grief

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

    $9.90

    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.

  • Responding to those surviving the unchosen loss of love— Lauren Jones

    $9.90

    This paper describes how a community worker informed by narrative practice formed a participatory community group in response to those within the community highly influenced by thoughts of self-harm following the loss of love. This paper highlights the privileging of community members’ uncommon knowledge in finding a way forward. The community’s devalued and subjugated knowledge is used to co-create an artful expression of ways group members are taking care following the loss of love, to externalised regret via a playful metaphor, to acknowledge anxiety in a co-produced document, to co-author a list of ‘growing group rules’, and to recreate a powerful 50th birthday ritual for a group member. Ethical ways of working are explored to guide community practice. The paper posits that a reclamation of faith in uncommon knowledge might be made all the more possible when devalued knowledge is privileged within a participatory community.

  • Linking Stories and Initiatives: A Narrative Approach to Working with the Skills and Knowledge of Communities

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    By David Denborough, Carolyn Koolmatrie, Djapirri Mununggirritj, Djuwalpi Marika, Wayne Dhurrkay & Margaret Yunupingu.

    This paper describes an approach to community work informed by narrative ideas that we hope will be of relevance to practitioners in a wide-range of contexts. Over the last year, a number of Aboriginal communities, which are experiencing hard times, have been exchanging stories. These are stories about special skills, special knowledge, about hopes and dreams and the ways that people are holding onto these. They are stories that honour history. This article describes the thinking that has informed this process. It also contains extracts of stories and messages from different communities.

  • Still alive: Counselling conversations with parents whose child has died during or soon after pregnancy— Helene Grau Kristensen and Lorraine Hedtke

    $5.50

    When a baby dies, before or after his or her birth, we (counsellors and lay people alike) are often at a loss as to how to help. This article addresses the delicate conversations needed to demonstrate how relational narratives can live on after the death of a baby whether he or she dies in utero, miscarried or born still. Using re-membering practices and narrative counselling, we explore how a deceased child’s ongoing identity can continue to inform sustaining narratives for those living with grief.

  • Stories of hope and pride— Emma Cox

    $9.90

    Pregnant women with negative identity conclusions often have their stories of hope and pride overshadowed by problem-saturated stories. Consequently, their stories of hope and pride remain unnoticed and untold. This paper describes how narrative practices can create space for these women’s stories of hope and pride to be noticed and richly told in ways that allow women to reconnect with previously subjugated knowledges. Further, this paper includes two stories of practice that demonstrate the significant and powerful outcomes that have been made possible through the use of narrative practice innovations that create space for women’s stories of hope and pride to be noticed and told.

  • Re-membering Reciprocal Relationships— Chris Dolman

    $9.90

    Re-membering conversations are one of the key maps of narrative therapy practice. This article explores some interrelationships between re-membering conversations and the principles of Just Therapy, along with the other narrative practices of ‘the absent but implicit’ and regarding distress as testimony, enquiring about personal agency, and naming injustice. This interweaving of theory and practice is shown through work with Aboriginal people in Murray Bridge, a rural town in South Australia.

    Free article

    Bringing Lost Loved Ones into Our Conversations: Talking About Loss in Honouring Ways (a reflection on Chris Dolman’s Re-membering Reciprocal Relationships) by Barbara Wingard

  • Remembrance: Women and Grief Project— The Dulwich Centre

    $9.90

    This article documents the initial stage of Dulwich Centre’s Women and Grief Project, a project based on narrative practice to collect stories, skills, and knowledge of women responding to grief and loss. The article includes a list of narrativelyinformed questions for women to reflect on their experiences of grief and loss, and a heartfelt response to these by a Palestinian woman, as well as responses to her writing by other women. The article also explores the complexities of grief in the context of violence, abuse, or other ‘fraught’ aspects of relationships, as well as socially-unsanctioned forms of grief.

  • Loss and Letters— Alex Millham and Natalie Banks

    $5.50

    This paper consists of two letters. The first letter is from a therapist to a young woman consulting her about her experience of the therapy sessions they had shared together. The second letter is the young woman’s response. It is hoped that these letters will provide other therapists with ideas for working with young women around issues of loss and grief.

  • The Origami of Remembering— Lorraine Hedtke

    $5.50

    When so much of work in the realm of grief has focused on ‘letting go’ and ‘saying goodbye’ to those who have died, the ideas in this paper offer an alternative path. When working with people who are living with grief, finding ways to honour and ‘keep alive’ the relationship with the person who has died can be sustaining and hopeful. In this paper, Lorraine introduces the metaphor of ‘origami of remembering’, using it to describe the process of folding and re-folding the stories of people’s lives and how they are linked to those who have passed away.

  • Collection: When the Trauma is not Past or ‘Post’: Palestinian Perspective on Responding to Trauma and Torture

    $15.00

    The following writings and interviews describe the work of the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC) which is based in Ramallah, in the occupied Palestinian Territories. This organisation was founded by Dr Mahmud Sehwail eight years ago and provides counselling, psychological and psychiatric services to the Palestinian community.

