2010: Issue 1

2010-no-1Dear Reader

G’day and welcome to the first journal issue of 2010. And what a diverse and intriguing collection it is. Every paper is from a different country: South Africa, Australia, UK, Canada, Israel and the USA.

It begins with three narrative practice papers.

Ncazelo Ncube provides new options for those working with children who have experienced abuse. Barbara Wingard provides a way to spark externalising conversations about lateral violence in Aboriginal communities. And Lincoln Simmonds offers reflections and options for practice in relation to narrative approaches to supervision consultations.

These three papers convey a glimpse of the diversity of contexts in which narrative ideas are now being engaged with!

We have entitled this journal issue ‘Border crossings’ because we have deliberately included here three papers that ‘cross’ boundaries or borders between narrative therapy ideas and other approaches to working with individuals and families. Over the years we have received many requests for papers that explore how narrative ideas can be used in conjunction with, or alongside, other ways of working.

This ‘border crossing’ section begins with an interview with Daniel Bogue about family group conferencing which is entitled: ‘Reversing the trend: Families resolving and responding to their own problems of living’. There seems a considerable overlap in relation to the principles of practice of family group conferencing and narrative ideas. We’re delighted to open conversations about these links in this issue.

The second paper, from Razi Shacher, is entitled: ‘Combining relaxation and guided imagery with narrative practices in therapy with an incest survivor’. As the title suggests, this paper explores how the author has used guided imagery alongside narrative practices.

And finally, psychiatrist SuEllen Hamkins discusses ways of bringing narrative practices to psychopharmacology. This is a follow-up to her very popular article which we published some years ago: ‘Introducing narrative psychiatry: Narrative approaches to initial psychiatric consultations’.

These are three significant ‘border crossings’. What can be learned from such situations? We will very much look forward to your comments and reflections about them.

Warm regards,

Cheryl White


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


    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


    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.

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


    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.

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


    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.

  • Combining Relaxation and Guided Imagery with Narrative Practices in Therapy with an Incest Survivor— Razi Shachar


    This paper explores the use of relaxation and guided imagery in conjunction with narrative therapy, with a woman dealing with the effects of trauma related to sexual abuse. The work took place in Israel, with a woman who was abused in childhood by her brother, yet she was still on good terms with him and the rest of her family. The woman was also part of a religious community that placed certain expectations on women regarding sexual relationships with their husbands. This paper explores some of the more complex issues around sex and intimacy, along with ways of unpacking sex, body image, and dominant cultural norms, in a complex and nuanced context.

  • Bringing Narrative Practices to Psychopharmacology— SuEllen Hamkins


    This paper considers how narrative therapy practices can be brought to the field of psychopharmacology. Specifically, the paper explores how clients’ evaluations of medicine – including negative and positive effects, as well as their preferences for its use – can be brought more to the centre of medicine consultation. The various discourses that surround pharmacology during practice are also considered, including how to proceed when these discourses are in conflict. A discussion of the relevant issues in theory and practice is complemented by two examples from the author’s practice.