2015

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Showing 1–16 of 24 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.

  • Grieving Together: The value of public ritual for family members of executed persons— Susannah Sheffer

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    Families of people who have been executed receive little sympathy for their grief and little recognition of the execution’s traumatic impact. Their grief is disenfranchised in that the loss cannot be publicly mourned and is not socially supported (Doka, 1989; Jones & Beck, 2006). 

    This paper describes an attempt to address some of the harm to families of executed persons through the creation of a private support gathering and public remembrance ceremony.  Designed by the organisation Murder Victim’s Families for Human Rights, the ceremony gave participating family members an opportunity to come together, mark their losses publicly through a symbolic act, have their grief witnessed by others, and acknowledge both the murder victim and the family member who had been executed. As a demonstration of the value of public and communal ceremony in the aftermath of traumatic loss, this discussion offers and example of a way to respond to losses that have been stigmatised and re-establish community among those whose grief has been disenfranchised. 

  • Sharing sadness and finding small pieces of justice: Acts of resistance and acts of reclaiming in working with women who’ve been subjected to abuse— Loretta Pederson

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    This paper describes work with women who have been subjected to sexual and physical abuse. Ideas of searching for small pieces of justice through thickening stories of resistance to abuse and of reclaiming life from the ongoing effects of abuse, are explored through women’s stories.

  • The ‘Life Certificate’: A tool for grief work in Singapore— Mohamed Fareez

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    This article proposes an alternative to the formal, impersonal document of the death certificate – a ‘Life Certificate’, a narrative therapeutic document to honour the lives of lost loved ones. The article shows examples of the ‘Life Certificate’ used in practice, as well as a six-stage map of narrative practice that can be used in conjunction with it, to help renegotiate people’s relationships with grief.

  • Beyond psychological truth: Deconstructing western deficit-oriented psychology and the co-construction of alternative psychologies in narrative practice— Chris Wever

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    This paper explores the temporary and intentional centring of the ideas that inform narrative therapy as part of therapeutic practice. Chris describes the usefulness of exposing, in the therapeutic context, the presence and operations of dominant, western, individualising psychological constructs that so often disqualify and pathologise lives. Conversations that remove the truth status of white western psychology can make space for the co-construction of alternative, more relational psychologies.

    Chris describes conversational therapeutic practices that include scaffolding questions with the political, psychological and philosophical ideas that underpin those lines of enquiry. Her intention is that people leave the therapy not only with re-authored lives and identities but also with preferred psychologies for how they might think about their own and others’ lives and identities in the future.

  • Holding our heads up: We have lost loved ones to suicide and want to share stories not stigma A resource for families who have lost loved ones to suicide Compiled— Marnie Sather and David Newman

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    Within these pages are stories and wisdoms from many people who have had to deal with a suicide of a loved one. They have been generously shared from diverse places: Australia, Denmark, Israel, Nigeria, South Africa, United States, Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

    Amongst honouring the heartache and loss of the suicide of a loved one, these stories also shine a light on the often small acts that people use to get through such an experience.

  • Narrative Therapy Outcomes for Women who have Experienced Domestic Violence— Emma Bullen

    $9.90

    Debate continues about what constitutes evidence for outcomes of psychological interventions. There are challenges to operationalise research for post-modernist views of knowledge being multiple and relative rather than singular, fixed, and absolute. This has led to limited empirical evaluation of practices such as narrative therapy.

    This paper describes the therapy process for eighty women and outcomes for twenty-three women who had experienced domestic violence and were engaged in narrative therapy, utilising the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS). PCOMS consists of integrating two outcome rating scales into each counselling session – the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS). The design of the research was clinical data mining.

    This paper briefly discusses difficulties and limitations of the concept of evidence-based practice when applied to narrative therapy. The study identifies and defines several different patterns of therapy outcomes. PCOMS was used to demonstrate that clients who were treated for at least six, one-hour sessions of narrative therapy for complex trauma (domestic violence), showed positive outcomes equivalent to other studies using different treatments.

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

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    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.

