2011: Issue 3

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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.

1,961 Comments

  1. “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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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