2016: Issue 3

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in | 0 comments

journal_cover_2016_3_coverDear Reader,

Welcome to this profoundly diverse collection of papers from Greece, Hong Kong, Australia, USA and Denmark.

These range:

— from practice based explorations about stories of the body … to narrative practice in the new media age
— from work within an Aboriginal community context in Australia … to explorations of Colombian magical realism
— from work with people  with an intellectual disability in Hong Kong … to creativity research in Denmark
— from considerations of contemplation and creative solitude … to narrative responses to dreams and spiritual experiences during times of grief.

Narrative practitioners continue to expand the boundaries of the field in vibrant and creative ways!

As always, we look forward to your feedback.

Warm regards,

Cheryl White

 

Content

‘Stories of the body: Incorporating the body into narrative practice’ Eleni E. Karageorgiou. (Pages 1-7)

‘Collective narrative practice with young people with Aspergers Syndrome who have experienced bullying’ Kit Hung (Chris) Tse. (Pages 8-20)

‘The restoration of contemplation and creative solitude’ Josie McSkimming. (Pages 21-30)

‘Two-way learning as respectful community practice: Honouring, co-creating and facilitating access to the knowledge stories of the Men of the Mimosa Creek Healing Centre’ Troy Holland. (Pages 31-45)

‘Expanding the landscape: Narrative practice in rehabilitation services for adults affected by intellectual disability in Hong Kong’ Ocean Hung. (Pages 46-56)

‘Narrating creativity: Developing an emic, first person approach to creativity research’ Mandy Chilcott and Daved Barry. (Pages 57-67)

‘Language Justice: Narrative therapy on the fringes of Colombian magical realism.’ marcela polanco. (Pages 68-76)

‘Weird and scary stuff’: Diverse spiritual experiences about death in Australia’ Steve Rose. (Pages 77-84)

‘Narrative dream analysis? Towards a narrative therapy response to acknowledging people’s responses in dreams’ Ron Findlay. (Pages 85-90)


Showing all 9 results

  • Stories of the body: Incorporating the body into narrative practice— Eleni E. Karageorgiou

    $9.90

    This paper is an attempt to incorporate the body into the practice of narrative therapy so as to offer richer possibilities for therapists to work with clients’ stories. The paper presents various case studies working with various body ‘issues’, such as quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, sexual intercourse, stress, and body image. Maps of narrative practice brought to these issues include externalising conversations, outsider-witness conversations, re-membering conversations, and addressing personal failure.

  • Collective narrative practice with young people with Aspergers Syndrome who have experienced bullying— Kit Hung (Chris) Tse

    $9.90

    This paper presents an experience of collective narrative practice with young people with Asperger Syndrome (Aspergers) who have experienced bullying. In Hong Kong, it is common to hear about bullying of young people with Aspergers. This article first discusses some dominant discourses relating to Aspergers and bullying. It then documents the innovative methodologies of the ‘Smartphone of Life’, which connects young people and assists them to develop second stories with alternative identities.

    The narrative practices of externalising conversations, re-authoring conversations, outsider-witness conversations, and definitional ceremonies are used to richly describe the stories of the young people. In this work, the local knowledge and skills of young people in resisting the challenges of bullying are documented through co-creating collective postcards. The article concludes with some reflections about the collective practice and ethical considerations.

  • The restoration of contemplation and creative solitude— Josie McSkimming

    $9.90

    This article offers some reflections on a renewed emphasis on imagination and creative solitude within the psychotherapy process. Increasingly, people consult psychotherapists with concerns around the effects of their level of connectedness to social media. The continuous exposure, over-comparing, and self-surveillance demanded by social media may be considered as another set of political sensibilities or social discourses that shape people’s sense of self. This article considers these discourses against a backdrop of the prevailing ‘psy’ discourse, including the potentially deterministic field of neuroscience, along with the compulsory inclusion of ‘mindfulness’ in current psychotherapies.

    The stories of two women who desire more creative solitude illustrate their ways of seeing themselves and their struggles differently. Through incorporating the creative ideas of Bachelard and Foucault’s construct of the panopticon (along with dissident counter-conduct), ideas emerge around recreating solitude, reigniting imagination, and incorporating literature into psychotherapy. Not only this, but thought is given to the self-seeing and parrhēsia within Foucault’s later writings which may assist in orienting ourselves as psychotherapists somewhat differently to people’s expressions of resistance to the discourses of compulsory connection to social media and the pathologising of solitude. Creative privacy and solitude may then become more possible in people’s lives.

