externalisation

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Uncovering Bulimia’s demanding voice: Challenges from a narrative therapist’s perspective— Kassandra Pedersen

    $9.90

    This paper presents responses to a series of challenges faced during work with a 17-year-old girl who sought to reclaim her life from bulimia’s demanding voice. Kiki was at first unwilling to participate in therapeutic conversations, and initial contact occurred through her boyfriend, who became part of an anti-bulimia team. Encouraged by her boyfriend, Kiki, who was determined to ‘stop throwing up at last’, decided to attend sessions. Through externalising conversations, bulimia was personified as ‘The Guy’, who ruled her daily life with judgements. Kiki described The Guy’s effect on her life and developed a stance resisting his influence. The process of working with Kiki raised a number of challenges: assisting a person who initially declined to participate, overcoming pathologising discourses, resisting the tactics of the problem and its allies, supporting a preferred identity in an unsupportive environment, and keeping Kiki’s preferences and beliefs at the centre of our work. This paper explores the use of narrative practices, including externalising conversations, double listening, identifying unique outcomes, and the failure conversations map, to address these issues and support resistance to bulimia.

  • Narrativising’ a Vocal Tic: The Use of Narrative Therapy in the Ridding of ‘Mr Squeeky’— Miguel Fernandez

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    Using the narrative therapy approach of externalising the problem, the author interviewed a ubiquitous vocal tic, called Mr Squeeky, that had afflicted a nine-year-old girl for more than two weeks. Within a week after the first session, more than 90% of the tic had disappeared, with the remaining expressions of it extinguished by the beginning of the third session. At the third session, the tic was brought into the session in an airtight container labelled ‘Squeeky lives here’.

  • Using Narrative Practices with Anxiety and Depression: Elevating Context, Joining People, and Collecting Insider-knowledges— David Newman

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    This paper, first delivered as a keynote address at the Reconnexion Annual National Anxiety and Depression Conference in Melbourne, May 2010, explores various narrative practices in responding to anxiety and depression: elevating context and externalising problems, linking people in the work, uncovering local and insider-knowledges, and documenting and archiving these knowledges, including using ‘living documents’ as collective therapeutic documents.

  • Divorcing the voice of fear: A collaborative, narrative approach to anxiety by Evalie Horner and Patrick Davey Tully

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    Co-created by a therapist, Evalie Horner, and her client, Patrick Davey Tully, this paper introduces and explores narrative therapy as an approach for addressing issues of anxiety. The paper alternates voices between Horner and Tully as they embark upon and develop their therapeutic relationship. After reviewing a variety of other treatment approaches, they bring the reader into their joint process of narrative therapy, from inception through to the present day. Horner and Tully illustrate the tools they use to deconstruct various discourses and social constructions of truth, including externalisation via the creation of distinct, representative character voices. They discuss how narrative therapy connects past experiences to the present. And they show how narrative therapy engages the client in a pro-active, co-creative process.

  • From print to e-books in therapeutic story writing: A mother’s tale— Nikki Evans

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    This paper describes how narrative therapy provided the background for developing a resource for troubled children and young people. The resource, Eloise’s excellent experiment, is the result of combining the professional with the personal as the author and her daughter used their storytelling, writing, and illustrative skills to tame ‘The Worries’.

  • Narrative therapy and dual disability: How to deal effectively with Worrywarts, Milkshakes, and Sticky Situations— Jenny Gibson, Jessica Clark, and Sian Thomas

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    This article documents explorations using narrative therapy in a dual disability service provider in New Zealand, working with people who have intellectual disabilities and mental health diagnoses. The authors explore some of the dominant narratives of intellectual disability, and how these can be compounded in a context of mental health issues. After briefly surveying the literature of narrative therapy with people living with intellectual disabilities, this paper provides four examples from practice.

