2012: Issue 2

Welcome to the second on-line issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work! This issue opens with a paper from Hong Kong practitioners, Sharon Shui-king Leung and Ellen Yee-man Ma about re-membering practices with two young women. There is a thriving community of narrative practitioners in Hong Kong and we look forward to featuring more work from this part of the world in years to come. As this journal is now on-line, this will also provide the opportunity to publish in more than one language in future.

The second paper in this issue, is a detailed exploration of theory and practice from Ron Findlay on the theme of narrative approaches to discussing sex life in therapy. This is a topic we have been keen to publish on for a number of years. A dear Mexican colleague, Emily Sued (who has since passed away), would point out to us how few papers there were in relation to narrative sex therapy. This is now changing, and we think Ron’s paper makes a significant contribution to this growing field.

The second part of the journal consists of two papers that combine narrative practices and principles with the use of metaphor. Natale Rudland-Wood offers the long awaited ‘Recipes for Life’ which is already being engaged with young and old. And David Denborough describes the use of the Team of Life with young men from refugee backgrounds.

Finally, we’re pleased to include a paper by Tom Strong considering the implications of the DSM-V. Over coming months we will be developing a draft ‘user guide’ of the DSM for families in which a young person has received a DSM diagnosis. We invite any of you who are interested in participating in this process to contact us.


  • About re-membering: The stories of Nancy and Amy— Sharon Shui-king Leung and Ellen Yee-man Ma


    This paper tells the stories of two girls from Hong Kong, one of whom was Nancy who shared the story of her late grandfather and how remembering their relationship continued to affect her life. Amy, who as a child lived at foster care, talked about the significant people in her life through a re-membering project. The application of the remembering practice was shared and discussed through these two unique stories and its implication for Chinese grief work.

  • Talking about sex: Narrative approaches to discussing sex life in therapy— Ron Findlay


    How do we discuss sex issues in therapy with a narrative and post-structuralist, postcolonial approach? This paper discusses the ethics and practices of narrative approaches to talking about sex in therapy. It discusses ways to reduce the influence of shame and embarrassment, promote local knowledge and skills, and to minimise the impact of the gender and sexuality of the therapist.

  • Recipes for life— Natale Rudland Wood


    Inspired by the narrative folk cultural methodologies of the Tree of life, Team of Life, and Kite of Life, caterer and narrative practitioner, Natale Rudland Wood, offers here a narrative way of working based on food metaphors and recipes for life.

  • The Team of Life with young men from refugee backgrounds— David Denborough


    This paper describes how the Team of Life narrative methodology can make it possible for young men to speak about what is important to them, what they have protected, held onto, despite the hardships they have seen. This way of working also makes it possible for young men to speak about identity in a collective manner, to celebrate ‘goals’ that their ‘teams’ have already scored, and to make plans and preparations for the future. This way of working utilises sporting metaphors which are powerfully resonant within masculine culture and yet, significantly, provides possibilities for supporting and acknowledging alternative masculinities.

  • Talking about the DSM-V— Tom Strong


    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition;DSM-V) is nearing publication, despite considerable controversies over its development. In this paper I provide a critical historical review of developments associated with the DSM-V, particularly as these developments relate to the practices of narrative and other constructionist practitioners. I relate the findings of recently completed research in which practitioners shared how they responded to the influence of the current DSM-IV-TR on their conversations with clients, along with ways they creatively responded to that influence. I close with suggestions for practitioners who live with administrative expectations that they use DSM-V diagnoses in their conversational work. This article is based on a paper presented to the Therapeutic Conversations X Conference, Vancouver, Canada May 12, 2012.