2017

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in | 0 comments

Showing 1–16 of 29 results

  • My meeting place: Re-arming ourselves with cultural knowledge, spirituality and community connectedness— Vanessa Davis

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    This paper introduces ‘My Meeting Place’, a process that integrates Aboriginal art practices and narrative practices to facilitate culturally appropriate counselling by Aboriginal practitioners working with Aboriginal children and young people. It offers an Indigenised therapeutic framework that contributes to the decolonisation of Aboriginal people. The paper includes a step-by-step description of how My Meeting Place was used in a one-on-one counselling session to create and guide narrative conversations.

  • Recipes for life: A collective narrative methodology for responding to gender violence— Meizi Tan

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    This paper explores the use of collective narrative methodology in a two-day group retreat organised for women who had experienced gender violence in their intimate relationships. The women developed ‘recipes for life’ by using the skills and knowledge they had developed through responding to gender violence. Outsider-witness practices were used to acknowledge the women’s alternative stories of resilience and resistance to gender violence. Narrative practices of collective documentation, externalising the problem, and deconstructing social discourses that support gender violence, were incorporated through the creative use of food metaphors. This supported the women in breaking their silence and reduced the sense of isolation, shame and disempowerment that often surrounds gender violence.

  • Thwarting Shame: Feminist engagement in group work with men recruited to patriarchal dominance in relationship— Kylie Dowse

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    Through the eyes of an Aboriginal feminist, this paper documents group work with men who have used violence in intimate relationship. Adapting narrative externalising techniques to scaffold a conceptual support group for Shame enabled men engaged in group work to view responsibility and respect in new ways. The paper considers the role of women facilitators in working with men, and ways the politics of women’s experience add value to group discussion.

  •  ‘Our story of suffering and surviving’: Intergenerational double-story development with people from refugee backgrounds— Emma Preece Boyd

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    This paper explores the use of double-story development and other narrative practices to work intergenerationally with people from refugee backgrounds. It examines double- storied accounts of the effects of and responses to trauma, displacement and other dif culties, using work with a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo as a case study. Response-based enquiries, externalising and re-authoring were engaged to seek out alternative storylines about skills, knowledges and values. These alternative stories were further reinforced through therapeutic documentation, metaphors such as Team of Life, de nitional ceremonies and other narrative methods. In particular, this paper offers examples of practice in which rich stories and preferred identities were shared intergenerationally with family members or trusted audiences, and how this contributed to reinforcing preferred narratives. The paper also describes the author’s engagement with collaborative practices in order to democratise expertise and address power differentials inherent in working across language and culture with often marginalised communities.

  • All my relations: Re-membering and honouring those who come before and after us— Angela Voght

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    I write this article not to step into an expert role as a narrative therapist or to speak for all First Nations People, but rather to share my experiences of narrative practices and how they helped to reclaim my relationship with my mom 26 years after her death. I write this, too, as a personal account of reclaiming my identity as a First Nations woman. I do not wish to speak in an instructive way that would suggest all people should reclaim their identity in this particular fashion, but rather to explain the impact on me as I restored parts of my story that had been lost to a modern dominant cultural worldview that often overlooks the importance of stories. Another important focus of this article is how knowledge drawn from both First Nations Cultures and Narrative Practice has influenced my work with people who are dying and their families. The weaving of these knowledges brings a different strength and a new pattern emerges.

  • Narrative conversations alongside Interpreters: A locally-grown outsider-witnessing practice— Poh Lin Lee

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    In the context of providing counselling to people who are being held within mandatory immigration detention, this paper seeks to explore the possibilities and dilemmas of inviting people who act as interpreters to reposition as meaningful witnesses to asylum seekers’ performances of preferred identity. These moments of witnessing, when offered in ways that attend to the complexities and dynamics of culture, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, education, ability and age, can contribute to the honouring and thickening of the alternative stories and robust identity claims of people seeking asylum, who are exploring ways to respond to multiple, ongoing injustices. This paper offers ideas for making visible practices of solidarity and shared cultural knowledges and understandings between people seeking asylum and people who interpret.

  • Responding to those surviving the unchosen loss of love— Lauren Jones

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    This paper describes how a community worker informed by narrative practice formed a participatory community group in response to those within the community highly influenced by thoughts of self-harm following the loss of love. This paper highlights the privileging of community members’ uncommon knowledge in finding a way forward. The community’s devalued and subjugated knowledge is used to co-create an artful expression of ways group members are taking care following the loss of love, to externalised regret via a playful metaphor, to acknowledge anxiety in a co-produced document, to co-author a list of ‘growing group rules’, and to recreate a powerful 50th birthday ritual for a group member. Ethical ways of working are explored to guide community practice. The paper posits that a reclamation of faith in uncommon knowledge might be made all the more possible when devalued knowledge is privileged within a participatory community.

  • We don’t give up: Developing family and community responses to adolescent-to-parent violence— Ben Shannahan

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    This paper explores the use of narrative therapy practices in developing a community response to a young man’s use of violence towards his family. Opportunities and ethical tensions experienced in incorporating principles and methods of nonviolent resistance (Omer, 2004) are discussed along with opportunities narrative therapy might offer as a response to these tensions. Different conceptions of responsibility and accountability, and the pushes and pulls of dominant aspects of men’s culture, are considered in relation to how these factors might shape responses to adolescent-to-parent violence, and how multi-generational men’s meetings were incorporated as part of this work.

