• The Same in Difference: The Work of the Peer Counsellors of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council of the Blind of Ireland— Quick View

    This paper describes the work and insider knowledges of the Peer Counsellors of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council of the Blind of Ireland. Crafted from a series of interviews, this paper consists of four parts: ‘History’, ‘Why we are involved in this work’, ‘Insider knowledges’, and ‘Principles of practice’. By questioning many taken-for-granted assumptions, it is hoped that this paper will offer practitioners alternative ways of responding to the experience of disability.

  • Collective narrative practice with young people with Aspergers Syndrome who have experienced bullying— Kit Hung (Chris) Tse Quick View

    This paper presents an experience of collective narrative practice with young people with Asperger Syndrome (Aspergers) who have experienced bullying. In Hong Kong, it is common to hear about bullying of young people with Aspergers. This article first discusses some dominant discourses relating to Aspergers and bullying. It then documents the innovative methodologies of the ‘Smartphone of Life’, which connects young people and assists them to develop second stories with alternative identities.

    The narrative practices of externalising conversations, re-authoring conversations, outsider-witness conversations, and definitional ceremonies are used to richly describe the stories of the young people. In this work, the local knowledge and skills of young people in resisting the challenges of bullying are documented through co-creating collective postcards. The article concludes with some reflections about the collective practice and ethical considerations.

  • Conversations with Children with Disabilities and Their Mothers— Maksuda Begum Quick View

    This paper from Bangladesh presents an overview of narrative approaches to work with mothers and their children who have intellectual disabilities. In what can be traumatic contexts, this work is based on mothers’ and children’s skills, knowledges, values, and connections. Through the course of both individual and group work, blame and stigma are externalised, and the love and care mothers have for their children – as well as their children’s ‘special abilities’ – are brought more to the fore. This paper also presents an alternative intake questionnaire that can help to diminish the effects of pathologising language, and elicit accounts of care and connection.

  • Responding to lives after stroke: Stroke survivors and caregivers going on narrative journeys—  Esther Chow Oi-wah Quick View

    Stroke survivors and their caregivers can become ‘trapped’ in ‘problem-saturated’ identities constructed by biomedical discourse. This paper describes how stroke survivors and caregivers can de-construct problems through engaging in externalising conversations, unearthing unique outcomes, and reconstructing purposes in life and preferred identities through re-authoring conversations. Through reconnecting the survivors and caregivers with their strengths, values, beliefs and life wisdom that developed during their earlier years, persons with stroke and their caregivers can rebuild their lives within the limits of their debilitating challenges.

  • Walking with People Challenged by Physical Disability: An Experience from Sichuan— Ocean Hung Quick View

    This paper describes the use of narrative therapy with survivors of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China, in which more than 300,000 people were injured. The author explores some of the discourses around injury and the ‘disabled-person identity’, and raises questions about the dominant ideas of ‘restoration’ and ‘recovery’. Instead, the ‘rites of passage’ metaphor is proposed as a more useful way to conceptualise injury and disability in the wake of natural disasters. Ways of responding to people facing the identity-disrupting effects of injury, disability, and trauma are explored through two case studies. Finally, the author explores how responses to disability can move from the realms of individual therapy in a rehabilitation centre or therapy room, and also involve social advocacy and actions at a community level.

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

    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.

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