Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in | 0 comments

Showing 17–32 of 40 results

  • Narrative Therapy and Research


    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.

  • 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.

  • Responding to Child Abuse: Confucianism, Colonisation, Post-structuralism— Angela Tsun On-kee


    Post-modern and post-structuralist ideas encourage us to ask questions such as: What is reality? What is objectivity? Who decides the objective criteria? Whose perspectives are informing what we believe to be the truth? How are our identities constructed? This piece describes how these questions have informed the author’s therapy and social work practice with a particular emphasis on understanding and responding to child abuse in Hong Kong.

  • Protecting Relationships from the Ongoing Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse— Jussey Verco, David Tully, Geoff Minge


    This paper describes ways of working with male partners of women who experienced sexual abuse as children. In response to requests from women, groups were held with male partners to provide information about childhood sexual abuse, to enable the men to speak about ways in which they have tried to support their partners, and to discuss men’s experiences and responses. Opportunities were also created to deconstruct unhelpful or ‘dangerous’ ideas around the complexities of childhood sexual abuse.

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


    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 Roads of Hong Kong – Where Are You Taking Me?— Ting Wai-fong


    Through the imagery of roads and the metaphor of a journey, this piece invites the reader to consider the complexities of Hong Kong history and how they shape identity.

  • 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.

  • Lily— Ho Chi-kwan


    This paper describes conversations with Lily, a twelve year-old girl, about the ways in which she is living with diabetes. It particularly explores Lily’s skills in navigating who to tell about her diabetes and how to ensure that they are trustworthy.

  • 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.

  • Reclaiming Our Knowledge of Our Children: Talking with Children and Parents About Learning Differences— Lynn Tron Dinneen


    For families in which a child has a learning difference, broader social discourses about learning, schooling and achievement can so easily disrupt loving relationships. When difficulties are compounded, parents can lose touch with the knowledge they have of their children’s skills. This paper proposes ways of assisting parents to reclaim their knowledge about what is special, unique and precious about their children. This paper was created from an interview with David Denborough, staff writer at Dulwich Centre Publications.

  • The Getting of Wisdoms— Cate Ingram & Amaryll Perlesz


    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.

  • Letters of Love and Lament: Linking Migrants with the Communities from Which They Come— Lynn Tron Dinneen & David Denborough


    Letters have always been sent home from those who have migrated to different lands. This paper describes a project in which two collective letters were created to link Mexican migrants to their homeland communities.

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


    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.

  • Young People and the Creation of Culture— Victor Wong Cheong-wing


    As practitioners, considerations of culture are vital to understanding how people’s identities are constructed and shaped, and how meanings are given to certain actions. What is more, how we conceptualise culture has very real implications for policy and for practice. This short piece describes the importance of recognising the active part that young people in Hong Kong are making to the creation of culture.

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


    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.

  • Researching ‘Suicidal Thoughts’ and Archiving Young People’s Insider Knowledges— Marilyn O’Neill


    This paper explores the significance of enabling co-research conversations about the effects and tactics of suicidal thoughts, and about effective forms of resistance. It describes one such coresearch project that involved three young people in Sydney, Australia. The ideas that informed the co-research are described and extracts of the young people’s co-research conversations are included.


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

  4. 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.


  5. 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.