     

    Articles in this collection include:

    Responding to Continuing Traumatic Events— Dr Mahmud Sehwail

    Dr Mahmud Sehwail is the founder and Director of the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC). This paper explains how the TRC came into existence and how this organisation responds to those who have experienced trauma as well as aiming to prevent further abuse and violence.

    A Human Rights Approach to Psychotherapy— Khader Rasras

    This interview explores what it means to develop a human rights approach to psychotherapy and how these principles affect therapeutic work. It also considers ways of reaching out to survivors of trauma. Khader Rasras is the head psychologist at the TRC. The interviewer was David Denborough.

    Glimpses of Therapeutic Conversations: Engaging with Narrative Ideas— Bilal Hassounh, Iman Ja'ouni, Deema Al Tibi, Amani Al-Jamal, Maryam Burqan, Wisam Abdallah

    This paper consists of a collection of short stories of therapeutic practice from Palestinian counsellors and psychologists at the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC). The stories particularly focus on the ways in which they have been engaging with narrative ideas in their practice.

    Public Speech: Bringing People Together— Faiseh Muhtaseb

    A further aspect of the work of the TRC involves hosting public meetings in villages and towns around mental health issues. In this paper, Faiseh Muhtaseb describes the thinking behind this work.

    The Media as an Avenue for Therapeutic and Community Work̛— Hasan Salim

    Alongside the public meetings that are organised by the TRC, their media liaison officer, Hasan Salim, uses newspapers, the radio and television as mediums for further therapeutic and community work. This paper describes this work and the thinking that informs it. The interviewer was David Denborough.

     

  • Responding to grief and loss using therapeutic documents — Karen Esakin Mittet

    $5.50

    This article demonstrates some of the healing practices that narrative therapists have available to them when helping people who are grieving the death of someone they love. It emphasises the healing effects of therapeutic documentation and the significance of effective note taking when preparing therapeutic letters for individuals who have been bereaved.

  • Voices from Bali: Responding to the October Bombing— Muhammad Arif, Putu Nur Ayomi Janet De Neefe, Sugi B. Lanus Ni Made Marni, Wayan Sarma & Frances Tse

    $5.50

    This piece has been created as a response to the bombing that took place in Bali in October 2002, five months ago. As these words are being written, Australia is preparing to join the USA and Britain to bomb and invade the sovereign country of Iraq many thousands of miles away. Most Australians do not support such a war and are deeply worried about its implications. So too in Bali. Those we spoke to when we visited there last month were unanimous that the looming war in Iraq would bring only further violence and hardship to the world and in turn make the healing of the bombing in Bali much more difficult. The following piece describes some of the ways in which the effects of two bombs in Kuta continue to haunt the people of Bali. As the USA, Britain and Australia prepare a far more devastating attack on the ancient cities of Iraq, a sense of grief visits us. This piece is all about grief, about responses to loss and violence, and about the people of Bali – Australia’s neighbours

1,974 Comments

  1. I appreciated that there was a sequential process provided in this lesson. The power point presentation along with Mark Hayward providing guidance through the steps helps create a vision of what narrative therapy looks like in action. I work in the helping field and often find that clients come in for counselling having already been given a diagnosis of some kind. So often when I ask about problems, I get answers along the lines of “well I have depression” or “people saying I’m paranoid”. Having a series of questions that assist in externalizing with descriptions that is experience near is valuable. The descriptions that are evoked in the power point, wolf monster or black depths, remind me of creative therapies. A character can be created, drawn or written that symbolize the problem.

    I also agree with a response outlined below regarding the usefulness of this map in addictions work. The healthy distancing from the behaviour or clinical state of “addiction” could be incredibly useful. I have also seen this in my practice where people who use substances refer to their problem as “addiction” or identity as “addict”. This can be a very strong narrative that is a thin description, very totalizing and medical.

  2. Hello everyone
    My name is Justin and I reside and work in so called British Columbia. Specifically I work on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and WSANEC people.
    Going through this lesson, I am reminded of the work of Vikki Reynolds. She is a clinical counsellor working and living in Vancouver, BC (I am sure many people reading and contributing here are familiar!)
    In her article ‘“Leaning In” as Imperfect Allies in Community Work” she talks about doing community work informed by justice-doing and decolonizing work. She describes this work as “fluid and groundless”, changing and within relation to the context and intersecting identities and histories.
    This practice seems to connect well with narrative therapies collaboration, interconnection and de-centered practice.

    I would like to comment on how useful it is to hear about the specific examples of collaboration and consent that are provided. Amanda Worrall writing out what was discussed in her meetings with June, (the therapeutic letter) seems like such a great practice. It is in the spirit of collaboration reflecting together in this manner.

    Vikki Reynolds: “Leaning In” as Imperfect Allies in Community Work:
    https://journals.gmu.edu/index.php/NandC/article/view/430/364

  3. Listening to Tileah I was provoked to contemplate my own use of language when working with clients. I enjoy the narrative model of practice and I am aware that for some there is definitely stigma attached to the process of counselling or therapy. I have only had one experience of working with an Indigenous person as a client and I will be sure to look at my use of language. I like the idea of it just being a yarn, it takes the pressure and onus off of the client to do something.

