2018: Issue 1

Posted by on Mar 24, 2018 in | 0 comments

Dear reader,

We hope this year is treating you kindly so far. Welcome to the first journal issue of 2018!

You will find here narrative practice papers that range from counselling to community projects. Also included is a powerful personal/political story, and an interview in relation to a social action project.

The themes addressed include friendship, responding to sexual violence, working with parents when children are in out-of-home care, grief, feminist practice, addressing Islamophobia, and how narrative practices that we have learned in a professional context might assist us in times of personal crisis.  

We hope these papers, stories and interviews, will be resonant and helpful to you and those with whom you work wherever this may be.


Cheryl White


‘Creating ripples: fostering collective healing from and resistance to sexual violence through friendships’, Michelle Dang. (Pages 1-9)

‘Navigating relationships when our children are in out-of-home care: a narrative group and community project for parents whose lives are affected by child protection intervention and the removal of their children’, Lauren Graham. (Pages 10-21)

‘Still alive: Counselling conversations with parents whose child has died during or soon after pregnancy’, Helene Grau Kristensen & Lorraine Hedtke. (Pages 22-30)

‘Narrative practice with a feminist leaning’, Kelsi Semeschuk. (Pages 31-40)

‘Reclaiming lives from sexual violence’, Tim Donovan. (Pages 41-48)    

‘Awakening hope through narrative practices’, Judith Johnson. (49-56)

‘Speed date a Muslim: An interview with Hana Assafiri’, Sarah Strauven. (Pages 57-62)     

Showing all 7 results

  • Creating ripples: Fostering collective healing from and resistance to sexual violence through friendships— Michelle Dang


    Social responses to sexual violence matter. Yet in Australia, and in many other places, responses to sexual violence have become highly professionalised, individualised and privatised, reducing the possibilities for healing redress. Exploring friendships and community responses to violence may increase the possibilities for healing, justice and solidarity. This paper describes a project that honoured and made visible community- based responses to sexual violence. The project sought to enable contribution by eliciting ways in which friends have supported survivors, and ways in which survivors have contributed to their friends and others. The project was guided by narrative practices including re-authoring conversations, outsider witnessing and collective documentation.

  • Navigating relationships when our children are in out-of-home care: A narrative group and community project for parents whose lives are affected by child protection intervention and the removal of their children— Lauren Graham


    This article describes a group work process designed to both privilege and document the skills and knowledges of parents whose children are in out-of-home care as a result of statutory intervention. The group focused on salvaging preferred territories of identity. It was designed to enable the contribution of participants by linking their narratives with those of other parents facing similar circumstances, and providing opportunities to inform the work of a local organisation developing practices for family inclusion. As part of this group project, parents were able to identify steps they need to take to redress the actions and ideas that led to child removal, and, in doing so, to develop their practices for caring for and protecting children.

  • Still alive: Counselling conversations with parents whose child has died during or soon after pregnancy— Helene Grau Kristensen and Lorraine Hedtke


    When a baby dies, before or after his or her birth, we (counsellors and lay people alike) are often at a loss as to how to help. This article addresses the delicate conversations needed to demonstrate how relational narratives can live on after the death of a baby whether he or she dies in utero, miscarried or born still. Using re-membering practices and narrative counselling, we explore how a deceased child’s ongoing identity can continue to inform sustaining narratives for those living with grief.

  • Narrative practice with a feminist leaning— Kelsi Semeschuk


    This paper describes the ways I have drawn on narrative and feminist practices in my work in a women’s counselling centre in Calgary, Canada. It emphasises how principles of feminist poetics can be applied to therapeutic conversations that are guided by a narrative metaphor.

  • Reclaiming lives from sexual violence— Tim Donovan


    This article demonstrates the application of the theory and practices of narrative therapy to counselling men who have been subject to childhood sexual violence. It presents an illustrative case of the author’s work with a man who was sexually abused as a child by a clergy member at his church and school. A narrative approach supported the man to gain new understandings of his experiences of sexual violence, and also of the values and skills he had maintained and developed through these experiences. He was able to move from feeling that the abuse de ned him to seeing himself as a person of integrity who was able to use his experiences to contribute to the lives of others.

  • Awakening to hope through narrative practices— Judith Johnson


    At times of severe personal crisis, a person’s problems often become the focus. Individuals can be reduced to diagnoses, taking away their sense of agency. Stripped of the acknowledgement of their unique skills and knowledges their stories and identities become thin and problem-riddled. This article describes the experiences of a practitioner who brought her knowledge of narrative practices to bear when hospitalised as the result of her own breakdown. Narrative practices provided an antidote to pathologising discourses and practices of power and privilege. They enabled her to maintain dignity and facilitated an awakening to hope.

  • Speed Date a Muslim: An interview with Hana Assafiri— Sarah Strauven


    Speed Date a Muslim is a monthly event that invites interested members of the public to sit down with Muslim women and learn more about their experiences. There is no match-making involved, but there are plenty of opportunities to make meaningful connections. Hana Assa ri started Speed Date a Muslim in 2015 to provide a space for respectful conversations, which she hoped might break down some of the fear, mistrust and prejudice she saw taking root. The events take place in one of her two restaurants in Melbourne.


  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


    • 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.


  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.