• Bringing our gaze to perinatal depression— Amanda Worrall Quick View

    Perinatal depression (PND) affects about one in every seven women who give birth in Australia each year (healthdirect, 2017) and suicide is considered to be the leading cause of maternal death in the perinatal period (Ellwood, 2016). Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the cause of PND is still not clearly understood (BetterHealth, 2017). Understandings of perinatal depression are predominantly shaped by a biomedical model, and the insider knowledge of women is given little if any space. Amanda was keen to engage with women to seek some answers to PND. The following questions helped to shape this exploration: What do women consider to be the issues and problems that make up PND? What have they learnt in relation to what reduces its influence and presence in their lives? What becomes possible for women when they recognise their knowledge as legitimate knowledge?

    • Bringing our gaze to perinatal depression— Amanda Worrall Quick View
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    • Bringing our gaze to perinatal depression— Amanda Worrall
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    • Perinatal depression (PND) affects about one in every seven women who give birth in Australia each year (healthdirect, 2017) and suicide is considered to be the leading cause of maternal death in the perinatal period (Ellwood, 2016). Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the cause of PND is still not clearly understood (BetterHealth, 2017). Understandings of perinatal…
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  • Creating stories of hope: A narrative approach to illness, death and grief— Lorraine Hedtke Quick View

    A narrative approach allows psychosocial teams to stand alongside children who have cancer, or life-threatening illnesses, and their families at critical times and to create stories of agency. Rather than dwelling on stories of loss and despair that potentially enfeeble families, a narrative approach builds on stories of strength that engender hope by asking questions that separate the person from the problem. Developing such stories supports people in taking action against the effects of cancer. It also facilitates the formation of a legacy that can sustain family members, even after the death of a child. This legacy serves as the foundation for remembering the dead, folding their stories into the lives of the living, and constructing lines of relational connection that can transcend physical death. Not only do families benefit from this approach, but the psychosocial team that provides professional and medical services can be uplifted through witnessing practices of strength and love in the face of hardship.

  • My meeting place: Re-arming ourselves with cultural knowledge, spirituality and community connectedness— Vanessa Davis Quick View

    This paper introduces ‘My Meeting Place’, a process that integrates Aboriginal art practices and narrative practices to facilitate culturally appropriate counselling by Aboriginal practitioners working with Aboriginal children and young people. It offers an Indigenised therapeutic framework that contributes to the decolonisation of Aboriginal people. The paper includes a step-by-step description of how My Meeting Place was used in a one-on-one counselling session to create and guide narrative conversations.

  • Recipes for life: A collective narrative methodology for responding to gender violence— Meizi Tan Quick View

    This paper explores the use of collective narrative methodology in a two-day group retreat organised for women who had experienced gender violence in their intimate relationships. The women developed ‘recipes for life’ by using the skills and knowledge they had developed through responding to gender violence. Outsider-witness practices were used to acknowledge the women’s alternative stories of resilience and resistance to gender violence. Narrative practices of collective documentation, externalising the problem, and deconstructing social discourses that support gender violence, were incorporated through the creative use of food metaphors. This supported the women in breaking their silence and reduced the sense of isolation, shame and disempowerment that often surrounds gender violence.

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

    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.

  • Thwarting Shame: Feminist engagement in group work with men recruited to patriarchal dominance in relationship— Kylie Dowse Quick View

    Through the eyes of an Aboriginal feminist, this paper documents group work with men who have used violence in intimate relationship. Adapting narrative externalising techniques to scaffold a conceptual support group for Shame enabled men engaged in group work to view responsibility and respect in new ways. The paper considers the role of women facilitators in working with men, and ways the politics of women’s experience add value to group discussion.

  • Towards a decolonising practice: A non-Aboriginal worker finding meaningful ways to work in an Aboriginal context— Grace Drahm Quick View

    This paper describes the development of a decolonising therapeutic practice for working with young people and their families in Aboriginal communities. It shows how different maps of narrative practice have been used to support Aboriginal young people and their families to develop storybooks as therapeutic documents that centre and honour their knowledges and worldviews.

  • What the Wildman, the Dragon-Arguing Monster and Camellia the Chameleon taught me about externalising conversations— Maggie Carey Quick View

    In this paper, Maggie Carey relates three engaging stories about her use of externalising conversations with children. In doing so, this paper illustrates the diversity of metaphors that are engaged with in externalising conversations and the ways in which the knowledges, imagination and stories of children can be an intricate part of therapeutic conversations and how these can be shared between families.

  • Hopeful conversations about voice hearing— Chris Dolman & Michael Spurrier Quick View

    Over a period of a couple of years, Michael and Chris met in the context of therapy in relation to the presence of critical and demanding voices in Michael’s life. These conversations covered much territory and this paper gives a partial account of these conversations – an interweaving of a description of narrative ideas and practices that shaped Chris’ approach, together with Michael’s experiences of participating in these conversations, which reinvigorated his interest in contributing to the lives of other people.

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

    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’.

  • Navigating relationships when our children are in out-of-home care: A narrative group and community project for parents whose lives are affected by child protection intervention and the removal of their children— Lauren Graham Quick View

    This article describes a group work process designed to both privilege and document the skills and knowledges of parents whose children are in out-of-home care as a result of statutory intervention. The group focused on salvaging preferred territories of identity. It was designed to enable the contribution of participants by linking their narratives with those of other parents facing similar circumstances, and providing opportunities to inform the work of a local organisation developing practices for family inclusion. As part of this group project, parents were able to identify steps they need to take to redress the actions and ideas that led to child removal, and, in doing so, to develop their practices for caring for and protecting children.

  • Picturing stories: Drawings in narrative family therapy with children— Anik Serneels Quick View

    This article illustrates how drawings can be implemented in narrative family therapy with children. This work primarily draws upon the narrative family therapy framework, but other family therapy ideas are also integrated. It will be argued in this article that non-verbal media, more specifically drawings, can contribute to alternative story development and the co-creation of joint family actions, whereby the family can achieve their preferred ways of living. First I explain how drawings can assist externalising conversations. This is followed by a detailed description of the stance I take as a family therapist, questions I ask, and how I focus on relationships and interactions during the co-creation of drawings. I also describe how positively implicating family members and enabling their active participation during this drawing process reinforces the change process. If family members have experienced problems similar to the ones the child is now struggling with, intergenerational and sibling alliances can also be created. Finally I put theory into practice by providing the reader with a case example.

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