  • Two-way learning as respectful community practice: Honouring, co-creating and facilitating access to the knowledge stories of the Men of the Mimosa Creek Healing Centre— Troy Holland

    $9.90

    This article comprises two related accounts: first, a short history of an attempt to develop respectful practice in a two-way learning partnership with a community; second, a description of a collective narrative practice knowledges project with Aboriginal Australian men who are participating in a residential rehabilitation program.

    Developing respectful practice is explained in terms of acknowledging and responding to the effects and operations of invasion, colonisation, privileges, and power, and earning and responding to invitations to become a participant and to be influential in a community. The collective narrative practice knowledges project demonstrates ways of externalising and historicising problems; cataloguing existing and aspired-to knowledges; acknowledging and honouring existing personal, familial, and cultural knowledges; being influential but de-centred in the co-research of new knowledges; and the documentation and reciprocal exchanges of knowledges.

  • Expanding the landscape: Narrative practice in rehabilitation services for adults affected by intellectual disability in Hong Kong— Ocean Hung

    $9.90

    This article proposes the adaptation of narrative practice to the field of psychological services for adult persons affected by intellectual disability. The author advocates such adaptation in order to help anchor the agenda of rehabilitation service to the service users’ hopes and dreams instead of the traditional notion of ‘behavioral problems’.

    In particular, the author discusses the use of narrative-based practices to facilitate the service users’ participation in the co-construction of identity conclusions about themselves and their relationship with others within the care system. The use of narrative ideas and enquires in case consultation is discussed. In addition, three extended practices, namely ‘Group re-authoring’, ‘Identity revisiting documentation’ and ‘Action dialogue’ are described and illustrated with stories of two service users.

  • Narrating creativity: Developing an emic, first person approach to creativity research— Mandy Chilcott and Daved Barry

    $9.90

    Despite the complexity of workplace creativity, laboratory or survey-based quantitative research conducted in the positivist tradition supports a trend towards prescriptive ‘recipied’ lists for stimulating creativity. In contrast, by recognising creativity as a complex multi-level system, we were inspired by ideas from narrative therapy to develop a new narrative inquiry methodology that uses personal storytelling to collaboratively investigate, promote intelligent reflection on, and enhance the creativity process.

    Our aim was to explore how taking a pragmatic constructivist approach might unfold a new way of eliciting richly descriptive realworld information that exploits local situated knowledge (what we call ‘emic creativity’) about the individual and group creative processes within a workplace. Using a developmental application of the methodology as a single-level case study on gaming designers in Denmark, we found that the new emic creativity methodology can contribute valuable information about creativity within a particular system.

  • Language Justice: Narrative therapy on the fringes of Colombian magical realism— marcela polanco

    $9.90

    When problems can talk, dead people can speak, hope can taste, and heart, soul and mind can dance together, a new discursive space is brought to life in therapeutic conversations. In this paper I discuss the reimagination of narrative therapy into my Colombian culture, adopting magical realism as a literary means to engage the imagination in therapeutic conversations. I transgress mainstream rational epistemological traditions of evidence to situate narrative therapy practice on the fringes of convention. I bring to the forefront the ordinary weirdness of narrative therapy conversations via the magical realism’s absurdity and creativity. I stage the discussion in Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo in his novels to speak the unspeakable, to locate the unlocatable, to touch the untouchable, to hear the inaudible, and to utter the ineffable in our lives.

  • ‘Weird and scary stuff’: Diverse spiritual experiences about death in Australia— Steve Rose

    $9.90

    Rich opportunities await the narrative therapist when space is opened in narrative re-membering practices to incorporate those experiences of death and dying that are often thought of as too ‘weird and scary’ ‒ or simply as just ‘a bit too strange or mystical’ to be treated as privileged experiences. This paper suggests that far from deserving to be avoided or totally ignored, these stories offer rich opportunities for exploration. Using a narrative lens, and drawing on the already known practices of narrative re-membering, the author unpacks some of his own stories privileging unusual and, at times, transcendent experiences. The article then outlines how such stories fit within a narrative framework. Finally, a number of suggestions are canvassed for how narrative questions related to these ‘weird and scary stories’ may be framed.

  • Narrative dream analysis? Towards a narrative therapy response to acknowledging people’s responses in dreams— Ron Findlay

    $5.50

    This article starts with a brief overview and critique of classic dream analysis, then follows with a review of a sample of published narrative therapy approaches to dream analysis and working with dreams. He then outlines another possible approach focussing on attending to unique outcomes, initiatives, and responses in dreams already occurred.

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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