  4. Hello:

    This is Andrea from Toronto.

    I found particularly helpful the discussion in the FAQ around the use of metaphors of conflict and combat. I expect to be working in healthcare settings with critically ill patients and their loved ones (mostly children and parents), and I anticipate hearing them use these kinds of combative metaphors during our conversations. I also anticipate meeting many people who are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from “fighting” these problems. I appreciated the comments in the FAQ about combative metaphors, and the suggestions around exploring other kinds of metaphors which may be less conflict-laden and draining on their emotional resources. Thanks again for making this material available!

  5. I have started to use collaboration with clients when I am asked to write a report. I ask clients what they see as the areas of change and challenge of which they want others to be aware. I also at times share my report with the client first to be sure it accurately reflects their experience. In this way they are both acknowledging their ongoing journey and being acknowledged for the work they have done.

  6. Mike here, in London. I too was interested in “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” It’s a really difficult question. I was involved for about 10 years in working with people suffering from homelessness. Sue Mann’s story really rang true for me. One thing I was involved in was a choir for marginalised people, literally helping them find their voices. That, I felt, was useful, and collaborative. But I have always been suspicious of things like distributing left-over sandwiches to people sleeping rough on the street, as if that made it OK for them to be there as long as we give them some stale sandwiches. Or giving them tents or sleeping bags. What message does it send? Even though it may be well-meaning.

  7. Hi, I’m Mike. I work as a couples counsellor in London, England. My main training was 50% psychodynamic and 50% systemic. Narrative work was touched on briefly, for one module, and I am looking forward to learning more. Couples certainly do bring stories, often rather thin stories. “My partner is selfish.” Or “My partner had an affair”. Full stop. That’s all there is to know. Even in happy couples, people seem to get shaped into rather thin roles: this partner is the one who’s good with people, that partner is the one who’s good with money, this one cooks, that one drives. If the relationship ends, they may discover, actually *I* also can drive, cook, manage my money, make friends, I am a complete person.

  8. I think it will be an important part of my practice to investigate with clients which elements of our systems (social, cultural, political, economic) that are contributing to or mitigating their problems and suffering. I was particularly struck by the following sentence from the Just Therapy article: “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” I think it is incumbent upon those of us in helping professions to work with the people we are helping to begin addressing the systemic issues that are contributing to (or creating) their problems. Otherwise, we may fall into this trap of “adjusting people to injustice.”

  9. Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a Masters student in a spiritual care program located in Toronto.

    After reviewing this chapter, I’m reflecting upon the question that was raised: “how do we respond to grief when that grief has been caused by injustice?” and thinking about it in the context of working with seriously ill children and their families in a hospital/hospice setting. Patients and families in that setting also face grief that has been caused by injustice (in the form of incurable illness), and I see how the narrative metaphor can be used to help those families begin to reclaim their own lives in the face of tremendous loss caused by uncontrollable circumstances. I can see how the Articles of the Narrative Therapy Charter of Story-Telling Rights would be tremendously helpful when working with patients and families as a framework for telling and receiving their stories about their lives and their problems.

    For me, the material in this chapter also raises the question of how we can help to facilitate healing in a world where systems are seemingly becoming more unjust and creating deep suffering. My initial thought is that we continue to listen to each other’s stories with deep compassion, and the teachings of this course will help to provide us with new ideas and skills on how to do this.

  10. Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk was incredible. The one line where she said “a single story creates a stereotype. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete”. This blew my mind. I am ashamed to have ever participated in the single story belief of anyone let alone whole cultures, communities and countries , continents and so on. I know that moving forward I will endeavour to hear more stories and to encourage others to tell their story. I am about to run a photovoice narrative project to do just this, give a whole community the opportunity to change their stereotype.

  11. “Narrative therapy doesn’t believe in a ‘whole self’ which needs to be integrated but rather that our identities are made up of many stories, and that these stories are constantly changing.”

    I like this, I find it very compatible with my beliefs as a Buddhist. In Buddhism, as I understand it, mistaken beliefs about a solid, fixed “self” are the source of our suffering.

    I work with couples using EFT for couples, and in that approach, there is a big emphasis on externalising the problem as “the cycle that you get trapped in”, and encouraging couples to come up with their own name for it.

  12. Thank you for this. I am a counsellor, and trying to make as much as possible of my notes “in quotes”, that is, writing down things that the clients said. And not my own opinions.

  13. hello

    I the ED of a Friendship Center in Terrace, BC where were mostly target the indigenous population in our city of 12,000. I found your video interesting and something that we may want to try. Havee you been able to to do any follow ups studies to gage the long term effect of your program?

    Regards

    Cal Albright
    ED
    Kermode Friendship Center
    http://www.keremodefriendship.ca
    Terrace, BC
    Canada

    • Hi Cal, thanks for the interest. At this point the only followup has been through conversations with with people who return to volunteer on additional walks or engage with our other programs.

      However, a group of fourth year medical students at a local university have offered to run a pre and post measured study / report in 2020 as part of their studies which should be interesting.

      Let me know if you would like more information.

      CD

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

  15. 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

    Paul

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

      CD

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