2004: Issue 4

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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


Showing all 6 results

  • 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.


  1. “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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?


    Cal Albright
    Kermode Friendship Center
    Terrace, BC

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

  5. 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


    • 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.


  6. Thank you for sharing your insights. This has been very enlightening as a student studying post-grad social work. Recently my tutorial group was discussing how professionals often use their interpretation and that clients may not get to see how some professionals interpret their stories, in this way many things can be missed especially what the client sees as being important.