deconstruction

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Addressing Sex in Narrative Therapy: Talking with Heterosexual Couples about Sex, Bodies, and Relationships— Yael Gershoni, Saviona Cramer & Tali Gogol-Ostrowsky

    $9.90

    In talking with couples about sex, it is often assumed that storylines about sex also involve storylines about relationships and bodies. In our couple therapy work, however, we have found it significant to disentangle these storylines. By exploring separate storylines of relationship/intimacy, body image and sex, many new possibilities for narrative sex therapy with couples have emerged. This paper outlines these possibilities through sharing one example of narrative sex therapy with a heterosexual couple.

  • Explorations of the absent but implicit— Jill Freedman

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    The author describes her exploration of practices working with the absent but implicit, particularly in therapy with couples and families. She includes questions that may be helpful in naming the absent but implicit and describes how these conversations can support a context in which exploring discourses that support problems becomes especially relevant.

  • Winter stories: Therapeutic conversations from the land of ice and snow — Julie Tilsen

    $9.90

    People living in colder climates often diagnose themselves with ‘winter depression’ or ‘seasonal affective disorder’ when they experience sadness, low energy, fatigue and other difficulties that they attribute to the cold and dark days of winter. There are limitations to locating these problems only in bodily and medical discourses and ignoring the culture-bound ways these discourses are constructed and circulated through the kinds of stories we tell about winter. I use a narrative approach to these problems, inviting people to remember their childhood relationships with winter, and to situate their experiences in context, thus making new ways forward possible. When their childhood winter stories become available, people reconnect with a history that helps them construct preferred relationships with winter.

  • Narrative Maps of Practice: Proposals for the Deconstructing Addiction League— Anthony C.

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    This paper invites therapists to consider establishing community resources informed by narrative practices as a way of challenging the culture of consumption and assisting those trying to revise their use of substances. The paper also discusses a range of specific proposals as to how various narrative maps of practice can be used to deconstruct addiction. This paper was given as a keynote address at Dulwich Centre’s inaugural Summer School of Narrative Practice, in Adelaide, South Australia, in November 2003. It was heralded by those present as both a call to action and a creative engagement with narrative ideas. The presentation has been adapted slightly for publication here.

  • Conformity pressures: Deconstructing social discourses in the Korean context— Eunjoo Lee

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    This paper sets out a narrative approach to deconstructing social discourses in a Korean context, with a focus on pressures to conform. An overview of deconstructing social discourses is presented, and the socio-centric Korean context is discussed. A process map and several tips for deconstructing social discourses are offered. Finally, field application of the map and the tips are demonstrated through case examples of work with an individual and a group.

  • Witnessing practices of resistance, resilience and kinship in childbirth: a collective narrative project— Phoebe Barton

    $9.90

    This article explores the in uence of sociocultural narratives on stories of birth, and the use of individual and collective narrative practices in responding to these stories. It emerged from a research project that included 12-recorded conversations with individuals and couples about their experiences of birth. The article describes narrative practices used in these conversations, including: re-authoring and the development of alternative storylines, particularly in response to stories of grief and regret about birth; deconstructing and externalising the context and narratives of birth, turning the gaze back onto structural or systemic issues rather than those at their affect; re-membering and strengthening stories of membership and connection during pregnancy, birth and early parenting; and the absent but implicit, including pain as testimony. The article discusses the methodology and ethics of a collective narrative project that included the production of a document that elevates the insider knowledges of storytellers about their experiences of birth.

  • An Expose of ‘Body-Worry’— Cari Corbet-Owen

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    Concerns about body size and weight have increased in western cultures in past decades. This brief paper recounts how one client, concerned about ‘body worry’ for both herself and her daughter, was able to engage in a deconstructive conversation about body image and diet. Unpacking some of the cultural understandings and prescriptions around these issues provided a foundation for the client to renegotiate her relationship with ‘body-worry’ and restore her relationship with her daughter.

  • Reclaiming lives from sexual violence— Tim Donovan

    $5.50

    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.

  • Is This Sex Addiction?: Questioning ‘Sex Addiction’ in Therapeutic Counselling Conversations— Ash Rehn

    $9.90

    This paper examines the concept of ‘sex addiction’, and its increasing popularity since the emergence of AIDS in gay communities in the 1980s. Adopting narrative therapy’s ethical orientations of decentred yet influential positioning, and being in a ‘lifelong apprenticeship’, the author worked with a number of men to renegotiate their relationship with ‘sex addiction’ in their lives. This work included various maps of narrative practice, including the Statement of Position Map / externalising conversations, re-membering conversations, the absent but implicit, and deconstructive conversations.

1,974 Comments

  1. I appreciated that there was a sequential process provided in this lesson. The power point presentation along with Mark Hayward providing guidance through the steps helps create a vision of what narrative therapy looks like in action. I work in the helping field and often find that clients come in for counselling having already been given a diagnosis of some kind. So often when I ask about problems, I get answers along the lines of “well I have depression” or “people saying I’m paranoid”. Having a series of questions that assist in externalizing with descriptions that is experience near is valuable. The descriptions that are evoked in the power point, wolf monster or black depths, remind me of creative therapies. A character can be created, drawn or written that symbolize the problem.

    I also agree with a response outlined below regarding the usefulness of this map in addictions work. The healthy distancing from the behaviour or clinical state of “addiction” could be incredibly useful. I have also seen this in my practice where people who use substances refer to their problem as “addiction” or identity as “addict”. This can be a very strong narrative that is a thin description, very totalizing and medical.

  2. Hello everyone
    My name is Justin and I reside and work in so called British Columbia. Specifically I work on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and WSANEC people.
    Going through this lesson, I am reminded of the work of Vikki Reynolds. She is a clinical counsellor working and living in Vancouver, BC (I am sure many people reading and contributing here are familiar!)
    In her article ‘“Leaning In” as Imperfect Allies in Community Work” she talks about doing community work informed by justice-doing and decolonizing work. She describes this work as “fluid and groundless”, changing and within relation to the context and intersecting identities and histories.
    This practice seems to connect well with narrative therapies collaboration, interconnection and de-centered practice.

    I would like to comment on how useful it is to hear about the specific examples of collaboration and consent that are provided. Amanda Worrall writing out what was discussed in her meetings with June, (the therapeutic letter) seems like such a great practice. It is in the spirit of collaboration reflecting together in this manner.

    Vikki Reynolds: “Leaning In” as Imperfect Allies in Community Work:
    https://journals.gmu.edu/index.php/NandC/article/view/430/364

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. “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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Thank you for this overview of Narrative Therapy. I am returning to practice after some time away, and these reminders are timely and appreciated.

  15. 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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