2018: Issue 3

Posted by on Nov 21, 2018 in | 0 comments

Dear Reader,

Welcome to this special issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work which traces the history of the development of a thriving community of narrative practice in Hong Kong and features papers delivered at a recent conference there.

Michael White held the first public workshop on narrative therapy in Hong Kong 17 years ago and since then practitioners have developed diverse examples of localised and innovative practice. The first paper in this edition, by Tsun On-kee Angela, Hung Suet-lin Shirley, and Leung Shui-king Sharon, honours this history.

The papers following are from practitioners from Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and the USA. They include work from within prisons and within accommodation services for people with cerebral palsy. Other papers focus on letter writing exchanges; ways of narrative influencing social work practice; multiple family narrative practice for families of children with dyslexia; considerations of narrative therapy, anti-colonialism, cultural democracy and hip-hop; and a community project about shyness that offers sparkling ideas about multi-storied descriptions and directions.

This journal issue just offers a tiny glimpse of the thriving and diverse community of narrative practice in Hong Kong and its contributions to the wider field.

Warmly,

Cheryl

 

Contents 

‘Honouring history, weaving hopes: Hong Kong stories’, TSUN On-kee Angela, HUNG Suet-lin Shirley, and LEUNG Shui-king Sharon. (Pages 1-7)

‘The application of narrative practice in a prison in Hong Kong: Be water, follow the flow’, Chuk Wing Hung Keswick and Lee Sek-wing. (Pages 8-13)

Shifting ‘c.m.i.’ (cannot make it) to ‘Can Make I.T.’ (can make ideas together) through letter writing and exchange, Sharon Sng. (Pages 14-21)

‘A narrative response to violence and abuse in an accommodation setting for people with cerebral palsy’, Natalie Morton. (Pages 22-28)

‘Narratively influencing social work practice in Singapore’Mohamed Fareez and Prema Mohan. (Pages 29-35)

‘Quiet or Shy when we prefer to be, but always resisting Silencing: A project of multi-storied descriptions and directions’, Troy Holland, Trisha Nowland, Jennifer Swan, Susan Lord, Jamilla Johnson, Annette Dudley, Jesse Langer, Michelle Dang, Colleen Beazley, and Belinda St Clair. (Pages 36-42).

‘Multiple family narrative practice: In search of family agency for Chinese families of children with dyslexia through externalising documentation’, Simon Chan. (Pages 43-49)

‘Moving beyond multicultural counselling: Narrative therapy, anti-colonialism, cultural democracy and hip-hop’, Travis Heath. (Pages 50-55)


Showing all 8 results

  • Honouring history, weaving hopes: Hong Kong stories— Tsun On-kee Angela, Hung Suet-lin Shirley, and Leung Shui-king Sharon

    $5.50

    Practitioners in Hong Kong have long sought alternatives to dominant pathologising discourses. In 2001, when Michael White held his first open workshop in Hong Kong, a community of practitioners gathered and began exploring a localised narrative practice. In this paper, we describe the history of narrative practice in Hong Kong. We reflect on how narrative practice has informed social work and counselling practice and challenged individualistic understandings of problems and suffering. Finally, we share our hopes for the continued development of a culturally relevant and innovative narrative practice for Hong Kong.

  • The application of narrative practice in a prison in Hong Kong: Be water, follow the flow— Chuk Wing Hung Keswick and Lee Sek-wing

    $5.50

    The Enlighten Project involved 375 incarcerated men and women in an eight-week narrative therapy group work program conducted in Hong Kong prisons. This paper presents the results of qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the efficacy of the program, suggesting the potential for narrative work in prison settings. The Enlighten Project was successful in assisting those with multiple convictions and those classified as at risk of reoffending to re-author new stories that reflected their values and commitments for life on the outside. We offer reflections on our experience running the program, and on working in narrative ways in prisons and settings where a ‘risk assessment’ model is dominant.

