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Welcome to this special issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. The first topic under discussion in this special issue is narrative therapy in relation to neuroscience, emotions and embodiment.
Some narrative practitioners have readily found a space for neuroscientific developments in their practice, whilst others suggest neuroscience is a poor fit for narratively informed conversations. Some practitioners have tentatively explored the possibilities but found themselves with unanswered questions, others remain unconvinced that neuroscience has relevance for their practice or the lives of the people with whom they meet. In this context, both highly experienced practitioners and beginning students of narrative therapy may find themselves grappling with big questions and plenty of uncertainty. This special issue aims to address some of these questions and create an opportunity for readers to engage rigorously with neuroscientific claims in relation to narrative therapy and highlight some consequent implications for practice. Articles included vary greatly in how they engage with ideas drawn from neuroscience, considering the theoretical, the practical and the philosophical. This issue is intended to be useful, accessible and interesting to readers with an interest in narrative practice, whatever the extent of their current knowledge about neuroscience.
The second topic under discussion in this special issue is attended to more briefly but is no less significant. It is the broader subject of how we in this field can create contexts for professional differences, debates and critique.
3-8 Editorial by Kristina Lainson
9-12 Refusing to separate critique from respect by Kelsi Semeschuk
13-53 Travelling down the neuro-pathway: Narrative practice, neuroscience, bodies, emotions and the affective turn by David Denborough
54-57 Reflections on narrative, neuroscience and social engagement by Karen Young
58-60 Reflections on narrative, neuroscience and social engagement by Gene Combs
61-63 Feelings, thinking and action as a coherent whole: A reflection on ‘Travelling down the neuro-pathway’ by Jill Freedman
64-67 Narrative therapy, neuroscience and socio-emotional discourses:
Comments by Tom Strong
68-73 A reflection on self-regulation and neuro-conceal by Emma Van der Klift
74-79 Responding to David Denborough’s paper: A short interview with Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin
80-95 Narrative therapy, neuroscience and anorexia: A reflection on practices, problems and possibilities by Kristina Lainson
96-105 Intensifying the preferred self: Neurobiology, mindfulness and embodiment practices that make a difference by Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin
106-116 Michael White’s particularist ethics in a biological age by Philippa Byers
117-120 Narrative responses to physical pains: An interview with Sister Seraphine Kaitesirwa