2011: Issue 3

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in | 0 comments

2011-no-3Dear reader,

Welcome to this journal issue that consists of four rigorous papers which seek to provide new challenge and complexity to the field of narrative practice.

The first paper, by Angel Yuen, is entitled History re-authored: Young men responding to anger, trouble, and hopelessness in urban schools. Stories of trouble, anger and despair have the ability to significantly diminish hope for male youth. However when young men’s lives are linked together via narrative practices, stories of connection, optimism and social justice can emerge. This paper presents ideas for responding to events involving anger, rage, difficulties and hopelessness for male adolescents in urban schools. The paper provides practice-based narrative maps and illustrates ways of engaging in both individual and collective narrative practices.

The second paper, by David Denborough, is entitled Resonance, rich description and social-historical healing: the use of collective narrative practice in Srebrenica. Are there ways of engaging with histories, collective narrative documentation and definitional ceremonies that can contribute to social-historical healing? This paper describes the use of collective narrative practices to generate opportunities for resonance between the storylines of people from different sides of an historic conflict. By telling the story of a workshop that took place in Srebrenica, Bosnia, this piece introduces new concepts to the field of narrative practice and includes two collective narrative documents.

The third paper, Cultural equity: Bridging the complexity of social identities with therapeutic practices, by Rhea Almeida, Pilar Hernández-Wolfe & Carolyn Tubbs, proposes the construct of cultural equity to guide family and community therapeutic work. Cultural equity encompasses the multiplicity of personal, social, and institutional locations that frame identities in therapeutic practice by locating these complexities within a societal matrix that shapes relationships: power, privilege, and oppression. This paper illustrates the application of cultural equity in therapy and discusses implications for theory and practice.

And finally, Consulting your consultants, revisited, by David Marsten, David Epston and Lisa Johnson, questions the notion of children as hapless, biding their time, through a slow maturation process until they become useful adults. Instead the authors argue that young people can be instrumental in their own lives and this extends to addressing serious problems they may encounter. In addition, young people’s knowledges can be useful to others. This paper offers a map for this practice in how to consult young people on behalf of others in need.

These four papers provide food for thought in relation to working with children, young people, adults and communities. As always, we will welcome your responses and feedback!

Warm regards,

Cheryl White


 

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  • Resonance, rich description and social-historical healing: The use of collective narrative practice in Srebrenica— David Denborough

    $9.90

    Are there ways of engaging with histories, collective narrative documentation and definitional ceremonies that can contribute to social-historical healing? This paper describes the use of collective narrative practices to generate opportunities for resonance between the storylines of people from different sides of an historic conflict. By telling the story of a workshop that took place in Srebrenica, Bosnia, this piece introduces new concepts to the field of narrative practice and includes two collective narrative documents.

  • Cultural equity: Bridging the complexity of social identities with therapeutic practices— Rhea Almeida, Pilar Hernández-Wolfe and Carolyn Tubbs

    $9.90

    In this article we propose the construct of cultural equity to guide family and community therapeutic work that addresses social and interpersonal complexity from a social justice perspective. Cultural equity encompasses the multiplicity of personal, social, and institutional locations that frame identities in therapeutic practice by locating these complexities within a societal matrix that shapes relationships: power, privilege, and oppression. We locate our work vis-à-vis the cultural competence movement to situate cultural equity theoretically and politically. We illustrate the application of cultural equity in therapy and discuss implications for theory and practice.

  • Consulting your consultants, revisited— David Marsten, David Epston and Lisa Johnson

    $9.90

    This article questions the notion of children as hapless, biding their time, through a slow maturation process until they become useful adults. We argue that young people1 can be instrumental in their own lives and this extends to addressing serious problems they may encounter. We suggest, in addition, that young people’s knowledges2 can be useful to others. We offer a map (White, 2007) for this practice in how to consult young people on behalf of others in need. With the use of letters and transcripts, we provide examples for each step in how to support young people as they find surer footing and a clearer voice, taking up the role of protagonist and advisor. Through the consulting process, insider knowledges are privileged. Narrative structures are utilised to give order and coherence to such knowledges. A future petitioner is introduced to provide immediacy and narrative drive to the consultation.

