2008

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Showing 1–16 of 21 results

  • Addressing Sex in Narrative Therapy: Talking with Heterosexual Couples about Sex, Bodies, and Relationships— Yael Gershoni, Saviona Cramer & Tali Gogol-Ostrowsky

    $9.90

    In talking with couples about sex, it is often assumed that storylines about sex also involve storylines about relationships and bodies. In our couple therapy work, however, we have found it significant to disentangle these storylines. By exploring separate storylines of relationship/intimacy, body image and sex, many new possibilities for narrative sex therapy with couples have emerged. This paper outlines these possibilities through sharing one example of narrative sex therapy with a heterosexual couple.

  • Children, Parents and Mental Health— The Dulwich Centre

    $9.90

    This article presents initial material generated by the Children, Parents and Mental Health Project. It contains a collection of stories from children of parents with mental health difficulties, and serves not only as collective therapeutic document and a document of alternative knowledge about this topic, but also as a source of questions for those working with people whose parent has experienced mental health problems.

  • Michael White: Fragments of an Event— John Winslade & Lorraine Hedtke with an introduction by David Epston

    $9.90

    We present here fragments, reconstructed from memory, of Michael White’s last workshop. These fragments are interspersed with descriptions of events that took place in San Diego in the days leading up to Michael’s death. Our focus here is not on the medical details, nor on the private family stories, but on the task of recording Michael’s last efforts to teach. Our hope is to play a small part in allowing his words to continue to resonate.

  • Turning the Spotlight Back on the Normalising Gaze— Jane Hutton

    $9.90

    This paper explores notions of what it means to be ‘normal’ in modern Western culture, and the attendant relationships with normative judgement and the ‘normalising gaze’. One option for deconstructing these practices in everyday life – to both address the operations of power within normative judgement, and to address experiences of personal failure – is the ‘failure conversations map’ employed in narrative therapy. This map is outlined through one of the authors’ own application of it to her relationship with her daughter, as well as an exploratory use in some therapeutic conversations.

  • A Letter to Robyn: Explorations of the Written Word in Therapeutic Practice— Mandy Pentecost

    $9.90

    This paper explores the co-production of a literary therapy. It is drawn from research conducted by Mandy Pentecost which investigated the therapeutic writing practices employed in one narrative counselling relationship in which Robyn was the client and Mandy the counsellor. Four different genres of writing were engaged with during the counselling process: ‘homework’ questions, a therapeutic letter, a ‘rescued speech poem’, and a short story. These four genres are described in this paper which is written in an auto ethnographic form in the shape of a letter to Robyn.

  • Growing up with Parents with Mental Health Difficulties— Ruth Pluznick and Natasha Kis-Sines

    $9.90

    This paper documents a project with young people who are growing up with a parent with mental health difficulties. The authors discuss how they are able to employ the narrative practice ‘double-listening’ to stories by the young people – listening not only to the challenges that this experience brought, but also asking about the skills, knowledges and opportunities the young people used to respond to these. This and the other narrative principles that informed the project – such as co-research and ‘enabling contribution’ are demonstrated by the inclusion of a therapeutic document from work with a young man, and a transcript of a conversation with a young woman and her mother.

  • Learning from Children and Adults in Times of War: Stories from the Bomb Shelters in the North of Israel— Yishai Shalif and Rachel Paran

    $9.90

    This paper describes a three-day visit to Qiryat Shemoneh, a small city in northern Israel, which was affected by war in mid-2006. The authors describe some of their understandings of the effects of war trauma, including the negative impacts on people’s identities, the isolation of people from others, and the positioning of people as ‘helpless victims’. They then explore how to respond to war trauma and its effects while people are still living under fire. This is illustrated by transcripts of conversations with families and children. Finally, they explore how workers dealing with the effects of war can support themselves during this work.

  • Using the ‘Failure Conversations Map’ with Couples Experiencing Fertility Problems— Razi Shachar

    $9.90

    This paper details work done with a heterosexual couple who were experiencing fertility problems. Drawing on the externalising conversations and failure conversations maps of narrative practice, the author worked with the couple to explore culturally-dominant norms around pregnancy and fertility, resulting in renewed options for parenthood. The paper discusses aspects of Michel Foucault’s notion of modern power in relation to normalising judgement, and details how the failure conversations map offers a response to this.