  • Using Narrative Therapy to Respond to Addiction: An Experience of Practice in Pakistan— Muhammad Mussaffa Butt

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    This paper is based on narrative work carried out in an addiction treatment centre in Pakistan, with someone who had struggled with drugs for a long time. The use of narrative therapy not only helped the client immensely, but also changed my way of thinking and my orientation as a psychologist. Narrative therapy was not emphasised in our course work on clinical psychology. And during our professional training in the addiction treatment centre, it was not even mentioned. However, the first time I used narrative therapy, I became fascinated by the process and its outcomes. The progress of the following sessions further strengthened this belief in the therapy and we continued with it. In this way, both of us (the client and the therapist) developed preferred stories by which to live and work.

  • What’s in a game? Narrative therapy approaches with people who have relationships with gaming and online communities— Dale Andersen-Giberson

    $9.90

    This article outlines various approaches in working with people who have relationships with gaming and online communities, and includes transcripts to share the co-learning that unfolded in narrative conversations. Discoveries include the helpfulness of using narrative therapy to enlist positioning around gaming and the vast possibilities that exist for unpacking the significance of online communities as arenas for preferred identity construction.

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

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    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.

  • Multiple family narrative practice: In search of family agency for Chinese families of children with dyslexia through externalising documentation— Simon Chan

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    Around 10% of children in Hong Kong have dyslexia, and it can be supposed that in other parts of Asia, similar numbers of children have dyslexia. In Hong Kong, families of children with dyslexia are often victimised by the educational system, in which academic performance is a dominant indicator of competence. In this cultural context, dyslexia can be accompanied by significant shame and isolation. This paper describes a collective narrative intervention involving eight families of children with dyslexia. This intervention used key concepts of narrative practice to address issues relating to dyslexia and to foster agency in parents and children.

  • Stoking the embers of ancient fire: Counselling First Nations adolescents within a narrative approach— Darlene Denis-Friske

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    It is the thesis of the present paper that the oral tradition of Canadian First Nations people lends itself towards a rich cultural predisposition to meaning-making through narrative, leading towards a narrative approach as being culturally sensitive, deeply respectful and meaningful in counselling work with First Nations adolescents. In addition to a discussion about the vital importance of working within the existing narratives of First Nations youth, the author will unfold a personal narrative as a Canadian Algonquin person. This narrative piece serves to highlight externalisation, re-authoring of the story, the opening of possibilities, and the provision of a new context for the experiencing of adversity.

2,027 Comments

  1. In one of my groups it seemed there was a desire to talk about food preparation and sharing food. This discussion started informally before the group started. I allowed it to continue and asked ways in which participants have built community in their lives. What made this possible was the fact that I was running the group alone without a co-facilitator, allowing me to be more flexible in my approach. Organizational rules of what my group was “supposed” to focus on could prove a barrier to this collaboration.

  2. I liked this paper – I find that after I do my harm reduction groups, I am wondering what to write in the process note. I think I will try asking the participants of the group to suggest what I might include.

  3. Hello my name is Christopher Hanlon, I live in LIghthouse Point, FL. I am interested in learning how macro and micro social work practice may be intertwined. I loved article 4 in the above proposed charter that stated: the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem. Getting away from the individual and more to systemic causes. Just beginning this journey. I don’t like seeing problems through the limited lens of pathology – one in which my MSW clinical social work program seems to promote. I welcome any feedback!

  4. I’m Clayre Sessoms from Vancouver, BC, Canada, traditionally known as Coast Salish Territories. I acknowledge that my work takes place on the ancestral, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Nations of the Coast Salish People whose relationship with the land is ancient, primary, and enduring. I’m an uninvited settler in what is colonially known as Vancouver. Because my place of work is on stolen land I commit to support a reconciliation, which includes reparations and the return of land. Here I study counselling psychology and art therapy, and I get to incorporate narrative therapy at my practicum placement, a site that provides free counselling services for LGBTQ2S individuals.

    These materials help me to begin to wrap my head around the complexities of narrative therapy. I especially enjoyed learning about how others have used narrative therapy in practical counselling settings.

    I’m moved by how we often tend to hear, accept, or retell the thinnest stories of our lives and the lives of others. I imagine that not valuing the richness of an individual’s diverse range of stories, perhaps, it has been much easier to cling to tired old preconceived notions about others, which can cause undue harm.