2,023 Comments

  1. I’m Clayre Sessoms from Vancouver, BC, Canada, traditionally known as Coast Salish Territories. I acknowledge that my work takes place on the ancestral, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Nations of the Coast Salish People whose relationship with the land is ancient, primary, and enduring. I’m an uninvited settler in what is colonially known as Vancouver. Because my place of work is on stolen land I commit to support a reconciliation, which includes reparations and the return of land. Here I study counselling psychology and art therapy, and I get to incorporate narrative therapy at my practicum placement, a site that provides free counselling services for LGBTQ2S individuals.

    These materials help me to begin to wrap my head around the complexities of narrative therapy. I especially enjoyed learning about how others have used narrative therapy in practical counselling settings.

    I’m moved by how we often tend to hear, accept, or retell the thinnest stories of our lives and the lives of others. I imagine that not valuing the richness of an individual’s diverse range of stories, perhaps, it has been much easier to cling to tired old preconceived notions about others, which can cause undue harm.

    I’m left thinking about the TEDTalk by Chimamanda Adichie about the dangers of accepting a singular story of someone else, rather than leaning in and committing to understand the wholeness of that person’s narrative.

    I look forward to continuing to learn. Thank you to The Dulwich Centre for providing this accessible forum. <3

  2. in what ways have you entered into collaborations before? What made these collaborations possible?

    As a peer worker most of my work was entering into collaborations with young people. I would use curiosity to further inquire into their experience, and looking back wow these narrative practices would have been amazing to use in our youth group discussions! We would use art mostly in telling stories. Many of the young people heard voices and saw characters only they could see. They would enjoy painting these voices, externalising the character, giving it a name and talking about the story and nature of the relationship between the voice and the character. I also enjoyed illiciting these stories, as I could tell they would begin to separate themselves from the voices, allowing for guilt and shame to reduce.

    What might make it hard to enter into these practices?

    The one difficult way of entering into these practices was the note writing. The managerial culture of my last workplace meant it was not considered good practice to have clients sit with us to write notes. In fact most clients probably were unaware that workers did regularly make notes each time they had contact with the centre. We were a strengths based centre that thrived on person centred practice. I think there is a bit of a stereotype that note writing is quite clinical and removed from person centred practice, hence a certain avoidance of bringing up notes in front of clients.

    If these ways of working fit for you, what next steps could you take to build partnerships/collaborations in your work?

    I definitely believe I could continue to use art to help young people tell their alternative stories. In mental health many workers draw thin conclusions of clients – bipolar, poor attachment, violent, with even their strengths really talked about in third person. It would be great to start drawing peoples strengths out with the use of story telling, so that clients can start to own their strengths, rather than have clinicans cherry pick these out.

  3. Thank you to Tileah for a wonderful presentation. I love hearing the word “yarn” used in this powerful way (Americans also have that term). The practice of “translating”, of shifting concepts into language that can be more usefully heard, is very powerful. As coaches we can make good use of this to help clients uncover their hidden or forgotten resources.

  4. These stories are amazing examples of what we can discover when we hold onto our “beginner’s mind” and remember that the other person (client, patient) has the information and understanding, not us. We talk a lot in leadership development about “co-creating” and I think this is a beautiful example of two very complementary roles: the person who has the story and the person who helps to explore and shape it.

  5. I like the idea of narrative – there is something about giving people the power to create a narrative, rather than simply appearing in a story told by someone else. Within the narrative metaphor, I especially enjoy the fabric metaphor – the idea of strands. These may touch each other, or not, may go well together in tone or color, or not. But again, there is some power in creating and weaving the narrative.
    In my own work with coaching and leadership development, I find that the emphasis on narrative(s) helps make things more tangible, and therefore brings them to their true scale, instead of letting them take on imaginary and unclearly described proportions.

  6. I love this. Telling our stories in ways that make us stronger. Such a powerful sentiment. Sometimes through trauma, it is hard to access the words that really encapsulate that experience – though using the written word does help us access those hard to utter parts of our memories … in those cases though perhaps the story we tell ourselves is not one that makes us feel strong in the first instance – so finding a way to tell that story in a way that focuses on the strength of surviving to tell that story is just amazing!

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