Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Introducing the Work of the Hearing Voices Network



    This collection includes six articles about the work of the Hearing Voices Network:

    Introducing the Work of the Hearing Voices Network— David Denborough

    An introduction by David Denborough

    The Use of Humour and Other Coping Strategies— Jon Williams

    Everyone’s experience of hearing voices is different. In this paper Jon Williams describes the ways in which he has come to live with the voices he hears and how humour plays a vital part. This paper also describes a number of creative coping strategies as well as discussing the influential work of the Hearing Voices Network.

    Glimpses of Peace— Sharon De Valda

    Trauma can be the main trigger or cause of voice-hearing in many people. In this paper, Sharon de Valda evocatively conveys how racism and sexism shape her experience of hearing voices and how she has in turn used her own experiences to assist other voice-hearers.

    From Paranoid Schizophrenia to Hearing Voices - and Other Class Distinctions— Mickey De Valda

    While not commonly discussed, class relations have a significant influence in relation to people’s experiences of mental health and hearing voices in particular. In this paper, Mickey de Valda describes how experiences of class shape his experience and how this has influenced his work with the Hearing Voices Network.

    Partnership— Julie Downs

    In this paper, Julie Downs (Co-ordinator of the National Office of the Hearing Voices Network) discusses the importance of thoughtful partnerships between those who hear voices and those who do not. Both the hazards and possibilities of these partnerships are considered, particularly in relation to matters of power, politics and control.

    Altering the Balance of Power: Working with Voices— Peter Bullimore

    Through sharing stories of therapeutic work, this paper describes how issues of abuse and power are vital considerations when working with voice-hearers. Not only is voice-hearing often the result of abuse, but voice-hearing itself can be an experience of abuse. Peter Bullimore describes how he is interested in ensuring that abusive voices are challenged and their influence reduced, and how positive voices can be acknowledged and cherished. The paper also tells stories of a recently established group for people experiencing ‘paranoia’ that is having surprising success, and identifies significant factors that influence the process of recovery. The author also shares some of his own experiences of psychosis and how these influence his work in this area.


  • Responding to Men’s Violence: An interview with Nancy Gray


    In their work with men who have enacted violence against their partners, a team of workers at New Start, in Halifax, Canada, draws upon the metaphor of ‘migration of identity’ to assist men to move away from violence and domination and towards different forms of masculinity. In this thoughtful and reflective two-part interview, Nancy Gray describes some of the key ideas that inform their work. The first part of the interview conveys how the migration of identity map and the re-authoring conversations map can be put to work with men who are violent. It also conveys some of the unexpected discoveries that emerge as a result. The interviewer was David Denborough.

  • Finding the ‘voice’ to speak: Women and men talk about relationships— Dion Anderson, Bea Edwards, Mark Hammersley, Marnie Sather and Greg Smith


    Winja Ulupna (‘women’s haven’) is an Aboriginal residential alcohol and other drug service for women. Galiamble (‘dry place on a hill’), the equivalent service for men. These services are open to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Winja Ulupna and Galiamble are services of Ngwala Willumbong (‘dry place’) Cooperative. Based in an Aboriginal service, narrative group work was used to assist women and men talk about relationships, in a safe and positive manner. Exchanges of collective documents between the groups led to joint readings and song. The women reported positive developments in attitudes and support provided by men at the service. The men reported improved understanding of the circumstances of the women and improvements in the quality of relationships with their partners. The article provides a case study of one approach to supporting positive developments in relationships in Aboriginal settings. The approach may also be relevant to non-Aboriginal settings. Also included are a series of reflections, responses and critiques from experienced Aboriginal health workers.

  • Maps of Violence, Maps of Hope: Using Place and Maps to Explore Identity, Gender, and Violence— Mark Trudinger


    What might be some of the possibilities of exploring the relationship of ‘place’ to identity in the lives of the people with whom we work? This article explores some ideas that might inform this work, and details one practice-based example: working with young men on issues of gender and violence. Part 1 explores the relative invisibility of ‘place’ in narrative therapy and its source texts, as well as in the broader histories of thought in western culture, before looking at some possible sources of inspiration and thinking about how we might be able to explore place more fully in narrative practice. Part 2 examines the social construction of maps and their relation to identity, looks at how mapping has been used to support new directions in the lives of individuals and communities, and wonders how maps might be taken up as therapeutic documents in narrative therapy. Part 3 is an outline of a workshop the author has run with young men based on the preceding ideas, which examines the perpetration and resistance to violence in local places, and in the young men’s negotiation of those places.


    Free article:

    Reflecting on Maps of Violence, Maps of Hope— Manja Visschedijk

    This short reflection, from a feminist practitioner, on the article ‘Maps of violence, maps of hope’ by Mark Trudinger, poses further questions about the relationship between place, maps and identity. It also contemplates further implications for counselling practices that may evolve from considerations of ‘place’.


