2010

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Showing 1–16 of 27 results

  • A Child’s Voice: Narrative Family Therapy— Lisa Johnson

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    This article recounts an approach to working with a seven-year-old girl in response to a problem that had muted her voice. The narrative practices employed included absent but implicit questions, therapeutic documents, re-authoring conversations, definitional ceremony, and the use of an ‘Anticipated Petitioner’ to support a ‘consulting your consultants’ interview.

  • Learning the Craft: An Internalised Other Interview with a Couple— Belinda Emmerson-Whyte

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    This paper presents extracts from a couple therapy session to highlight some of the identity and relationship re-constituting and re-authoring prospects discovered while applying ‘internalised other questioning’. Ideas based on David Epston’s and Karl Tomm’s ‘internalised other questioning’ practices are presented including interviewing the ‘distributed self’, interviewing the ‘internalised other of the internalised other’, and repositioning from ‘settled certainties’ to preferred ‘practices of relationship’ and ‘practices of self’.

  • Talking about the ‘Suicidal Thoughts’: Towards an Alternative Framework— Loree Stout

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    This paper documents work with two women who have been subjected to suicidal thoughts. Part of this work is presented in the form of a collective narrative document. The final part of the paper presents an alternative framework for conversations about suicide, rather than standard checklists, as well the author’s suggestions for questions workers can ask themselves when meeting with people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

  • The Journey of Healing: Using Narrative Therapy and Map-making to Respond to Child Abuse in South Africa— Ncazelo Ncube

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    This paper documents an approach to working with girls in eastern and southern Africa who have been subject to abuse and trauma. It first summarises the key principles of narrative therapy’s approach to working with trauma and abuse, and then outlines a workshop that was co-created with girls and young women, based on the ‘journey metaphor’ and ideas of map-making from narrative therapy/ narrative practice.

  • A Conversation with Lateral Violence— Barbara Wingard

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    Lateral Violence is the name given to the harmful and undermining practices that members of oppressed groups can engage in against each other as a result of marginalisation. This paper comprises an ‘interview’ with Lateral Violence, played by a senior Australian Aboriginal health worker. In this paper, Lateral Violence provides ‘its own’ exposé. It is hoped that this paper may be used as a script for running workshops on lateral violence.

  • Illuminating Experiences, Skills and Knowledges around Suicide: An Invitation to Practitioners: From Marnie Sather, David Newman and Dulwich Centre

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    This project aims to assist individual’s families and clinicians in navigating the loss of a loved one through suicide. I (Marnie) lost my husband from suicide in March 2004. The process of swimming through the waters of shame and guilt has been rocky and sometimes I’ve been swept out by the strong currents. Now, with this project, we hope to collectively come up with ideas and actions that will make a difference to others who have lost loved ones to suicide. We hope this project will assist people to hold their heads up in difficult times.

     

  • Narrativising’ a Vocal Tic: The Use of Narrative Therapy in the Ridding of ‘Mr Squeeky’— Miguel Fernandez

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    Using the narrative therapy approach of externalising the problem, the author interviewed a ubiquitous vocal tic, called Mr Squeeky, that had afflicted a nine-year-old girl for more than two weeks. Within a week after the first session, more than 90% of the tic had disappeared, with the remaining expressions of it extinguished by the beginning of the third session. At the third session, the tic was brought into the session in an airtight container labelled ‘Squeeky lives here’.

  • Using Narrative Practices with Anxiety and Depression: Elevating Context, Joining People, and Collecting Insider-knowledges— David Newman

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    This paper, first delivered as a keynote address at the Reconnexion Annual National Anxiety and Depression Conference in Melbourne, May 2010, explores various narrative practices in responding to anxiety and depression: elevating context and externalising problems, linking people in the work, uncovering local and insider-knowledges, and documenting and archiving these knowledges, including using ‘living documents’ as collective therapeutic documents.

  • ‘What Doesn’t the Problem Know About Your Son or Daughter?’ Providing the Conditions for the Restoration of a Family’s Dignity— David Epston and David Marsten

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    This paper looks at the effects of Problems in the lives of children and young people, and also why Problems, by definition, have a ‘limited scope of interest’, and therefore can never reflect the richness of young people’s lives. The authors offer a range of ways that Problems can be directly responded to, including informing them of children’s and young people’s ‘wonderfulnesses’. Several examples of therapeutic documents intended to provide a full disclosure of such ‘wonderfulnesses’ are provided.

