2012: Issue 1

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in | 0 comments

international_jounal_2012 Welcome to the first on-line issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. This special issue features a number of papers which break new ground in relation to:

— Narrative practice with survivors of torture and trauma
— Narrative therapy and mental health (with those experiencing paranoia)
— Home-based narrative therapy

The issue also includes keynote addresses from Marta Campillo (Mexico) and Stephen Madigan (Canada) that were delivered in Brazil at the 10th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference; and a detailed paper, by David Denborough, that traces the intellectual and relational histories of narrative therapy and collective practice.

It is a journal issue that we believe will be relevant to practitioners and scholars. We’re really pleased that this first on-line edition contains papers from Colombia, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the USA.

 


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  • ‘Narrative therapy: Constructing stories of dignity and resistance with survivors of torture and trauma in Colombia’— Mariana Saenz Uribe

    $9.90

    This paper introduces readers to the sociopolitical context within Colombia and provides examples of the use of narrative therapy and collective narrative practice with survivors of torture. In particular, this paper focuses on responding to women who have been subjected to sexual violence in the context of organised political violence. Detailed accounts of work with a mother and her two daughters, and a group of women survivors, are offered.

  • Inviting paranoia to the table— Amanda Worrall and June

    $9.90

    This article describes conversations that Amanda had with a woman called June, whose life had been affected by a condition called ‘schizoaffective disorder’. When Amanda first met with June, June was in good health but paranoia was influencing her life in a way that wasn’t acceptable to her. This article describes how Amanda and June invited paranoia to come to the table, to explore how June could reclaim her life and move forward in a preferred direction.

  • Matt’s knacks: Home-based narrative family therapy— Anne-Marie Rodewald

    $9.90

    In the past decade, home-based family therapy has become an increasingly popular approach and alternative to residential treatment for substance abuse, addictions, and many psycho-socially related issues. This paper discusses a therapist’s experience in homebased family therapy while working with a teenager severely affected by the impact of substance abuse and life struggles. The therapeutic techniques illustrated are a direct result of the therapist’s interest in narrative approaches to therapy.

  • Anti-individualist narrative practice: Listening to the echoes of cultural histories— Stephen Madigan

    $9.90

    I wrote this keynote speech for Dulwich Centre’s July 2011, International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference in Salvador, Brazil. The purpose of the talk was to convey a critique on individualism and its plague on therapeutic thinking and practice. As a response to individualism, I offered up the communalising relational practice of therapeutic letter writing campaigns. The talk was also a place where I sought to publicly appreciate my longstanding apprenticeship with David Epston and Michael White. I then tied these narrative ideas together with my early growing up experiences inside an immigrant Irish family who worked tirelessly with the poor and dispossessed and who never once found cause to pathologise anyone.

  • Keys to a subjugated story: My favourite narrative therapy questions— Marta Campillo

    $5.50

    This paper was given as a keynote address at the 10th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference held in Salvador, Brazil, in July 2010. The author was asked to speak on her ‘favourite narrative therapy questions’. Here, Marta Campillo describes ways in which questions informed by the concept of the ‘absent but implicit’ can act as keys to open subjugated stories.

  • A storyline of collective narrative practice: a history of ideas, social projects and partnerships— David Denborough

    $9.90

    Collective narrative practice is an emerging field. Building on the thinking and practice foundations of narrative therapy, collective narrative practice seeks to respond to groups and communities who have experienced significant social suffering in contexts in which ‘therapy’ may not be culturally resonant. This paper tells a story of this emerging field. It describes the author’s journey through the intellectual history of six key aspects of narrative therapy as well as richly describing a range of social projects and partnerships. In doing so, this paper provides an historical foundation to the emerging field of collective narrative practice.

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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