death

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • The ‘Life Certificate’: A tool for grief work in Singapore— Mohamed Fareez

    $9.90

    This article proposes an alternative to the formal, impersonal document of the death certificate – a ‘Life Certificate’, a narrative therapeutic document to honour the lives of lost loved ones. The article shows examples of the ‘Life Certificate’ used in practice, as well as a six-stage map of narrative practice that can be used in conjunction with it, to help renegotiate people’s relationships with grief.

  • Re-thinking deathbed forgiveness rituals— Lorraine Hedtke

    $5.50

    In this article, I want to question how forgiveness has been described in recent medical models of death and bereavement. I believe that these models have at times promoted unnecessary deathbed conversations in which awkward attempts to rush the process of forgiveness may serve only to further distance us from our connections with our deceased loved ones. I also want to offer some alternatives to commonly held assumptions in the discourse of forgiveness. To begin though, I will consider some of the common modernist understandings of forgiveness that influence work with people who are dying.

  • Saying hullo, goodbye, or both? Multi-storied re-membering practices to assist women in the transition after the loss of a male partner to suicide— Marnie Sather

    $9.90

    This paper explores the complex experiences of women who have lost a male partner to suicide after experiencing violence from that partner. These circumstances often result in women trying to rise from the ‘stigma’ of violence and suicide. This paper describes how using multi-storied re-membering narrative practices creates space for women to speak of their multitude of experiences. These stories illuminate agency and hopes for the future for the women. They also offer ways free of a double taboo: in relation to suicide and in relation to men’s violence against women.

  • Re-membering Reciprocal Relationships— Chris Dolman

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    Re-membering conversations are one of the key maps of narrative therapy practice. This article explores some interrelationships between re-membering conversations and the principles of Just Therapy, along with the other narrative practices of ‘the absent but implicit’ and regarding distress as testimony, enquiring about personal agency, and naming injustice. This interweaving of theory and practice is shown through work with Aboriginal people in Murray Bridge, a rural town in South Australia.

    Free article

    Bringing Lost Loved Ones into Our Conversations: Talking About Loss in Honouring Ways (a reflection on Chris Dolman’s Re-membering Reciprocal Relationships) by Barbara Wingard

  • Narrative therapy at any age— Dafna Stern

    $9.90

    This article recounts the author’s explorations in narrative therapy in conversations with two centenarians living in a nursing home. Through focussing on the elderly people’s own skills and knowledges of life, externalised conversations about death, and conversations about making contributions to others, new and renewed accounts of life were created, in a context where this might often be unexpected.

  • Responding to grief and loss using therapeutic documents — Karen Esakin Mittet

    $5.50

    This article demonstrates some of the healing practices that narrative therapists have available to them when helping people who are grieving the death of someone they love. It emphasises the healing effects of therapeutic documentation and the significance of effective note taking when preparing therapeutic letters for individuals who have been bereaved.

  • ‘Weird and scary stuff’: Diverse spiritual experiences about death in Australia— Steve Rose

    $9.90

    Rich opportunities await the narrative therapist when space is opened in narrative re-membering practices to incorporate those experiences of death and dying that are often thought of as too ‘weird and scary’ ‒ or simply as just ‘a bit too strange or mystical’ to be treated as privileged experiences. This paper suggests that far from deserving to be avoided or totally ignored, these stories offer rich opportunities for exploration. Using a narrative lens, and drawing on the already known practices of narrative re-membering, the author unpacks some of his own stories privileging unusual and, at times, transcendent experiences. The article then outlines how such stories fit within a narrative framework. Finally, a number of suggestions are canvassed for how narrative questions related to these ‘weird and scary stories’ may be framed.

  • A story for Dad and me— John William Jones

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    Extract:

    My father died on Australia Day, the 26th January 1999. I never want to say goodbye to the rich values and lessons that my father taught me about life. He taught me about our duty to reach out to others, especially those less able or in need. In his public life, he taught me about fairness, fair play and respect for all people, regardless of race or creed. I want to acknowledge the profound influence that my Dad has had on the man I am today. Through my relationship with my father I have come to understand the complexities and stresses that people live through, and perhaps most of all, I have learnt about forgiveness.

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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