• Flags and Multiple Identities: Being Chinese in Hong Kong— Ho Chi-kwan Quick View

    Through an exploration of personal history and narrative, this piece conveys some of the complex themes that contribute to the construction of Chinese Hong Kong identity. Poignant imagery invites readers to consider the question: ‘What does it mean to be Chinese in Hong Kong?’

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

    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.

     

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    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’.

     

  • Talking of home and journeys of the spirit— Hugo Kamya Quick View

    I work with many families who have left their homelands and have come to build new lives in this country. Whenever I meet with them I think a lot about the meaning of home. I now live far away from the place where I grew up, which was in Uganda. Talking of home, for me, brings tenderness and a sense of connection. For me, the word ‘home’ evokes a sense of being nurtured and comforted and being in communion with others. It also brings a sense of longing. Within the word ‘home’ is where, in the words of Buechner (1973), ‘the heart’s deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger’.

  • Hong Kong – The Place That Shapes My Identity— Little Lit Siu-wai Quick View

    Through an exploration of family history this piece invites the reader to consider the complexities of identity faced by the people of Hong Kong.

  • In Our Own Voice: African-American stories of oppression, survival and recovery in mental health systems— Vanessa Jackson Quick View

    A review of the history of mental health includes few references to the African-American experience. Robert Meinsma’s Brief History of Mental Therapy offers a review of philosophical and medical views on mental illness dating back to 600 BC that includes nearly a thousand entries. However, this very comprehensive document boasts fewer than five entries pertaining to the experiences of people of African descent. A similar criticism can be offered of the timeline compiled by the American Psychological Association (Street 2001). African-Americans have a presence in America dating back to at least 1619 when the first African indentured servants arrived in America (Bennett 1993).This chapter attempts to supplement the official records by offering a few accounts of African-American psychiatric survivors’ experiences, and the philosophy and policies that guided the treatment of our ancestors and which still influence our treatment today.

  • Consulting your consultants, revisited— David Marsten, David Epston and Lisa Johnson Quick View

    This article questions the notion of children as hapless, biding their time, through a slow maturation process until they become useful adults. We argue that young people1 can be instrumental in their own lives and this extends to addressing serious problems they may encounter. We suggest, in addition, that young people’s knowledges2 can be useful to others. We offer a map (White, 2007) for this practice in how to consult young people on behalf of others in need. With the use of letters and transcripts, we provide examples for each step in how to support young people as they find surer footing and a clearer voice, taking up the role of protagonist and advisor. Through the consulting process, insider knowledges are privileged. Narrative structures are utilised to give order and coherence to such knowledges. A future petitioner is introduced to provide immediacy and narrative drive to the consultation.

  • De-colonizing our lives: Divining a post-colonial therapy— Makungu Akinyela Quick View

    I am a therapist of African descent, born in the United States. I consult primarily with families of African descent. I believe that the emotional, relationship and mental health concerns that families present to me in consultation can be best understood within the social, cultural and historical context of resistance against racial domination in the United States. Those families who come to see me are commonly struggling with questions and issues that have their roots in slavery and Jim Crow segregation as well as the current system of what I refer to as American racial colonialism. While it is now over thirty years since the end of Jim Crow, and many of our people are no longer legally discriminated against, Eurocentric thinking, metaphors and dominant narratives continue to define relationships among Africans in America and between African and European Americans.

  • Stories about Home— Leonie Simmons Quick View

    Leonie Simmons was born in Vietnam and adopted to an Australian family. Five years ago she returned to the place of her birth. This thoughtful and carefully written paper describes her journey and her efforts to deconstruct takenfor-granted ideas about culture, identity, family and home. It will be of relevance to anyone interested in ways of making home and making family as well as to those connected to the issue of inter-country adoption.

    • Stories about Home— Leonie Simmons Quick View
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    • Stories about Home— Leonie Simmons
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    • Leonie Simmons was born in Vietnam and adopted to an Australian family. Five years ago she returned to the place of her birth. This thoughtful and carefully written paper describes her journey and her efforts to deconstruct takenfor-granted ideas about culture, identity, family and home. It will be of relevance to anyone interested in ways of making home and making…
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  • The Roads of Hong Kong – Where Are You Taking Me?— Ting Wai-fong Quick View

    Through the imagery of roads and the metaphor of a journey, this piece invites the reader to consider the complexities of Hong Kong history and how they shape identity.

  • Discerning between structuralist and non-structuralist categories of identity: a training exercise— Alice Morgan Quick View

    Through the description of a training exercise, this paper illustrates the relevance of assisting trainees to discern between structuralist and non structuralist categories of identity. This piece assumes knowledge of various narrative therapy concepts. If you are not familiar with these, recommended reading is offered at the end of the paper.

  • Embodying both oppressor and oppressed— Cathy Richardson Quick View

    This piece is a result of an interview with and writing by Cathy Richardson. We approached Cathy in relation to this edition of the journal because of her perspective as a Metis woman with both European and Aboriginal heritage. When considering the issue of forgiveness, it seems important that the experiences of those with multiple cultural heritages are acknowledged and honoured. As Cathy describes, when these heritages include Aboriginal or Indigenous ancestry, and the heritage of European colonisers, it leads to complexities when considering notions of forgiveness. The following piece is offered in a spirit of exploration. It does not seek to offer answers in relation to these issues, but instead to consider the complexities. It begins with an explanation of the history of the Metis people.

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