• ‘Narrative therapy: Constructing stories of dignity and resistance with survivors of torture and trauma in Colombia’— Mariana Saenz Uribe Quick View

    This paper introduces readers to the sociopolitical context within Colombia and provides examples of the use of narrative therapy and collective narrative practice with survivors of torture. In particular, this paper focuses on responding to women who have been subjected to sexual violence in the context of organised political violence. Detailed accounts of work with a mother and her two daughters, and a group of women survivors, are offered.

  • 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.

  • Explorations of the absent but implicit— Jill Freedman Quick View

    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.

  • 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.

  • Witnessing and positioning: Structuring narrative therapy with families and couples— Jill Freedman Quick View

    In this paper, the author describes a way of structuring family therapy that fits with the narrative metaphor, creating space for stories to be understood, deconstructed and further developed. In this process, people move between positions of telling and witnessing. Family members engage in shared understanding and meaning making.

  • Cultural equity: Bridging the complexity of social identities with therapeutic practices— Rhea Almeida, Pilar Hernández-Wolfe and Carolyn Tubbs Quick View

    In this article we propose the construct of cultural equity to guide family and community therapeutic work that addresses social and interpersonal complexity from a social justice perspective. Cultural equity encompasses the multiplicity of personal, social, and institutional locations that frame identities in therapeutic practice by locating these complexities within a societal matrix that shapes relationships: power, privilege, and oppression. We locate our work vis-à-vis the cultural competence movement to situate cultural equity theoretically and politically. We illustrate the application of cultural equity in therapy and discuss implications for theory and practice.

  • Moments to treasure: Narrative family therapy with trans children and cisgender parents — David Nylund Quick View

    David Nylund’s primary work is at the Gender Health Center in Sacramento, California, with family members, caregivers, and parents of young trans and gender diverse folks. David works primarily with parents to invite them to come to a place of supporting and affirming their child’s gender identity. This interview explores the ways in which he engages in narrative family therapy in this context.

  • Reflections across Time and Space: Using Voice Recordings to Facilitate ‘Long-distance’ Definitional Ceremonies— Ross Hernandez Quick View

    This paper describes the author’s attempts to employ the definitional ceremony map of narrative therapy in contexts where outsider witnesses cannot be physically present. This was achieved through the use of a voice recorder, with the various stages of tellings and re-tellings being recorded and played for the outsider witnesses and clients, bringing about a ‘long-distance’ definitional ceremony which spans a gap in time and space.

  • That’s the Question: Using Questions to Help Parents to Get to Know Their Children and Allay Anxiety and Anger— Darylle Levenbach Quick View

    When families are caught up in ‘stormy’ relationships, it can be challenging to negotiate a different way of communicating about what each person values. This article suggests a range of questions that parents and young people can use to play the role of an ‘investigative reporter’ and find out about the other’s hopes, dreams, and knowledge. The author provides two examples of these questions – and the process that goes with them – in therapeutic contexts with families in Israel.

  • Uh Oh! I have received an Unexpected Visitor: The visitor’s name is Chronic Disease a Brazilian narrative family therapy approach— Lúcia Helena Abdalla and Ana Luiza Novis Quick View

    Based on our clinical experience with people with chronic diseases, we have developed a narrative methodology we have named ‘The Pantry of Life’ (also known as ‘The Unexpected Visitor’). This reflective approach invites the person and their family to imagine and describe the appearance of adversity in their lives as an ‘Unexpected Visitor’ who arrives unexpectedly and uninvited. Consisting of six reflexive exercises, this methodology enables families who have felt hostage to the problem, to reclaim the authorship of the stories of their lives. By promoting new understandings, expanding conversations, and validating the skills and resources of family members, those living with chronic diseases are offered a chance to respond to serious problems in playful and creative ways.

  • Enabling forgiveness and reconciliation in family therapy— Karl Tomm Quick View

    Interpersonal conflicts are almost inevitable within families. The closeness and intensity of family relationships along with differences among family members in knowledge, desires, values, abilities, etc., account for much of this turmoil. Family members are often deeply hurt in the course of their conflicts and sometimes there is a significant breach of trust. Occasionally a family member will consider a certain offence unforgivable and will not seek reconciliation. Usually, however, family members try to recover a sense of personal and relationship wellbeing by endeavoring to forgive and reconcile. This can be a long and arduous process. Therapists are often consulted to facilitate such healing. My purpose in writing this paper is to share my understanding of some of the complexities involved.2 The perspective that I adopt is a social constructionist or ‘bringforthist’ stance. I assume that through caring conversation, it is possible to bring forth preferred ways of thinking and interacting that can lead to forgiveness and reconciliation.

  • Perspectives on teaching family therapy from the Bouverie Centre Quick View

    A paper by Amaryll Perlesz, Jenny Dwyer, Robyn Elliott, Banu Moloney, Colin Riess, Pam Rycroft, Ann Welfare and Jeff Young.

    The Bouverie Centre at La Trobe University in Melbourne runs the longest established family therapy teaching program in Australia. ‘Bouverie’, as it is known, is highly regarded for its innovative teaching program, as well as its work in relation to HIV/AIDS, mental health, sexual abuse, acquired brain injury, and with homophobia in schools. This paper describes some of the current issues being faced and grappled with in therapy training programs both in Australia and elsewhere. We are delighted to include it here.

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