mental health

Posted by on Nov 12, 2016 in | 0 comments

Showing 1–16 of 18 results

  • 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 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?

  • Children, Parents and Mental Health— The Dulwich Centre

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    This article presents initial material generated by the Children, Parents and Mental Health Project. It contains a collection of stories from children of parents with mental health difficulties, and serves not only as collective therapeutic document and a document of alternative knowledge about this topic, but also as a source of questions for those working with people whose parent has experienced mental health problems.

  • Sharing sadness and finding small pieces of justice: Acts of resistance and acts of reclaiming in working with women who’ve been subjected to abuse— Loretta Pederson

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    This paper describes work with women who have been subjected to sexual and physical abuse. Ideas of searching for small pieces of justice through thickening stories of resistance to abuse and of reclaiming life from the ongoing effects of abuse, are explored through women’s stories.

  • Sharing Stories: The Work of an Experience Consultant— Ellen Walnum

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    This paper introduces the concept of Experience Consultant. Ellen Walnum is a Norwegian woman with the experience of growing up with a mother who had psychiatric difficulties. She has also had the experience of a mental health crisis. Determined to put these experiences to work for the benefit of others, Ellen is now employed as an Experience Consultant working with professionals, with mothers who have psychiatric difficulties and with their children. This paper describes some of the key skills involved in the work of Experience Consultants. It also offers a vision for re-thinking mental health services as partnerships built on a combination of ‘professional knowledge’ and ‘experience knowledge’. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.

  • Talking about the ‘Suicidal Thoughts’: Towards an Alternative Framework— Loree Stout

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    This paper documents work with two women who have been subjected to suicidal thoughts. Part of this work is presented in the form of a collective narrative document. The final part of the paper presents an alternative framework for conversations about suicide, rather than standard checklists, as well the author’s suggestions for questions workers can ask themselves when meeting with people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

  • Using narrative practices to respond to Stigma Stalker in the workplace: A journey with Joe— Sarah Ferguson

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    This article conceptualises modern power through the perspective of stigma and offers examples of how narrative practices can be utilised to respond to mental health stigma in a therapeutic context as well as in the broader workplace environment. This paper follows the story of Joe and describes how externalising practices enabled Joe to get to know Stigma Stalker, expose its tactics, and discover its effects on his life at home and at work and upon his identity. Re-authoring practices enabled the development of rich and thick descriptions of Joe’s preferred identity. Documentation and outsider-witnessing practices were used to facilitate action within Joe’s workplace to weaken Stigma Stalker, which enabled Joe to re-engage at work with the support of his colleagues, and contributed to cultural change in relation to stigma.

  • Growing up with Parents with Mental Health Difficulties— Ruth Pluznick and Natasha Kis-Sines

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    This paper documents a project with young people who are growing up with a parent with mental health difficulties. The authors discuss how they are able to employ the narrative practice ‘double-listening’ to stories by the young people – listening not only to the challenges that this experience brought, but also asking about the skills, knowledges and opportunities the young people used to respond to these. This and the other narrative principles that informed the project – such as co-research and ‘enabling contribution’ are demonstrated by the inclusion of a therapeutic document from work with a young man, and a transcript of a conversation with a young woman and her mother.

  • Inviting paranoia to the table— Amanda Worrall and June

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    This article describes conversations that Amanda had with a woman called June, whose life had been affected by a condition called ‘schizoaffective disorder’. When Amanda first met with June, June was in good health but paranoia was influencing her life in a way that wasn’t acceptable to her. This article describes how Amanda and June invited paranoia to come to the table, to explore how June could reclaim her life and move forward in a preferred direction.

  • Re-contextualising conversations and rich story development— Chris Dolman

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    In contrast to more common understandings circulating in contemporary Western culture that de-contextualise the problems experienced by people and tether them to their bodies and beings, this paper describes a number of narrative practices that contribute to the rich description of the context in which problems emerge in a person’s life. Therapeutic practices of double story development that provide a foundation for these re-contextualising conversations will also be described.

  • Reconstructing Life Journeys: Group Work with Young Women Who Experience Mental Illness— Little Lit Siu-wai

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    This article describes creative work with a group of young women who have been suffering from mental illness for several years. The work conveyed here builds upon the metaphor of a journey of life (see McPhie & Chaffey 1998) and adapts this to a Hong Kong context.

  • These are not Ordinary Lives. The Report of a Mental Health Community Gathering

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    This paper contains the stories, skills and knowledges that were described during a two-day gathering for ‘consumers’ of mental health services in Canberra, Australia. This gathering was preceded by detailed consultations that were shaped by narrative therapy ideas and the gathering itself was organised and structured around a series of definitional ceremonies. This led to the rich description of participants’ unique knowledges of illness and healing; their appreciation of healing contexts; their connections with each other; their connections with families, friends and pets, and their connections with service providers. Space was also created for the articulation of the skills and knowledges associated with embracing different hopes, values and ways of living. This paper records the stories that were told on the gathering in the hope that these will be of assistance to others.

  • Healing, Politics and Community Action— Nacho Maldonaldo

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    This paper traces some of the histories that have shaped the author’s understandings of the role of psychiatry and family therapy, and discusses some of the key current issues in the field, most notably domestic violence. This paper was originally delivered as a keynote address in Oaxaca, Mexico, at the 6th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference.

  • Returning Mental Health Issues to the Realm of Culture and Community— Odd Volden

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    Within Norway, as in many countries, there is a long history of people who have experienced mental health difficulties taking action to try to change the ways in which mental health struggles are understood and responded to. In this paper, Odd Volden traces the history of such actions within Norway. He also invites the reader to reconceptualise mental health crises as cultural experiences, to move mental health issues back into the realm of culture and community and, in doing so, to strengthen some of the valued traditions of our respective cultures. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.

  • Good Answers to Bad Invitations— Pam Burr Smith

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    This article describes an exercise used with groups in a psychiatric hospital setting. It involves the use of humour and novel ways of inviting externalised conversations.

  • Explorations with the written word in an inpatient mental health unit for young people— David Newman

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    In this paper David discusses the concept of the spoken word being ‘relatively unavailable’ to the people he works with at a Sydney based psychiatric unit for young people. He discusses some of his use of the written word in responding to this relative unavailability. This includes some fine tuning of the use of the written word by considering; language use that minimises the risk of people rejecting themselves, utilising the concept of people ‘getting their language through the language of others’, ways to use Michael White and David Epston’s concept of ‘failure proofing’ questions and crafting questions that come out of the dilemmas of therapeutic work. Finally, the ethics of documenting and living documentation more particularly is discussed.

  • Gathering Stories About Growing Up with a Parent with Mental Health Difficulties— Shona Russell

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    This project aims to gather stories that relate to the experience of children whose parents or carers have/had serious mental health difficulties. The project is seeking stories that not only richly acknowledge the difficulties faced, but also the skills and knowledge of children in these situations and the many different facets of the relationships between parents and child. It is hoped that a resource will be developed for children and for practitioners. This paper introduces this project, provides a list of questions to assist people in describing their experiences, and contains some examples of stories.

1,959 Comments

  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

    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

  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.

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