellor, which I called on as I produced myself as a researcher in undertaking a doctoral study. Both copying and originating, I wove into my research practice knowledges familiar to me from counselling practice. My account of becoming a researcher is a story of professional identity: it was my wish to practice research in ways that were congruent with the values that informed my counselling work. In this article, I describe how narrative ideas of storying, of constructing a club of one’s life, of migration of identity, were all useful tools to me as I learned and theorised and generated new practices in research. I show, too, some ways in which I grappled with interpreting the practice-research relation.

1,972 Comments

  1. Listening to Tileah I was provoked to contemplate my own use of language when working with clients. I enjoy the narrative model of practice and I am aware that for some there is definitely stigma attached to the process of counselling or therapy. I have only had one experience of working with an Indigenous person as a client and I will be sure to look at my use of language. I like the idea of it just being a yarn, it takes the pressure and onus off of the client to do something.

  2. Hello:

    This is Andrea from Toronto.

    I found particularly helpful the discussion in the FAQ around the use of metaphors of conflict and combat. I expect to be working in healthcare settings with critically ill patients and their loved ones (mostly children and parents), and I anticipate hearing them use these kinds of combative metaphors during our conversations. I also anticipate meeting many people who are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from “fighting” these problems. I appreciated the comments in the FAQ about combative metaphors, and the suggestions around exploring other kinds of metaphors which may be less conflict-laden and draining on their emotional resources. Thanks again for making this material available!

  3. I have started to use collaboration with clients when I am asked to write a report. I ask clients what they see as the areas of change and challenge of which they want others to be aware. I also at times share my report with the client first to be sure it accurately reflects their experience. In this way they are both acknowledging their ongoing journey and being acknowledged for the work they have done.

  4. Mike here, in London. I too was interested in “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” It’s a really difficult question. I was involved for about 10 years in working with people suffering from homelessness. Sue Mann’s story really rang true for me. One thing I was involved in was a choir for marginalised people, literally helping them find their voices. That, I felt, was useful, and collaborative. But I have always been suspicious of things like distributing left-over sandwiches to people sleeping rough on the street, as if that made it OK for them to be there as long as we give them some stale sandwiches. Or giving them tents or sleeping bags. What message does it send? Even though it may be well-meaning.

  5. Hi, I’m Mike. I work as a couples counsellor in London, England. My main training was 50% psychodynamic and 50% systemic. Narrative work was touched on briefly, for one module, and I am looking forward to learning more. Couples certainly do bring stories, often rather thin stories. “My partner is selfish.” Or “My partner had an affair”. Full stop. That’s all there is to know. Even in happy couples, people seem to get shaped into rather thin roles: this partner is the one who’s good with people, that partner is the one who’s good with money, this one cooks, that one drives. If the relationship ends, they may discover, actually *I* also can drive, cook, manage my money, make friends, I am a complete person.

  6. I think it will be an important part of my practice to investigate with clients which elements of our systems (social, cultural, political, economic) that are contributing to or mitigating their problems and suffering. I was particularly struck by the following sentence from the Just Therapy article: “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” I think it is incumbent upon those of us in helping professions to work with the people we are helping to begin addressing the systemic issues that are contributing to (or creating) their problems. Otherwise, we may fall into this trap of “adjusting people to injustice.”

  7. Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a Masters student in a spiritual care program located in Toronto.

    After reviewing this chapter, I’m reflecting upon the question that was raised: “how do we respond to grief when that grief has been caused by injustice?” and thinking about it in the context of working with seriously ill children and their families in a hospital/hospice setting. Patients and families in that setting also face grief that has been caused by injustice (in the form of incurable illness), and I see how the narrative metaphor can be used to help those families begin to reclaim their own lives in the face of tremendous loss caused by uncontrollable circumstances. I can see how the Articles of the Narrative Therapy Charter of Story-Telling Rights would be tremendously helpful when working with patients and families as a framework for telling and receiving their stories about their lives and their problems.

    For me, the material in this chapter also raises the question of how we can help to facilitate healing in a world where systems are seemingly becoming more unjust and creating deep suffering. My initial thought is that we continue to listen to each other’s stories with deep compassion, and the teachings of this course will help to provide us with new ideas and skills on how to do this.

  8. Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk was incredible. The one line where she said “a single story creates a stereotype. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete”. This blew my mind. I am ashamed to have ever participated in the single story belief of anyone let alone whole cultures, communities and countries , continents and so on. I know that moving forward I will endeavour to hear more stories and to encourage others to tell their story. I am about to run a photovoice narrative project to do just this, give a whole community the opportunity to change their stereotype.

  9. “Narrative therapy doesn’t believe in a ‘whole self’ which needs to be integrated but rather that our identities are made up of many stories, and that these stories are constantly changing.”

    I like this, I find it very compatible with my beliefs as a Buddhist. In Buddhism, as I understand it, mistaken beliefs about a solid, fixed “self” are the source of our suffering.

    I work with couples using EFT for couples, and in that approach, there is a big emphasis on externalising the problem as “the cycle that you get trapped in”, and encouraging couples to come up with their own name for it.

  10. Thank you for this. I am a counsellor, and trying to make as much as possible of my notes “in quotes”, that is, writing down things that the clients said. And not my own opinions.

  11. hello

    I the ED of a Friendship Center in Terrace, BC where were mostly target the indigenous population in our city of 12,000. I found your video interesting and something that we may want to try. Havee you been able to to do any follow ups studies to gage the long term effect of your program?

    Regards

    Cal Albright
    ED
    Kermode Friendship Center
    http://www.keremodefriendship.ca
    Terrace, BC
    Canada

    • Hi Cal, thanks for the interest. At this point the only followup has been through conversations with with people who return to volunteer on additional walks or engage with our other programs.

      However, a group of fourth year medical students at a local university have offered to run a pre and post measured study / report in 2020 as part of their studies which should be interesting.

      Let me know if you would like more information.

      CD

  12. Thank you for this overview of Narrative Therapy. I am returning to practice after some time away, and these reminders are timely and appreciated.

  13. Hi Chris

    I really enjoyed watching your video about Narrative Walks. My project is based in Blaenau Gwent, in South Wales, Uk. I’m wondering whether I might use such an approach in my work with our Youth Service, who support young people between the ages of 11 and 25. Have you any thoughts on this? Are there any resources available, either free or to purchase?

    Best wishes

    Paul

    • Hi Paul, m

      Much of my early attempts of the program were with the 15-20 year old age bracket and I found it worked really well. When I recently had an opportunity to run the program again with this age bracket – I extended the finish time so that could spend more time at the stop points and have a fire at the last resting place to talk about our intentions after the walk. This meant that we used head torches for the 2km which added a bit of a sense of theatre to the day. It was pretty cool.

      If you email me on hello@embarkpsych.com I can send you the manual. Or ask any other questions via this page so others might share in the answers.

      CD

0