    I’m left thinking about the TEDTalk by Chimamanda Adichie about the dangers of accepting a singular story of someone else, rather than leaning in and committing to understand the wholeness of that person’s narrative.

    I look forward to continuing to learn. Thank you to The Dulwich Centre for providing this accessible forum. <3

    • Hi Clayre,

      I am in a practicum as well, in New York City, working in a harm reduction center. I would also like to employ narrative therapy with participants in the program in one on one counseling sessions. I am glad to see you are doing it!

  5. in what ways have you entered into collaborations before? What made these collaborations possible?

    As a peer worker most of my work was entering into collaborations with young people. I would use curiosity to further inquire into their experience, and looking back wow these narrative practices would have been amazing to use in our youth group discussions! We would use art mostly in telling stories. Many of the young people heard voices and saw characters only they could see. They would enjoy painting these voices, externalising the character, giving it a name and talking about the story and nature of the relationship between the voice and the character. I also enjoyed illiciting these stories, as I could tell they would begin to separate themselves from the voices, allowing for guilt and shame to reduce.

    What might make it hard to enter into these practices?

    The one difficult way of entering into these practices was the note writing. The managerial culture of my last workplace meant it was not considered good practice to have clients sit with us to write notes. In fact most clients probably were unaware that workers did regularly make notes each time they had contact with the centre. We were a strengths based centre that thrived on person centred practice. I think there is a bit of a stereotype that note writing is quite clinical and removed from person centred practice, hence a certain avoidance of bringing up notes in front of clients.

    If these ways of working fit for you, what next steps could you take to build partnerships/collaborations in your work?

    I definitely believe I could continue to use art to help young people tell their alternative stories. In mental health many workers draw thin conclusions of clients – bipolar, poor attachment, violent, with even their strengths really talked about in third person. It would be great to start drawing peoples strengths out with the use of story telling, so that clients can start to own their strengths, rather than have clinicans cherry pick these out.

  6. Thank you to Tileah for a wonderful presentation. I love hearing the word “yarn” used in this powerful way (Americans also have that term). The practice of “translating”, of shifting concepts into language that can be more usefully heard, is very powerful. As coaches we can make good use of this to help clients uncover their hidden or forgotten resources.

  7. These stories are amazing examples of what we can discover when we hold onto our “beginner’s mind” and remember that the other person (client, patient) has the information and understanding, not us. We talk a lot in leadership development about “co-creating” and I think this is a beautiful example of two very complementary roles: the person who has the story and the person who helps to explore and shape it.

  8. I like the idea of narrative – there is something about giving people the power to create a narrative, rather than simply appearing in a story told by someone else. Within the narrative metaphor, I especially enjoy the fabric metaphor – the idea of strands. These may touch each other, or not, may go well together in tone or color, or not. But again, there is some power in creating and weaving the narrative.
    In my own work with coaching and leadership development, I find that the emphasis on narrative(s) helps make things more tangible, and therefore brings them to their true scale, instead of letting them take on imaginary and unclearly described proportions.

  9. I love this. Telling our stories in ways that make us stronger. Such a powerful sentiment. Sometimes through trauma, it is hard to access the words that really encapsulate that experience – though using the written word does help us access those hard to utter parts of our memories … in those cases though perhaps the story we tell ourselves is not one that makes us feel strong in the first instance – so finding a way to tell that story in a way that focuses on the strength of surviving to tell that story is just amazing!

  10. Hello all! My name is Krysta Rathwell and I am from a small town in central Alberta, Canada. I am currently completing my Masters in Counselling Psychology and have a Bachelor in Education Degree. I have just started my practicum and have been studying narrative therapy as that is what I am interested in pursuing.

    A narrative metaphor encompasses how a person is shaped by their stories. These stories have an impact on what people do or believe about themselves. Hearing clients’ stories, from their perspective, helps the therapist to understand their responses and gives the opportunity to seek to find hidden events or meaning.

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