2013: Issue 4

Posted by on Nov 25, 2016 in | 0 comments

cover_of_papers_2013_no_4Welcome to the final issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work for 2013! This issue begins with engaging paper by Vikki Reynolds exploring new possibilities for group supervision.

The second section features two practice papers. The first, from Belgian family therapist, Anik Serneels, conveys ways of using drawings in narrative family therapy. The second paper, from Hong Kong practitioner, Esther Chow Oi-wah, describes the use of narrative practices with stroke survivors and care-givers.

Scot Cooper, from Canada, then offers a thoughtful example of ethnographic evaluation in relation to the walk-in clinic in which he works using narrative ideas. The journal issue also includes a second article from Canada, a reflection from Darlene Denis-Friske, about counselling First Nations adolescents within a narrative approach.

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that this issue features a new column coordinated by David Epston which focuses on innovations in narrative therapy. Here, David Epston introduces his hopes for this column and two contributions are shared. The first, by Will Sherwin, explores ways of reducing expulsion in early childhood centres, and the second, by Emory Luce Baldwin, explores options for therapists with when children decline to speak. Thanks David, Will and Emory for getting this column started. We hope you, the reader, will consider contributing to it in future!


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  • Centering ethics in group supervision: Fostering cultures of critique & structuring safety— Vikki Reynolds

    $9.90

    I refer to my supervision work as a Supervision of Solidarity and my stance as an ethic of justice-doing (Reynolds, 2010a, 2011a). This stance is informed by a spirit of solidarity and social justice activism, and aims to be anti-oppressive and decolonising (Reynolds & polanco, 2012). In this writing I illustrate supervision practices that follow from my commitments to holding ethics at the centre of supervision, which invite a philosophical investigation into the workers’ diverse, problematic and messy relationships with ethics. I offer experiential supervision practices and refer to theories that facilitate centering ethics in group supervision. This includes understandings of ethics, ethical stances, and collective ethics; understandings of critique, fostering cultures of critique, and promoting dignifying supervisory relationships. I illustrate practices of structuring safety into supervision groups, which include addressing power, the role of collaboration, resisting innocent positions, and problematising the politics of politeness. The hope in centering ethics in supervision groups is to resource therapists and community workers to enact their collective ethics for justice-doing and to serve clients effectively with justice and dignity.

  • Picturing stories: Drawings in narrative family therapy with children— Anik Serneels

    $9.90

    This article illustrates how drawings can be implemented in narrative family therapy with children. This work primarily draws upon the narrative family therapy framework, but other family therapy ideas are also integrated. It will be argued in this article that non-verbal media, more specifically drawings, can contribute to alternative story development and the co-creation of joint family actions, whereby the family can achieve their preferred ways of living. First I explain how drawings can assist externalising conversations. This is followed by a detailed description of the stance I take as a family therapist, questions I ask, and how I focus on relationships and interactions during the co-creation of drawings. I also describe how positively implicating family members and enabling their active participation during this drawing process reinforces the change process. If family members have experienced problems similar to the ones the child is now struggling with, intergenerational and sibling alliances can also be created. Finally I put theory into practice by providing the reader with a case example.

  • Responding to lives after stroke: Stroke survivors and caregivers going on narrative journeys— Esther Chow Oi-wah

    $9.90

    Stroke survivors and their caregivers can become ‘trapped’ in ‘problem-saturated’ identities constructed by biomedical discourse. This paper describes how stroke survivors and caregivers can de-construct problems through engaging in externalising conversations, unearthing unique outcomes, and reconstructing purposes in life and preferred identities through re-authoring conversations. Through reconnecting the survivors and caregivers with their strengths, values, beliefs and life wisdom that developed during their earlier years, persons with stroke and their caregivers can rebuild their lives within the limits of their debilitating challenges.

  • Quality assurance at the Walk-in clinic: Process, outcome, and learning— Scot Cooper

    $9.90

    With the emergence of walk-in counselling clinics throughout Ontario, Canada, the need for a measure of quality assurance and outcome has never been greater. This paper will share a post-session questionnaire for use at walk-in counselling clinics congruent with a brief narrative approach that serves to assess quality and outcome, and also further serves as a learning tool for clinicians.

  • Innovations in Practice: a new column hosted by David Espton: introduction

    $9.90

    This column is seeking short pieces of writing from narrative therapists describing micro-innovations within their work. We are particularly interested in examples of practice that cannot be explained by the existing narrative therapy literature. We hope this column will foster continuous innovation within the field. We would also request that you avoid narrative terminology and speak in your own voice so that your ‘thinking’ comes through loud and clear. If you have examples of practice you would like to share, please email us at dulwich@dulwichcentre.com.au

    Guest columns for this issue include:

    Introduction— David Espton
    Increasing family presence to reduce expulsion in early childhood centres—Will Sherwin
    Thumbs up/thumbs down: When a child declines to speak— Emory Luce Baldwin

     

  • Stoking the embers of ancient fire: Counselling First Nations adolescents within a narrative approach— Darlene Denis-Friske

    $5.50

    It is the thesis of the present paper that the oral tradition of Canadian First Nations people lends itself towards a rich cultural predisposition to meaning-making through narrative, leading towards a narrative approach as being culturally sensitive, deeply respectful and meaningful in counselling work with First Nations adolescents. In addition to a discussion about the vital importance of working within the existing narratives of First Nations youth, the author will unfold a personal narrative as a Canadian Algonquin person. This narrative piece serves to highlight externalisation, re-authoring of the story, the opening of possibilities, and the provision of a new context for the experiencing of adversity.

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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