  • Fakebook: Renovating reputations— Georgina Gerber-Duvenhage

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    This paper explores a methodology of working with four young men with previously good reputations, who lost authorship of how their lives were storied. ‘Fakebook’, an interactive social networking tool, purposed to afford double story development and preferred identity conclusions, engaged the young people in conversations around themes of identity and reputations to help them resist ‘downgraded reputations’ and marginalising ‘truth’ stories that were circulating about them. The final section gives an account of the ethics that supported the work and takes a critical look at how it stands accountable to the operations of power and privilege in relation to those who were involved in the process.

  • Joe’s voyage of life map: away from alcohol— Nick Coleman

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    This article explores using a visual therapeutic document, the Voyage of Life map, with men living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. These men, who are revising their relationships with alcohol and other influences on their lives, have had previous experience with twelve-step models and broader ‘recovery’ approaches. 

    The Voyage of Life map, and the broader narrative practices that surround its use, are demonstrated through the story of one man, Joe, who is of a mixed cultural background. Through the process, Joe renegotiates his life in relation to alcohol, and re-claims aspects of his Māori whakapapaʼ(history/genealogy).

  • Saying hullo, goodbye, or both? Multi-storied re-membering practices to assist women in the transition after the loss of a male partner to suicide— Marnie Sather

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    This paper explores the complex experiences of women who have lost a male partner to suicide after experiencing violence from that partner. These circumstances often result in women trying to rise from the ‘stigma’ of violence and suicide. This paper describes how using multi-storied re-membering narrative practices creates space for women to speak of their multitude of experiences. These stories illuminate agency and hopes for the future for the women. They also offer ways free of a double taboo: in relation to suicide and in relation to men’s violence against women.

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

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    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.

  • Consulting young people about living with cancer— Carolyn Ng

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    This article draws on the narrative therapy concept of ‘consulting your consultants’, and documents the skills and knowledges of young people who are living with cancer. The young people offer their ideas about how to think about aspects of cancer in externalised ways; ways of focusing on living, rather than dying; the life lessons and skills they have learnt from family members; and how their skills and knowledges might be helpful for others.

  • Linking Lives: Invitations to Clients to Write Letters to Clients— Julia Gerlitz

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    This article describes an innovative form of therapeutic letter writing in which clients are invited to write letters to each other, rather than the more traditional narrative practice of therapists writing letters to clients. Two clients who both struggle with chronic pain and caregiver stress are consulting with the same counsellor and begin to write therapeutic letters to each other anonymously, with their counsellor passing the letters between them.

    Examples of the client written letters are included in the body of the article as well as the clients’ responses about their experiences with this innovative form of narrative letter writing. The author describes the intention behind this practice and offers suggestions based on her experience of how to facilitate the process. Most notably, this form of client generated letter writing decentres the therapist and highlights the client’s voice, provides an opportunity for clients to strengthen their preferred narrative, and creates communities of concern in which clients build relationships with each other that assist with decreasing the isolation and influence of problems in their lives. The article aims to inspire fellow narrative practitioners to link the lives of their clients through client-written therapeutic letters.

  • Sex positive ways of perceiving sexual turn-on patterns Part I Understanding— Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, Elsa Almås and Kaethe Weingarten

    $9.90

    Humans have the capacity to respond to sexual stimuli across the lifespan. Sexual responses are modified through interactive processes and manifest through sexual turn-on patterns.

    In this paper, the authors review the history of understanding sexual turn-on patterns in the professional literature. They discuss their preferred understandings of how these patterns arise and their preferred sex-positive ways to help people with them. This includes a discussion on using the understanding of learning languages to explain how sexual turn-on patterns are learnt.

    Like language, sexual feelings develop in many directions, depending on circumstances: as we happen to learn a language, so too we happen to ‘learn’ sexual turn-on patterns. As we cannot unlearn a language, we cannot unlearn a turn-on pattern. However, we can learn new languages. We can also new ways of being turned-on. 

  • 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.

1,959 Comments

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

  2. 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

  3. 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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