2018: Issue 4

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in | 0 comments

Dear Reader,

Welcome to this journal issue which contains papers relating to work in Singapore, Australia, Burundi, Israel, Wales, USA, Canada and Palestine. It’s a diverse collection!

Grace Drahm explores her efforts as a non-Aboriginal worker to work in decolonising ways in Aboriginal communities including the collaborative creation of narrative storybooks.

Clement Yee describes an innovative approach developed in Singapore for working with young people who have been referred to social services by police or the legal system.

Grant Ryan introduces dialectical narrative inquiry – a therapeutic approach that incorporates phenomenology and narrative inquiry to elicit double-storied accounts of people’s lives.

Leanne Hyndman, an Australian school counsellor, reflects on two discourses – resilience and trauma – and how being more aware of these discourses and their effects helps her shape her work with children in group settings and individual conversations.

Carlin Moxley Haegert, Marcel Rachid and Linda Moxley-Haegert tell the story of narrative community work in Burundi with orphaned children and teaching narrative practices to their caregivers.

And Chana Rachel Frumin shares her work with people who have lost the will to live.

Those six papers are then followed by two very different interviews.

Anthony Corballis interviews Johann Hari about the opioid crisis and ways of responding to anxiety and depression.

And Dr Rita Giacaman, from the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University, Palestine, speaks about researching suffering, subjugated knowledge and practices of health.

We hope you enjoy this diverse collection. Thank you for your continued interest in narrative practice.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Contents

‘Towards a decolonising practice: A non-Aboriginal worker finding meaningful ways to work in an Aboriginal context’, Grace Drahm. (Pages 1-9).

‘The narrative docket: Facilitating narrative practices with involuntarily referred adolescents’, Clement Yee. (Pages 10-20).

‘The dialectical narrative inquiry: Responses to Ambivalence and Insensitivity’, Grant Thomas Ryan. (Pages 21-35).

‘Resilience and Trauma: Between two discourses’, Leanne Hyndman. (Pages 36-39).

‘Narrative community work in Burundi, Africa: Working with orphaned children and teaching narrative practices to their caregivers’, Carlin Moxley Haegert, Marcel Rachid, Linda Moxley-Haegert. (Pages 40-52).

‘Working with people who have lost the Will to live: Following sudden loss, violence and acute trauma’, Chana Rachel Frumin. (Pages 53-60).

‘Johan Hari discusses the opioid crisis and ways of responding to anxiety and depression’, Anthony Corballis. (Pages 61-69 ).

‘Researching suffering, subjugated knowledge and practices of health: An interview with Rita Giacaman’, Rita Giacaman and David Denborough. (Pages 70-75).


Showing all 8 results

  • Towards a decolonising practice: A non-Aboriginal worker finding meaningful ways to work in an Aboriginal context— Grace Drahm

    $5.50

    This paper describes the development of a decolonising therapeutic practice for working with young people and their families in Aboriginal communities. It shows how different maps of narrative practice have been used to support Aboriginal young people and their families to develop storybooks as therapeutic documents that centre and honour their knowledges and worldviews.

  • The narrative docket: Facilitating narrative practices with involuntarily referred adolescents— Clement Yee

    $9.90

    This paper introduces the ‘narrative docket’, an innovation developed for work with adolescents who have been referred to social services by police or the legal system. The paper details the three components of the narrative docket, and demonstrates their application with a young person, Aiai1, in a time-limited case management program. The ideas underpinning the narrative docket include collective narrative practice, externalising problems, outsider witnessing, re-authoring and counter documentation.

  • The dialectical narrative inquiry: Responses to Ambivalence and Insensitivity— Grant Thomas Ryan

    $9.90

    This paper describes the application of the dialectical narrative inquiry, a therapeutic approach that incorporates phenomenology and narrative inquiry within narrative practices in order to elicit double-storied accounts of people’s lives. I describe this approach through my work with Sarah, a 28-year-old university student who had been experiencing difficulties in her interpersonal relationships. Sarah and I were able to develop her personal dialectic, chart her landscapes through re-authoring questions, and clarify her positions regarding her problematic and preferred responses to experiences of ‘Ambivalence and Insensitivity’. Through the use of macro-scaffolding over subsequent sessions, Sarah and I were able to identify her personal values and her hopes and intentions for the future. We also identified specific barriers to enacting these preferences, and personal skills and knowledges that she would be able to draw on in order to move towards her hopes and intentions for the future.

  • Resilience and Trauma: Between two discourses— Leanne Hyndman

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    This paper reflects on two discourses – resilience and trauma – and how being more aware of these discourses and their effects helps me shape my work with children in group settings and individual conversations.

  • Narrative community work in Burundi, Africa: Working with orphaned children and teaching narrative practices to their caregivers— Carlin Moxley Haegert, Marcel Rachid and Linda Moxley-Haegert

    $9.90

    In this paper, we describe a project to support children from Burundi, Africa, who were orphaned by the civil war (1993 to 2003), or by poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We present our experiences of offering training in collective narrative practices to caregivers and volunteers and providing therapy for the children, and we share our plans for the future. Our hope is to inspire others to do similar work in developing countries and to inform them of some of the possible pitfalls. Although we outline many of the heartbreaking realities of life for these children, our hope is that this paper also highlights how narrative practices can be used to help such children find moments of hope in their lives.

  • Working with people who have lost the Will to live: Following sudden loss, violence and acute or childhood trauma— Chana Rachel Frumin

    $5.50

    This article explores and researches the experience we could call ‘losing the Will to live’. It is based on narrative conversations the author conducted with a group of 10 clients during the years of 2008-2018 as a practicing narrative counsellor in Jerusalem. These conversations were to give space for the stories of these women to be heard and to discover their personal, expert knowledge on this topic, especially in contrast to cultural attitudes that often influence the way people relate to it. The author’s role was sensitively co-researching both the experience itself and the approaches people use to deal with it and find support ‒ inside and outside of formal therapy. Many of the original perspectives, insights and skills these women shared are presented in this article. The intention of the quotes and poems you will read here is to place their language and their experience at the centre of the research.

  • Johann Hari discusses the opioid crisis and ways of responding to anxiety and depression— Anthony Corballis

    $5.50

    I recently had the pleasure of interviewing journalist, Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections (2018) and Chasing the Scream (2015a), and presenter of the Ted Talk ‘Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong’ (2015b). This was incredibly exciting for me, because many of his ideas are in alignment with the ideas and practices

    of the Deconstructing Addiction League (2004), which I am currently developing. In his work, Johann offers fascinating insights into the study of ‘addiction’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’, and I’d like to share some of his findings with you.

  • Researching suffering, subjugated knowledge and practices of health: An interview with Rita Giacaman

    $5.50

    The work of the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University, Palestine, seeks to link the biological/biomedical sphere to the political sphere through the concept of suffering. This interview explores the ways they work to expose the sociopolitical conditions of life in order to simultaneously personalise war and politicise health.

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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