2015: Issue 4

Posted by on Nov 12, 2016 in | 0 comments

journal-cover-2016-2Dear Reader,

Welcome to the final issue for 2015!

This issue includes narrative practice papers from diverse contexts:

– Feminist school counselling

– Narrative therapy within a rural and remote mental health service

– Narrative documentation with people from refugee backgrounds

– Digital storytelling in a remote Australian Aboriginal community

It also includes an inspiring interview with young Aboriginal people who are involved in the Youth Advisory Committee of the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society. And a review of a Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference that recently took place in Portugal.

We hope you enjoy this diverse collection!

Warmly
Cheryl White

Showing all 6 results

  • Exploring feminist narrative practice and ethics in a school setting— Carolyn Markey

    $9.90

    This article recounts an example of working with a young female student who’d been referred for ‘needing to build resilience’ after being subjected to male peer abuse. The article explores ways of honouring the intent of the original referral, and broader family concern, while also broadening out the conversation from one of working with an individual young woman, to working with a group of young women students, to then engaging a group of young men in respectful conversations about abuse and harassment. In the process, the young men find ways of speaking about abusive actions they have taken, while the young women create a platform for taking broader cultural action on issues of gender and sexuality diversity in the school. Along the way, subtle dilemmas of feminist and narrative ethics are explored.

  • Re-contextualising conversations and rich story development— Chris Dolman

    $9.90

    In contrast to more common understandings circulating in contemporary Western culture that de-contextualise the problems experienced by people and tether them to their bodies and beings, this paper describes a number of narrative practices that contribute to the rich description of the context in which problems emerge in a person’s life. Therapeutic practices of double story development that provide a foundation for these re-contextualising conversations will also be described.

  • ‘My story to be told’: Explorations in narrative documentation with people from refugee backgrounds— Chanelle Burns

    $9.90

    This paper explores the use of narrative documentation in work with people from refugee backgrounds, specifically in contexts of responding to trauma. It recounts, through an in-depth case study, work with a man from Sierra Leone in which a number of documents were co-created, including letters, documents of skills and knowledge, and rescued speech poetry. Through the lens of narrative documentation, a number of narrative principles and practices are explored, including eliciting responses to trauma, scaffolding, externalising, re-authoring, and outsider-witnessing. This paper is the outcome of a project of co-research and offers insights into how the practice of narrative documentation might be used across language and culture.

  • The stories we need to tell: Using online outsider-witness processes and digital storytelling in a remote Australian Aboriginal community— Clare Wood, Mercy Fredericks, Beth Neate and Doreen Unghango

    $9.90

    This article outlines an innovative narrative therapy project in the remote Aboriginal community of Kalumburu, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The project was a collaboration between the Tramalla Strong Women’s group from Kalumburu community, and a narrative and community practitioner.

    The project incorporated digital storytelling in combination with narrative therapy practices to document and reclaim stories of survival and resilience to enable people to speak of future hopes and dreams. Narrative therapy practices such as re-authoring, rememembering, outsider witness process and definitional ceremonies provided the framework to unearth these stories. This article explores the ethical position underpinning the collaborative partnerships and how narrative therapy practices and digital storytelling practices were adapted in a rural and remote context. The project also outlines an experiment with an online outsider witnesses practice.

  • The future is shifting: Aboriginal young people leading the way An interview with Alice Abou, Amber Abou, Cheyenne Andy & Josh Simpson

    $5.50

    In this interview, members of the Youth Advisory Committee of the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society describe how this committee is enabling Aboriginal youth to have a voice not only in their own care, but also in the larger care system. The committee holds an annual youth conference, trains new foster parents, are consulted about policies, and advocate in the greater community for changes within the care system.

  • Review of the Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference (NMCI) held in Portugal, 25th – 27th September 2015— Manja Visschedijk

    $5.50

    A review of the first Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies (NMCI) conference held in Lisbon in September 2015. This conference brought together activists, artists, academics, therapists and other practitioners working in the field to explore the lived experiences of non-monogamies, especially those considered consensual; ideological and representational changes in how intimacies are thought of; intersections with race, sexgender, sexual orientation, kinship, kink, sex work, class, culture, religion, dis/ability, asexuality, a-romanticism; activism and community-building around non-monogamies; reproduction of normativities and resistances: polynormativity and relationship anarchy, neoliberalism and political contestation; evolution of scientific discourses on non-monogamies; challenges to counselling, psychotherapy, (public) health and legal frameworks around non-monogamies; the roles of mass media and new technologies around transformations of intimacy.

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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