  • Shifting ‘c.m.i.’ (cannot make it) to ‘Can Make I.T.’ (can make ideas together) through letter writing and exchange— Sharon Sng

    $5.50

    This article describes the use of writing and exchanging letters to invite and strengthen people’s preferred stories of themselves, and to reduce the influence of a failure or ‘c.m.i.’ (cannot make it) identity. These double-storied letters articulate a person’s insider knowledge about responding to unhelpful expectations about achieving ‘success’ in life. The letter exchanges offer people opportunities for collective healing as they link their stories about dealing with a problem, supporting a ‘Can Make I.T.’ (can make ideas together) identity and thickening preferred stories.

  • A narrative response to violence and abuse in an accommodation setting for people with cerebral palsy— Natalie Morton

    $5.50

    This paper describes the use of narrative ideas in response to violence and abuse in an accommodation setting for people with cerebral palsy. There had been reports of verbal and physical abuse between residents, and staff reported feeling unequipped to respond to these behaviours. A community assignment approach (White, 2005) was adopted, using externalising and re-authoring maps, definitional ceremonies and documentation to support rich double-storied identity description. This case example demonstrates how this approach supported the mobilising of individuals and a community to respond to concerns about abuse and violence and increase community wellbeing.

  • Narratively influencing social work practice in Singapore— Mohamed Fareez and Prema Mohan

    $5.50

    Social work practice has often been criticised for maintaining systems of oppression when working with vulnerable persons. Critics have often proselytised the benefits of working ‘outside the system’ in order to change the system (Mullaly, 1993). The authors of this paper present a counter story to this. We suggest that there are possibilities for working within the system and for advocating for the people who consult us. We present our Singaporean experiences of applying the collaborative approaches of narrative therapy within established systems, with examples from social work case management processes.

  • Quiet or Shy when we prefer to be, but always resisting Silencing: A project of multi-storied descriptions and directions— Troy Holland, Trisha Nowland, Jennifer Swan, Susan Lord, Jamilla Johnson, Annette Dudley, Jesse Langer, Michelle Dang, Colleen Beazley, and Belinda St Clair

    $5.50

    We are facilitating a collective narrative practice project, gathering multi-storied descriptions and understandings of the preferences, experiences, histories and effects of Quietness and Shyness in people’s lives. Thanks to the generosity of co-research participants, we feel clearer about what types of stories are important when we speak with someone who is experiencing Quietness and/or Shyness. We have seen and experienced the harmful effects of dominant discourses that describe Quietness and Shyness in single-storied and negative ways. We agree that stories of troubling effects of Quietness and Shyness on people’s lives need to be included; however, we have found that it is equally important to include stories of what Quietness and Shyness can contribute to people, families and communities. We are clearer that Quietness and Shyness are experienced and responded to politically, contextually, culturally and relationally. These experiences do not occur on equal grounds, and we intend an intersectional analysis of the ways people might sometimes experience silencing or choose Quietness as a survival skill.

  • Multiple family narrative practice: In search of family agency for Chinese families of children with dyslexia through externalising documentation— Simon Chan

    $5.50

    Around 10% of children in Hong Kong have dyslexia, and it can be supposed that in other parts of Asia, similar numbers of children have dyslexia. In Hong Kong, families of children with dyslexia are often victimised by the educational system, in which academic performance is a dominant indicator of competence. In this cultural context, dyslexia can be accompanied by significant shame and isolation. This paper describes a collective narrative intervention involving eight families of children with dyslexia. This intervention used key concepts of narrative practice to address issues relating to dyslexia and to foster agency in parents and children.

  • Moving beyond multicultural counselling: Narrative therapy, anti-colonialism, cultural democracy and hip-hop— Travis Heath

    $5.50

    This paper reflects on a previously published practice story of Ray, a 24-year-old Black man from the United States. I seek to demonstrate one way that the ideas of cultural democracy can become actionable within narrative therapy practices, and in doing so, to advocate for a model that moves beyond multicultural counselling.

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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