2004: Issue 4

Dear Reader,


Welcome to the final issue of the 2004 series.

You’ll notice that this journal has a new look! What’s more, for the 2005 series we’re going to have a new cover too. It’s a time of changes!

The initial section of this journal issue explores two realms of complexity. The first paper, by Sue Mann, examines some of the more complex questions posed by work with women who have experienced sexual abuse, including: ‘Am I a sex worker because of the abuse?’ and ‘Am I gay/lesbian/queer because of the abuse?’ The second paper, ‘Climbing the mountain: The experience of parents whose children are in care’, documents the work of a moving and inspiring parenting/playgroup for parents whose children have been removed from their homes. We would be very interested in hearing your feedback on these two pieces and on any other matters of complexity that you are currently grappling with in your work.

We have then included some ‘Glimpses of Narrative Connections’ from our new web-based network. We are delighted that there are already members from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, China, France, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, UK and USA!

The second section of the journal contains a piece that has already attracted a lot of interest. We have included here a sample counselling flyer. Creating a counselling flyer that is congruent with narrative ideas can be quite a challenge. To assist in this process, a range of practitioners from different parts of the world have pooled their ideas and here we have published the result. Please feel free to use this sample flyer, or extracts of it, in whatever way would be of value to you. It’s been fun creating it.

Three practice-based papers then follow. The first by Dave McGibbon is short piece entitled ‘Narrative therapy with young people: What externalising practice and use of letters make possible’. The second, by Sheridan Linnell, involves both theoretical exploration and practice description and is entitled, ‘Towards a ‘poethics’ of practice: Extending the relationship of ethics and aesthetics in narrative therapies through a consideration of the late work of Michel Foucault’. While the third paper is a thorough description of Rudi Kronbichler’s narrative practice with boys struggling with anorexia.

It is a diverse collection!

We’d like to thank you again for your readership during 2004. And we hope you will join us again next year.

Warm regards,

Cheryl White
David Denborough
Dulwich Centre Publications


  • The Questions Posed by Our Work with Women Who Have Experienced Sexual Abuse— Sue Mann


    This paper is one in a series by Sue Mann focusing on some of the most complex and challenging questions that arise in work with women who have experienced sexual abuse as children. In this paper the author describes the principles which shape her approach in this work, as well as responses to questions about sex work and sexual identity that have arisen in her conversations with women. This paper was delivered as a keynote at the second International Summer School of Narrative Practice in November 2004.

  • Climbing the Mountain: The Experience of Parents Whose Children Are in Care


    The experience of parents whose children have been removed from their families by child protection services is a realm that is rarely considered. This paper describes the inspiring work of a Parenting/Playgroup for parents whose children are in care. The principles which inform this group are described and the experiences of the parents themselves are conveyed. This paper was created from a series of interviews.

  • Creating a Counselling Flyer: A Collective Approach


    How can flyers and brochures for narrative therapy counselling services be created in ways that are congruent with narrative ideas? A range of practitioners from different parts of the world contributed to create the wording for such a flyer in the hope that this will spark ideas and further conversations.

  • Narrative Therapy with Young People: What Externalising Practice and Use of Letters Make Possible— Dave McGibbon


    This paper explores how preferred identities of young people can be made more visible through externalising practices and the use of therapeutic letters.

  • Towards a ‘Poethics’ of Therapeutic Practice: Extending the Relationship of Ethics and Aesthetics in Narrative Therapies Through a Consideration of the Late Work of Michel Foucault— Sheridan Linnell


    This paper seeks to extend the narrative metaphor for therapy through further considerations of the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in narrative practice. This is a story peopled with both real and imaginary beings – including a partially retired detective, a wise young girl and her family, two poststructural philosophers, several sailors, sundry narrative practitioners, a few million frogs and a talking (and flying) piece of fruit. Drawing on aspects of the theoretical work of Michel Foucault and Couze Venn, the writer tells how she has come to think of her therapeutic practice as an ‘ethics and aesthetics of existence’, in the form of an ‘apprenticeship to the other’. However, the paper does not privilege the philosophy of philosophers (or for that matter the therapy of therapists) above local knowledges. At the heart of this paper is the story of a particular family, their ethics and aesthetics of existence, and what Sheridan took back into her own identity and practice from her meetings with this family.

  • Narrative Therapy with Boys Struggling with Anorexia— Rudi Kronbichler


    The work described in this paper took place in Salzburg, Austria, within a psychotherapeutic outpatient department for children, adolescents and their families. It is based on meetings with eight young men and their families over the last couple of years. The young men’s ages ranged from twelve to fifteen and their diagnoses were that of ‘anorexia’. This paper discusses the growing incidence of anorexia amongst young men and boys and proposes narrative ways of working that have been experienced as helpful and effective.