Posted by on Dec 10, 2016 in | 0 comments

Showing 1–16 of 30 results

  • Conversations with Divorced Parents: Disarming the Conflict and Developing Skills of Collaboration— Anne Kathrine Løge


    Parents who have divorced often experience conflict-saturated accounts of each other and their relationship. This paper shares some narrative approaches which seek to help divorced parents ‘disarm the conflict’ and develop skills of collaboration. This work involves exploring each parent’s preferred values and purposes with linguagrams, inviting divorced parents to act as outsider witnesses for each other, and inviting in other divorced parents to act as outsider witnesses for the parents seeking therapy.

  • Discovering Children’s Responses to Trauma: A Response-based Narrative Practice— Angel Yuen


    Modern discourses of victimhood, which are often present in instances of childhood trauma, can contribute considerably to establishing long-term negative identity conclusions. However, focussing on children’s responses to trauma can aid in conversations that contribute to rich second story development, without re-traumatising children or young people. These kinds of enquiry can focus on children’s acts of resistance, places of safety, and other skills of living. This paper gives examples of therapy informed by this approach, and provides a map of four levels of enquiry for conversations with children and young people which elicit and build upon responses to trauma.

  • Establishing Non-criminal Records— Eileen Hurley


    This paper highlights the use of therapeutic letters and documents in working with young men in a US jail. Examples of documents generated for and with young men include those designed to summarise conversations, request an audience, bear witness, invite support, link lives, archive solution knowledges, share skills and knowledges, and perform ceremony and song.

  • Sharing Stories: The Work of an Experience Consultant— Ellen Walnum


    This paper introduces the concept of Experience Consultant. Ellen Walnum is a Norwegian woman with the experience of growing up with a mother who had psychiatric difficulties. She has also had the experience of a mental health crisis. Determined to put these experiences to work for the benefit of others, Ellen is now employed as an Experience Consultant working with professionals, with mothers who have psychiatric difficulties and with their children. This paper describes some of the key skills involved in the work of Experience Consultants. It also offers a vision for re-thinking mental health services as partnerships built on a combination of ‘professional knowledge’ and ‘experience knowledge’. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.

  • ‘A Different Story’: Narrative Group Therapy in a Psychiatric Day Centre— Ron Nasim


    This paper describes a narrative group therapy model applied in a psychiatric day centre. The group was conceived as a form of definitional ceremony, in which a participant is invited to share an account of a unique outcome that happened to them recently, while the other members serve as outsider witnesses to this development. A detailed example of a therapeutic conversation about depression, and the outsider witness group’s responses, shows how these generative conversations can be held in a psychiatric setting. A second example of this work details how outsider witness group reflections can be used to form the basis of an alternative kind of ‘discharge letter’. Finally, the paper discusses significant dilemmas arising from the work, including how to discern which subordinate story-lines to develop from the many entry points available.

  • Conversations with Children with Disabilities and Their Mothers— Maksuda Begum


    This paper from Bangladesh presents an overview of narrative approaches to work with mothers and their children who have intellectual disabilities. In what can be traumatic contexts, this work is based on mothers’ and children’s skills, knowledges, values, and connections. Through the course of both individual and group work, blame and stigma are externalised, and the love and care mothers have for their children – as well as their children’s ‘special abilities’ – are brought more to the fore. This paper also presents an alternative intake questionnaire that can help to diminish the effects of pathologising language, and elicit accounts of care and connection.

  • Kanna’s Lucid Dreams and the Use of Narrative Practices to Explore Their Meaning— Milan Colic


    This paper presents how the lucid dreaming of a young woman, Kanna, was unpacked in line with the ideas and practices that underlie narrative therapy. It outlines how Kanna’s dream was rendered into a metaphor in order to story events and experiences in her life, culminating in the selection of a new support ‘Team’, and changing what she had come to know as distressing nightmares into ‘lucid dreaming’, in which she was authorised to shape the stories that she now could tell herself in both her sleep and her waking life.

  • Struggling for Dignity in a Time of Crisis— Turid Foss


    This paper describes the experience of a therapist who experienced psychosis and was hospitalised as a result. Turid’s experiences of her time on the ward have led to her questioning many taken-forgranted practices. This paper is a powerful invitation to all mental health practitioners to think differently about how we respond to those in crisis, to acknowledge the support and care offered between ‘patients’ within psychiatric wards, and to question and dismantle the artificial separation between ‘professionals’ and ‘those who experience mental health difficulties’. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.