  • ‘Rescuing the Said from the Saying of It’: Living Documentation in Narrative Therapy— David Newman

    $9.90

    This article explores some creative ideas about using therapeutic documents in narrative practice. After a discussion of the theoretical background, important principles, and ethical issues in employing documents, the author gives examples of emails used to recruit a ‘care team’, and keeping care teams informed of developments in people’s lives. The main part of the paper explores the idea of ‘living documents’: therapeutic documents that are added to by various clients over time. This new departure in therapeutic documents is different from the existing practices of ‘archives’ held by various leagues – which tend to simply be collections of different individual’s documents; and of collective documents, which are usually produced by a group in a collective voice.

  • Cards as Therapeutic Documents— Adam Hahs

    $5.50

    Therapeutic documents have been a feature of narrative practice for many years. In this paper, the author introduces a little-used type of therapeutic document, greeting cards. Examples include a ‘bon voyage’ card to worry, a celebration card due to the reduction of fear, and an anniversary card marking a year of ‘reduced sadness’. The author has found this type of brief therapeutic document to be a very effective part of the therapeutic engagement.

  • The Use of Narrative Therapy to Allow the Emergence of Engagement— Jackie Bateman & Nigel White

    $9.90

    This paper explores options for engaging young people who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviours, as well as inviting their family members into conversations about responsibility and safety. Several scenarios are provided that explore common themes in this work, as well as some of the diverse challenges that can be present, including denial that the abuse has occurred, how to host conversations respectfully, and how to continue to find entry points to difficult conversations with families and foster carers. The article also details how to develop Safe Care Plans, as well as ‘Helping Team Meetings’, two practices which the authors have found useful in working with sexual abuse committed by children and young people. The article ends with feedback letters from a young person and a family member who were involved in this process.

  • When Your Child is Diagnosed with Schizophrenia: The Skills and Knowledges of Parents— Amanda Worrall

    $9.90

    This article documents work with a group of parents in Central Australia who have a son or daughter who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The first part of the article collects some of the parents’ reflections on the effects of schizophrenia on their lives and their ways of responding to them, while the second part is a collective document produced with the group about their skills and knowledges. This group work has led to the production of a larger booklet for the wider community, as well as networking and partnering with local community mental health organisations, and advocacy and lobbying of politicians and health services.

  • Creating an Alternative Pathway through the Criminal Justice System: Enabling Alternative Stories to Be Heard— Kate Hannan

    $9.90

    This article describes the work of the Australian-based Court Support Program, which offers support to young people who have been charged with committing a crime, or have been a victim of crime. The program helps young people understand the criminal justice system during the three stages of presentencing, sentencing, and post-sentencing. To describe the program’s work in detail, the author presents her work with one young man using a range of narrative practices during each of these three stages.

  • Narrative Approaches in Centrelink: ‘It’s Those Turning Questions …’— Lesley Dalyell

    $9.90

    This paper documents a narratively-based interview guide for social work assessments used in Centrelink, a major Australian government department. The questions used in the assessment are illustrated by examples from conversations with the young people and their parents consulting the service, as well as reflections from the team of social workers who trialled the interview guide. The paper shows how working within existing governmental frameworks can still lead to conversations with clients that are respectful, generative, and hopeful.

  • Reflections across Time and Space: Using Voice Recordings to Facilitate ‘Long-distance’ Definitional Ceremonies— Ross Hernandez

    $5.50

    This paper describes the author’s attempts to employ the definitional ceremony map of narrative therapy in contexts where outsider witnesses cannot be physically present. This was achieved through the use of a voice recorder, with the various stages of tellings and re-tellings being recorded and played for the outsider witnesses and clients, bringing about a ‘long-distance’ definitional ceremony which spans a gap in time and space.

  • Remembrance: Women and Grief Project— The Dulwich Centre

    $9.90

    This article documents the initial stage of Dulwich Centre’s Women and Grief Project, a project based on narrative practice to collect stories, skills, and knowledge of women responding to grief and loss. The article includes a list of narrativelyinformed questions for women to reflect on their experiences of grief and loss, and a heartfelt response to these by a Palestinian woman, as well as responses to her writing by other women. The article also explores the complexities of grief in the context of violence, abuse, or other ‘fraught’ aspects of relationships, as well as socially-unsanctioned forms of grief.

1,972 Comments

  1. Listening to Tileah I was provoked to contemplate my own use of language when working with clients. I enjoy the narrative model of practice and I am aware that for some there is definitely stigma attached to the process of counselling or therapy. I have only had one experience of working with an Indigenous person as a client and I will be sure to look at my use of language. I like the idea of it just being a yarn, it takes the pressure and onus off of the client to do something.