  • Narrative Approaches to Supervision Consultations: Reflections and Options for Practice— Lincoln Simmonds

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    Consultations where professionals working with people with difficulties see another mental health professional for advice and help, are an important part of the work of many therapists. This paper discusses how a narrative perspective can be particularly helpful in deconstructing one particular discourse that can at times dominate in consultations – that the therapist is the sole expert or authority on people’s difficulties. Although this paper focuses on consultations with professionals, many of the ideas and issues discussed are relevant to consultations with non-professionals.

  • Walking with People Challenged by Physical Disability: An Experience from Sichuan— Ocean Hung

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    This paper describes the use of narrative therapy with survivors of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China, in which more than 300,000 people were injured. The author explores some of the discourses around injury and the ‘disabled-person identity’, and raises questions about the dominant ideas of ‘restoration’ and ‘recovery’. Instead, the ‘rites of passage’ metaphor is proposed as a more useful way to conceptualise injury and disability in the wake of natural disasters. Ways of responding to people facing the identity-disrupting effects of injury, disability, and trauma are explored through two case studies. Finally, the author explores how responses to disability can move from the realms of individual therapy in a rehabilitation centre or therapy room, and also involve social advocacy and actions at a community level.

  • Yahav’s Story: My Way of Living with Tourette’s— Ron Nasim

    $9.90

    This article documents narrative therapy with a young man who is dealing with the effects, of Tourette Syndrome, and began to experience thoughts of self-harm and doing harm to others. Through an externalising conversation, a conversation to trace values and ideals, and using ideas of ‘the absent but implicit’, the author assisted the young man to achieve some distance from these problems. Together, they then documented some of the young man’s lifestory as a therapeutic document, and used this to engage in a form of definitional ceremony via the written word.

  • Community Therapy: A Participatory Response to Psychic Misery— Adalberto Barreto & Marilene Grandesso

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    This collection introduces ‘community therapy’ which has been developed in Brazil to respond to various forms of social suffering and ‘psychic misery’. The collection includes an introduction to the history, key tasks, and stages of a community therapy gathering; a description of one example of a community therapy meeting; and a brief exploration of how ideas from narrative therapy have been introduced into community therapy practices.

    Note: includes reflections by David Denborough and Cheryl White

     

  • Michael and ‘the Drink’— Benjamin A. Herzig

    $5.50

    This paper presents a description of work with Michael, an outpatient client struggling with alcohol. A framework informed by narrative therapy allowed the author and Michael to create a story about how alcohol dependence – ‘the Drink’ – had intruded upon him, caused trouble for him, conspired with other problems, and prevented him from crafting a lifestyle that he desired. Following an introduction of Michael and an account of his initial presentation in therapy, the paper presents an application of narrative therapy approaches in meetings with Michael, and the outcomes of this.

  • Privileging Insider-knowledges in the World of Autism— Courtney Olinger

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    Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) continue to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States of America suggested in 2007 that 1 in 150 eight-year-olds in the US has autism. In 2009 the CDC prevalence rose to 1 in 110. With the rising number of diagnoses, more families are impacted. Unfortunately, discourses surrounding ASD often present limited views and ways of working with these families. Using narrative practices, insider-knowledges can be privileged and guide professionals. This article presents ways that service providers can incorporate outsider-witnessing to elevate parents to ‘expert’ status, involve parents’ voices, and promote agency. It also includes a collective document of parents’ insider-knowledges which can be circulated to inform professionals and parents about the experiences of autism.

  • Reversing the Trend: Families Resolving and Responding to Their Own Problems of Living through Family Group Conferencing: An interview with Daniel Bogue

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    This interview explores the principles and practices of family group conferencing, as practiced in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario model draws on the family group conferencing first developed in New Zealand, and brings together practices of family therapy, children’s welfare, community organising, and ritual/spiritual concerns. By ‘widening the circle’ to include extended family members – often in quite protracted and difficult children’s welfare cases – family group conferencing allows for more voices to be heard, and families to develop their own solutions. This interview took place in Toronto in April, 2009. David Denborough was the interviewer.

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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