  • ‘Some of us have a body that we need to adjust in order for them to be a good place to live’: Belonging, resting places and gender talents — Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad


    This paper describes the application of the dialectical narrative inquiry, a therapeutic approach that incorporates phenomenology and narrative inquiry within narrative practices in order to elicit double-storied accounts of people’s lives. I describe this approach through my work with Sarah, a 28-year-old university student who had been experiencing difficulties in her interpersonal relationships. Sarah and I were able to develop her personal dialectic, chart her landscapes through re-authoring questions, and clarify her positions regarding her problematic and preferred responses to experiences of ‘Ambivalence and Insensitivity’. Through the use of macro-scaffolding over subsequent sessions, Sarah and I were able to identify her personal values and her hopes and intentions for the future. We also identified specific barriers to enacting these preferences, and personal skills and knowledges that she would be able to draw on in order to move towards her hopes and intentions for the future.

  • Non-binary Superpowers! A collaborative conversation between non-binary youth in Adelaide, South Australia, and non-binary youth in Calgary, Alberta — Rosie Maeder and Tiffany Sostar


    A common experience of folks who identify outside of binary gender is that of erasure, an experience of not being seen, fighting daily to ‘prove’ that our identities and experiences are ‘real’ and ‘valid’. In April and May of 2019, two small groups of Trans and Non-Binary (enby) young people and some of their loved ones came together on opposite sides of the world. Tiffany Sostar (they/them) and Rosie Maeder (she/her) hosted narrative conversations in Adelaide, Australia, and Calgary, Canada, and linked them through a collective document. This was the beginning of an ongoing trans-continental conversation exploring the skills, knowledges and experiences of Non-Binary young people and of the ways they are or hope to be seen and supported by loved ones. Tiffany and Rosie hoped to draw out rich, multi-storied accounts of Non-Binary experiences and to make visible the skills, knowledges and complicated superpowers required to resist rigid constructs of gender. They seek to further subvert Non-Binary invisibility by sharing these stories with other enby folks and anyone else who wants to learn more about Non-Binary experiences or identities ‒ including and especially Narrative Practitioners who work with Trans and Non-Binary young people.

  • She/he/they/ze/hir: Talking about pronouns and gendered language — Rosie Maeder, Tiffany Sostar and David Denborough


    When participants arrive at a workshop at Dulwich Centre, they are invited to indicate their pronoun(s) on their name tag. As this practice is new to many people, this resource explains what it’s all about, why we care about this, and how readers can join in this collaborative project.

  • A Journey towards Gender Belonging: Adam’s Story— Jodi Aman


    This paper summarises the journey of a sixteen-year-old young person who had felt displaced in the body of a somatic girl and now identifies as a young man. This has been a journey towards gender belonging. The information described in this paper was taken from a series of therapeutic conversations over an eight month period. Please note, that the use of pronouns and names within this paper may at times be confusing to the reader.

  • Protecting Relationships from the Ongoing Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse— Jussey Verco, David Tully, Geoff Minge


    This paper describes ways of working with male partners of women who experienced sexual abuse as children. In response to requests from women, groups were held with male partners to provide information about childhood sexual abuse, to enable the men to speak about ways in which they have tried to support their partners, and to discuss men’s experiences and responses. Opportunities were also created to deconstruct unhelpful or ‘dangerous’ ideas around the complexities of childhood sexual abuse.

  • Up the Steep Side of the Queer Learning Curve: Some Things I’ve Learned about Sex, Gender and Sexuality— Mary Heath


    This article uses stories about everyday life to explore ideas about sex, gender and sexuality. It questions the dominant idea that there are only two sexes and two genders, and that sex should always be congruent with gender, drawing on queer theory – and intersex and transgendered people’s life stories. It also examines the challenges bisexuality and queer theory present to dominant ideas about sexuality, proposing that there are more than two sexualities, and that sexuality can change depending on time, circumstances, and other factors. The author suggests that people who believe that their own sex and gender are uncontroversial have much to learn from paying thorough attention to the richness of human diversity rather than accepting the dominant two-sex, two-gender story. She suggests that refusing to accept the limitations of the accepted accounts of sex, gender and sexuality opens the way to exciting conversations on these subjects. These conversations, and the social change which they are making possible, have much to offer to people who fit within the dominant models of sex, gender and sexuality as well as those whose lives are currently erased and denigrated by them.

  • Gender belonging: Children, adolescents, adults and the role of the therapist – Revised— Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad


    This paper, originally published in 2001 and then revised 15 years later, describes key principles and practice of Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, a Norweigian transgifted medical doctor and family therapist, when working with the families and networks of children and adolescents who display non-conformist or atypical gender expressions. This piece offers definitions for a wide variety of words and terms used to describe complex realms of gender, explores how responses to gender non-conformity have changed over time and continue to change, and conveys ways of ensuring that individuals displaying unusual expressions of gender have a chance to experience a sense of positive gender belonging.


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

  2. 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


    • 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 I can send you the manual. Or ask any other questions via this page so others might share in the answers.


  3. Thank you for sharing your insights. This has been very enlightening as a student studying post-grad social work. Recently my tutorial group was discussing how professionals often use their interpretation and that clients may not get to see how some professionals interpret their stories, in this way many things can be missed especially what the client sees as being important.