  2. Hello:

    This is Andrea from Toronto.

    I found particularly helpful the discussion in the FAQ around the use of metaphors of conflict and combat. I expect to be working in healthcare settings with critically ill patients and their loved ones (mostly children and parents), and I anticipate hearing them use these kinds of combative metaphors during our conversations. I also anticipate meeting many people who are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from “fighting” these problems. I appreciated the comments in the FAQ about combative metaphors, and the suggestions around exploring other kinds of metaphors which may be less conflict-laden and draining on their emotional resources. Thanks again for making this material available!

  3. I have started to use collaboration with clients when I am asked to write a report. I ask clients what they see as the areas of change and challenge of which they want others to be aware. I also at times share my report with the client first to be sure it accurately reflects their experience. In this way they are both acknowledging their ongoing journey and being acknowledged for the work they have done.

  4. Mike here, in London. I too was interested in “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” It’s a really difficult question. I was involved for about 10 years in working with people suffering from homelessness. Sue Mann’s story really rang true for me. One thing I was involved in was a choir for marginalised people, literally helping them find their voices. That, I felt, was useful, and collaborative. But I have always been suspicious of things like distributing left-over sandwiches to people sleeping rough on the street, as if that made it OK for them to be there as long as we give them some stale sandwiches. Or giving them tents or sleeping bags. What message does it send? Even though it may be well-meaning.

  5. Hi, I’m Mike. I work as a couples counsellor in London, England. My main training was 50% psychodynamic and 50% systemic. Narrative work was touched on briefly, for one module, and I am looking forward to learning more. Couples certainly do bring stories, often rather thin stories. “My partner is selfish.” Or “My partner had an affair”. Full stop. That’s all there is to know. Even in happy couples, people seem to get shaped into rather thin roles: this partner is the one who’s good with people, that partner is the one who’s good with money, this one cooks, that one drives. If the relationship ends, they may discover, actually *I* also can drive, cook, manage my money, make friends, I am a complete person.

  6. I think it will be an important part of my practice to investigate with clients which elements of our systems (social, cultural, political, economic) that are contributing to or mitigating their problems and suffering. I was particularly struck by the following sentence from the Just Therapy article: “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” I think it is incumbent upon those of us in helping professions to work with the people we are helping to begin addressing the systemic issues that are contributing to (or creating) their problems. Otherwise, we may fall into this trap of “adjusting people to injustice.”

  7. Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a Masters student in a spiritual care program located in Toronto.

    After reviewing this chapter, I’m reflecting upon the question that was raised: “how do we respond to grief when that grief has been caused by injustice?” and thinking about it in the context of working with seriously ill children and their families in a hospital/hospice setting. Patients and families in that setting also face grief that has been caused by injustice (in the form of incurable illness), and I see how the narrative metaphor can be used to help those families begin to reclaim their own lives in the face of tremendous loss caused by uncontrollable circumstances. I can see how the Articles of the Narrative Therapy Charter of Story-Telling Rights would be tremendously helpful when working with patients and families as a framework for telling and receiving their stories about their lives and their problems.

    For me, the material in this chapter also raises the question of how we can help to facilitate healing in a world where systems are seemingly becoming more unjust and creating deep suffering. My initial thought is that we continue to listen to each other’s stories with deep compassion, and the teachings of this course will help to provide us with new ideas and skills on how to do this.

  8. Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk was incredible. The one line where she said “a single story creates a stereotype. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete”. This blew my mind. I am ashamed to have ever participated in the single story belief of anyone let alone whole cultures, communities and countries , continents and so on. I know that moving forward I will endeavour to hear more stories and to encourage others to tell their story. I am about to run a photovoice narrative project to do just this, give a whole community the opportunity to change their stereotype.

  9. “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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

    Regards

    Cal Albright
    ED
    Kermode Friendship Center
    http://www.keremodefriendship.ca
    Terrace, BC
    Canada

    • Hi Cal, thanks for the interest. At this point the only followup has been through conversations with with people who return to volunteer on additional walks or engage with our other programs.

      However, a group of fourth year medical students at a local university have offered to run a pre and post measured study / report in 2020 as part of their studies which should be interesting.

      Let me know if you would like more information.

      CD

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

  13. 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

    Paul

    • 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.

      CD

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