  • A narrative therapy approach to dealing with chronic pain— Laurel Phillips

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    This article outlines a narrative therapeutic approach to working in collaboration with people experiencing chronic pain. This approach was created in concert with 13 co-researchers who were experiencing, or had partners who experienced, varying degrees of pain. Contributing therapeutic conversations spanned a ten-month period. Outcomes were achieved through the application of various narrative therapy principles including externalisation, mapping the influence of the problem, remembering practices, developing an experience-near definition of the problem, double listening, alternative or preferred story development and the use of collective documents and definitional ceremonies What emerged from this were two themes: The identification, importance and use of personally constructed strategies, and the reduction of pain experiences by addressing self-identified problems that were more pressing than pain. Narrative therapy was successful in helping to re-establish valued ways of living that chronic pain often sidelines. We found that it is possible to reduce experiences of pain by addressing more pressing problems.

  • Stories of hope and pride— Emma Cox

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    Pregnant women with negative identity conclusions often have their stories of hope and pride overshadowed by problem-saturated stories. Consequently, their stories of hope and pride remain unnoticed and untold. This paper describes how narrative practices can create space for these women’s stories of hope and pride to be noticed and richly told in ways that allow women to reconnect with previously subjugated knowledges. Further, this paper includes two stories of practice that demonstrate the significant and powerful outcomes that have been made possible through the use of narrative practice innovations that create space for women’s stories of hope and pride to be noticed and told.

  • The Mile Wide Project: Taking a stand against the invitations of suicide— Joe Mageary and Joel Glenn Wixson

    $5.50

    The Mile Wide Project is the name of an effort by Joel Glenn Wixson, a psychologist and musician from the state of Maine in the United States, to stand up against the invitations people receive to end their lives. This article uses excerpts of a conversation about the Mile Wide Project between Joel and his friend and colleague Joe Mageary, who is also a counsellor and musician from the United States, to explain what the Mile Wide Project is and to highlight some of the possible impacts this project can have on people who have experienced invitations from suicide as well as people who care about those who have been impacted by suicide’s invitations.

  • Who’s your mob? Aboriginal mapping: Beginning with the strong story— Justin Butler

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    As an Aboriginal person, I see firsthand how the dominant culture influences relations of power and privilege through systems, institutions and dominant ideas about best practice. My work involves exploring ways narrative practice aligns with Aboriginal worldviews and how this can support respectful and decolonising practice with Aboriginal people who consult us. In this paper I describe practices that challenge damage-centred accounts that locate problems within individuals and communities. Guided by our Aboriginal worldviews, I work alongside the people with whom I meet in my work to and ways to decolonise our minds and explore multi-storied accounts of people’s lives by starting with and building upon stories of strength using narrative maps of practice.

  • Conformity pressures: Deconstructing social discourses in the Korean context— Eunjoo Lee

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    This paper sets out a narrative approach to deconstructing social discourses in a Korean context, with a focus on pressures to conform. An overview of deconstructing social discourses is presented, and the socio-centric Korean context is discussed. A process map and several tips for deconstructing social discourses are offered. Finally, field application of the map and the tips are demonstrated through case examples of work with an individual and a group.

  • Exploring narrative group work for responding to burnout in novice teachers— Fan Lingli

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    This paper describes a project supporting six novice teachers in Chinese public kindergartens to successfully take charge of their lives during their first year of teaching. With the help of externalising conversations and re-authoring conversations, we explored the realities of being a new teacher, and how burnout had invaded these teachers’ lives. The teachers came to recognise themselves again and to honour their own uniqueness. Using the mobile instant messaging software WeChat, the project established a virtual community for teachers to gain further interpersonal support and develop skills and knowledges about extricating themselves from their predicaments. Finally, through a definitional ceremony, the project created an opportunity for teachers to tell their stories more vividly and to build consensus with more people. All participants in this project came to understand burnout in new teachers as a sociocultural product. We hope that structural change will happen in our educational system.

  • Tree of Life with young Muslim women in Australia— Ola Elhassan and Lobna Yassine

    $9.90

    This paper explores how the Tree of Life was re-created and adapted for a group of young Muslim women living in Sydney, Australia. Blossomed from these conversations was the nourishing source offered from trees, and from the Islamic faith. Reconciling these two sources led to an uncovering of ‘survival skills’ that the young women draw on to resist the struggles of everyday life. The innovation of women guest speakers from the local Muslim community added to the richness, and power, of these conversations. The Tree of Life opened up a space, and an appreciation for, alternative knowledges, alternative stories, and a stronger sense of community amongst the young women.

  • Witnessing practices of resistance, resilience and kinship in childbirth: a collective narrative project— Phoebe Barton

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    This article explores the in uence of sociocultural narratives on stories of birth, and the use of individual and collective narrative practices in responding to these stories. It emerged from a research project that included 12-recorded conversations with individuals and couples about their experiences of birth. The article describes narrative practices used in these conversations, including: re-authoring and the development of alternative storylines, particularly in response to stories of grief and regret about birth; deconstructing and externalising the context and narratives of birth, turning the gaze back onto structural or systemic issues rather than those at their affect; re-membering and strengthening stories of membership and connection during pregnancy, birth and early parenting; and the absent but implicit, including pain as testimony. The article discusses the methodology and ethics of a collective narrative project that included the production of a document that elevates the insider knowledges of storytellers about their experiences of birth.

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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