Dear Reader,

G’day and welcome to this issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. We’re really enjoyed putting this issue together.

It begins with a paper from Jodi Aman, in the USA, which provides an account of how the metaphor of ‘therapist as host’ can shape therapeutic practice. Jodi describes a number of sparkling ways in which those seeking counselling can be welcomed to the experience of therapy.

The second part of this journal focuses on ‘Considerations of place’. Mark Trudinger’s paper, ‘Maps of violence, maps of hope: Using place and maps to explore identity, gender, and violence’ invites us to consider the significance of ‘place’ in the formation of identity and therefore to the endeavour of therapeutic and community work. Manja Visschedijk provides a reflection on this same topic. This is an exciting new area for narrative practice and we look forward to seeing how practitioners take up these ideas in their own contexts!

The next two papers offer creative examples of outsider-witness practices. A paper by Debra Smith and Jeanette Gibson describes the ‘Inside/Outside’ program in which members of the community were invited into a prison to witness the stories of those incarcerated, and vice-versa. And Michelle Fraser conveys how the West Street Centre has developed a series of ‘community days’ in order to bring together feminist, therapeutic and community development aspirations. We hope by including creative examples of outsider witness work that others may be tempted to try something different and in their own ways.

Within this journal we are also very pleased to formally announce a new publishing project, on the theme of ‘Gathering stories about growing up with a parent with mental health difficulties’ This project has been initiated by Shona Russell. Within this journal you will read about the hopes and ideas that shape this project as well as a number of examples of stories. If this is an issue that means something to you, we hope you will become involved and look forward to hearing from you.

Finally, we have included here an interview with Kiera Zen, which took place during a recent trip to East Timor. With all that is occurring in East Timor at present we thought you would be interested to hear about creative, hopeful and thoughtful community work that is occurring there.

As you can tell, this is a diverse collection of papers! The submissions of articles we continue to receive illustrate that there is a vibrant community of practitioners in many different parts of the world who are engaging with narrative ideas.

It’s always a pleasure to hear from readers about reflections on particular papers, ideas for further publications, or with draft articles for consideration for publication.

Happy reading!

Warm regards,

Cheryl White