2017: Issue 4

Posted by on Dec 17, 2017 in | 0 comments

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the final issue of the journal for 2017. This is a collection of thoughtful and rigorous papers from diverse contexts.

The first two papers, ‘Our story of suffering and surviving’: Intergenerational double-story development with people from refugee backgrounds by Emma Preece Boyd and Narrative conversations alongside Interpreters: A locally-grown outsider-witnessing practice by Poh Lin Lee provide new options for narrative therapists responding to those who have sought refuge in new lands. These explorations seem particularly significant at this time of profound asylum crisis.

The next three papers demonstrate innovative narrative practice:

Phoebe Barton describes the way she has created a multi-textured narrative document to witness practices of resistance, resilience and kinship in childbirth. In The Mile Wide Project, Joel Glenn Wixson uses song and narrative practice to support people to take a stand against the invitations of suicide. Sabine Vermeire describes creative narrative therapy conversations that play with roles and positions in narrative conversations with children who have experienced trauma.

The final three papers offer significant challenges and opportunities to the field of narrative practice:

The Squid Group: Narrative practice peer worker support, supervision, superpowers, politics and more! shares key learnings and narrative ideas from a team of peer mental health workers (Andrew Chambers, Daniel Havey, Keryn Robelin, Jennifer Swan and Kristy Webb). Didgeri, individual therapeutic conversations and No More Silence, by Anthony Newcastle, describes a community project in which Aboriginal men are supporting each other and at the same time re-distributing social and emotional power outside professions or services. So you are accessing your file? You are not alone shares the knowledge of Leonie Sheedy, Vlad Selakovic and Frank Golding, three key members of Care Leavers Australasia Network, about what to expect if you access the file relating to life within children’s homes.

The work described in each of these three pieces enables those with insider knowledge to transform the lives of others and at the same time to contribute to new directions for the field of narrative practice.

If you have comments or reflections on any of these papers, or others we have published during 2017, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Warmly,

Cheryl


Contents

‘‘Our story of suffering and surviving’: Intergenerational double-story development with people from refugee backgrounds’ Emma Preece Boyd. (Pages 5-17)

‘Narrative conversations alongside Interpreters: A locally-grown outsider-witnessing practice’ Poh Lin Lee. (Pages 18-27)

‘The Mile Wide Project: Taking a stand against the invitations of suicide’ Joe Mageary and Joel Glenn Wixson. (Pages 28-35)

‘Witnessing practices of resistance, resilience and kinship in childbirth: a collective narrative project’ Phoebe Barton. (Pages 36-49)

‘What if … I were a king? Playing with roles and positions in narrative conversations with children who have experienced trauma’ Sabine Vermeire. (Pages 50-62)

‘Didgeri, individual therapeutic conversations and No More Silence’ Anthony Newcastle. (Pages 63-78)

‘The Squid group: Narrative practice peer worker support, supervision, superpowers, politics and more!’ From an interview with Andrew Chambers, Daniel Havey, Keryn Robelin, Jennifer Swan and Kristy Webb. (79-88)

‘So you are accessing your file? You are not alone’ Leonie Sheedy, Vlad Selakovic and Frank Golding, in conversation with David Denborough. (Pages 89-94)


Showing all 8 results

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

    $9.90

    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.

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

    $9.90

    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.

  • 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.

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

    $9.90

    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.

  • What if … I were a king? Playing with roles and positions in narrative conversations with children who have experienced trauma— Sabine Vermeire

    $9.90

    This article explores playful and creative ways of using different roles in work with children who have experienced traumatic life events. Imaginatively engaging with the standpoint of a doctor, a king or queen, or an admired person, can provide a new relational context for therapist and child, and can spark the discovery of more hopeful stories. Opportunities to step into unfamiliar positions, such as that of researcher, can similarly provide fresh vantage points and insights. We can avoid coercing children to speak, and instead allow them to ask questions and learn more about their experiences and those of others. From a new position, children can discover that they have ideas, knowledge and responses in relation to their experiences. They can reconnect with values that are important to them, evaluate their relationship with their dif culties, and take a clear stance towards their problems. The article is illustrated with an account of the author’s work with 8-year-old John. A range of narrative ideas and practices are explored and expanded in this context.

  • Didgeri, individual therapeutic conversations and No More Silence— Anthony Newcastle

    $9.90

    This paper describes work among a group of Aboriginal men who meet regularly in Brisbane. It interweaves stories of individual therapeutic conversations, the development of a community group called Didgeri, which connects people to culture and to each other, and the creation of a social action project to reduce the shame and silence experienced by Aboriginal men who were subjected to sexual abuse in childhood. It explores how narrative therapy ideas have informed this work.

  • The Squid group: Narrative practice peer worker support, supervision, superpowers, politics and more! From an interview with Andrew Chambers, Daniel Havey, Keryn Robelin, Jennifer Swan and Kristy Webb

    $5.50

    This paper describes the work of the Squid Group, a narratively informed peer mental health phenomenon that occurs regularly in Adelaide, South Australia. It includes the history of this group, its key principles, and some of the ways in which narrative practices are used within it. This paper began its life as an interview with Andrew Chambers, Daniel Havey, Keryn Robelin, Jennifer Swan and Kristy Webb. The interviewer was David Denborough.

  • So you are accessing your file? You are not alone Leonie Sheedy, Vlad Selakovic and Frank Golding, in conversation with David Denborough

    $5.50

    Three experienced advocates, Leonie Sheedy, Vlad Selacovic and Frank Golding, join in conversation with David Denborough to share their experiences in gaining access to childhood records for those who grew up in Australia’s orphanages, children’s Homes and foster care. The journey of discovery is often painful, even re-traumatising. Some Care Leavers nd the of cial narrative does not match their version of their childhood. There are surprising omissions and inaccuracies and infuriating censorship that privileges other people’s privacy over the right to the truth. The conversation shifts to strategies for dealing with these problems, but more importantly to the value of Care Leavers creating their own accounts of childhood and a more honest history.

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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