And welcome to this the second issue for 2006 of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work.
Over the years, we have often received requests for articles about how narrative therapy ideas can be applied to crisis work. The first section of this issue comprises of two papers on this theme. The first, by Elizabeth Buckley and Philip Decter, offers a narrative and anthropological framework for working with children and families in crisis. Psychiatric crisis can invite practitioners to prioritise their own ideas about problems and solutions above collaboration. The article argues that practices of collaboration are crucial when responding to these kinds of crises. It offers a framework for responding to crises by remaining in collaborative and hopeful positions. It also contains a range of examples of this in practice. The second paper, by Manja Visschedijk, explores the ways in which narrative ideas can be helpful for managers in responding to ‘crisis’ situations.
The second section of this journal issue describes an approach to community work informed by narrative ideas that we hope will be of relevance to practitioners in a wide range of contexts. Over the last year, a number of Aboriginal communities, which are experiencing hard times, have been exchanging stories. These are stories about special skills, special knowledge, about hopes and dreams and the ways that people are holding onto these. They are stories that honour history. This article describes the thinking that has informed this process. It also contains extracts of stories and messages from different communities.
The third section of this journal consists of two further practice-based papers. Judith Milner recounts the story of how a group of parents, who were caring for children whose behaviour had been sexually concerning or harmful, transformed their lives and, in the process, transformed a service. And David Epston, Cherelyn Lakusta and Karl Tomm describe a novel approach to parentchildren conflicts. This approach has been developed in response to situations when the present is particularly vexatious or where parties are passionately committed to their respective position which requires each to either defend it, or attack the rectitude of the other, and where to relent or even hesitate would risk loss of face.
It is a diverse collection of papers!
We hope they support the work that you are doing in your context and we very much look forward to receiving your feedback.
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We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which Dulwich Centre stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders of the Kaurna Nation, both past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.