  • Azima Ila Hayati – an Invitation in to My Life: Narrative Conversations about Sexual Identity— Sekneh Hammoud-Beckett


    This paper describes a therapeutic conversation with a young gay Muslim man and his brother which was shaped by the definitional ceremony metaphor. Through deconstructing ‘games of truth’ in relation to attitudes to homosexuality and the process of ‘coming out’, space was created for this young man and his brother to realign their relationship. In the midst of the current hostile climate affecting all Arab Muslim families, this paper describes the story of two brothers and their concept of loyalty.

  • Linking Families Together: Narrative Conversations with Children, Adolescents, and Their Families— Jodi Aman


    This paper explores ways of responding to the problems children and adolescents face in ways that include and honour the contributions of other family members. For example, parents and care-givers can be enlisted to help with scaffolding and outsiderwitnessing, as well as providing what the author refers to as ‘comemories’. The paper also discusses specific ways of working with children, such as keeping therapeutic conversations fun, regarding children as ‘story listeners’, opening space for conversations about difficult problems, and using therapeutic documents. How these considerations are put into practice is then documented in three accounts of working with children and adolescents on issues of anxiety, the death of a pet, and a parent’s diagnosis of cancer.

  • Returning Mental Health Issues to the Realm of Culture and Community— Odd Volden


    Within Norway, as in many countries, there is a long history of people who have experienced mental health difficulties taking action to try to change the ways in which mental health struggles are understood and responded to. In this paper, Odd Volden traces the history of such actions within Norway. He also invites the reader to reconceptualise mental health crises as cultural experiences, to move mental health issues back into the realm of culture and community and, in doing so, to strengthen some of the valued traditions of our respective cultures. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.

  • Talking with Mothers and Children: An Intake Questionnaire


    Developed by David Denborough (Dulwich Centre Institute of Community Practice) in conjunction with Maksuda Begum (Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation).

    This questionnaire is designed as a supplementary intake tool. It has been developed in recognition of the particular experiences of mothers of children with disabilities. This intake tool has two purposes. Firstly, it enables the counsellor to learn about the particular skills and knowledge of mothers and children that can later become a focus for therapeutic conversations. Secondly, it is structured in a way that assists mothers to get in touch with their own skills and knowledges, and provides a healing way for the counsellor to respond.

  • Deconstructing Perfectionism: Narrative Conversations with Those Suffering from Eating Issues— Shona Russell


    In this paper, I will discuss some of the narrative practices that have guided me in work with people suffering the effects of eating disorders. In preparing this paper, I have chosen to carefully review notes and transcripts of therapeutic conversations that span several years and which trace the journey of Katerina in her determination to reclaim her life from illness. I would like to acknowledge and thank Katerina for her significant contribution to our work together and for her willingness to share aspects of her life.

  • Every Conversation Is an Opportunity: Negotiating Identity in Group Settings— Ali Borden


    Therapy within the context of a treatment centre can spread and confirm stories of deficit, or it can be an opportunity in which preferences and skills reverberate within a community and enable preferred reputations to be born. In a group setting, every conversation is an opportunity to negotiate meaning, and every group provides a stage for the performance of identity. This paper describes some ways that we at the Eating Disorder Center of California day treatment program guide some of that performance, including how we seek to take apart assumptions about eating problems and recovery, what is relevant to share, and what people have in common. Our intention is to open space for women to share their experiences as rich and complicated; their preferences as diverse, varied, and dynamic; and at the same time encourage points of connection, camaraderie, and community.

  • Queer Lives and Spiritual Leanings: Gay Men Talking about How We Stayed Connected, or Got Re-connected, to Spiritual Practices and Religious Values under Challenging Circumstances— Charles Jasper


    How do queer people stay connected or get reconnected to spiritual practices and values when the religious communities they grew up may have been powerfully rejecting of gay, lesbian or queer lives? This paper includes the stories of a number of gay men who grew up in Christian communities and describes their journeys in relation to matters of spirituality. The author also provides a framework that could be used to structure similar explorations with lesbian, bisexual, transgender or other queer folk.

  • Stories of Pride and Survival: From the Romany People— Sissel Wilmena Daabous


    In this evocative paper, Sissel Wilmena Daabous conveys some of the history of the Romany people (sometimes known as Travellers) and their rich skills of survival. This paper also describes Sissel’s attempts to develop ways of working with her people which are based on Romany culture, values, and skills, and which will be relevant to any practitioner who is interested in developing ways of working that are appropriate to their own culture and context. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.


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

  2. 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.


  3. 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.