narrative therapy

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in | 0 comments

Showing 17–32 of 190 results

  • The Same in Difference: The Work of the Peer Counsellors of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council of the Blind of Ireland—

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    This paper describes the work and insider knowledges of the Peer Counsellors of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council of the Blind of Ireland. Crafted from a series of interviews, this paper consists of four parts: ‘History’, ‘Why we are involved in this work’, ‘Insider knowledges’, and ‘Principles of practice’. By questioning many taken-for-granted assumptions, it is hoped that this paper will offer practitioners alternative ways of responding to the experience of disability.

  • The Tree of Life Project— Ncazelo Ncube

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    Looking at the work that we have been doing with bereaved children and communities I realize that part of our problem was basing our practices on the western notions of catharsis, the idea that bereaved children and communities are not given platforms to express their grief and therefore have feelings and emotions trapped deep inside them which need to be vented out. We have for a long time seen ourselves as playing a role in providing the space for trapped feelings and emotions to come to surface. The reality of such expressions, however, has been clearly overwhelming for both the individuals that seek our help and the counsellors’ providing support services. This paper documents a way of working with children using the ‘Tree of Life’ tool which we have adapted through our engagement with narrative ideas. Before I describe this, however, it maybe helpful for me to provide some background information about the work of Masiye Camp which is where we will be using this new way of working.

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

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    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.

  • Thwarting Shame: Feminist engagement in group work with men recruited to patriarchal dominance in relationship— Kylie Dowse

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    Through the eyes of an Aboriginal feminist, this paper documents group work with men who have used violence in intimate relationship. Adapting narrative externalising techniques to scaffold a conceptual support group for Shame enabled men engaged in group work to view responsibility and respect in new ways. The paper considers the role of women facilitators in working with men, and ways the politics of women’s experience add value to group discussion.

  • Toward a theory of relational accountability: An invitational approach to living narrative ethics in couple relationships— Thomas Stone Carlson and Amanda Haire

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    This paper describes an approach to couples therapy that seeks to help couples intimately apply the ethics of narrative ideas in their personal lives and relationships. This intimate application of narrative ideas is focused on helping partners to gain an appreciation for the shaping effects of their actions on one another’s stories of self and to engage in intentional relationship practices that nurture and positively shape the stories of self of their partners. While this approach to working with couples is centred in a narrative philosophy and ethics, alternative practices are presented to help couples challenge the negative effects of individualising discourses on their lives and relationships and to enter preferred relationship practices that are informed by a relational understanding of self and accountability.

  • Turning the Spotlight Back on the Normalising Gaze— Jane Hutton

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    This paper explores notions of what it means to be ‘normal’ in modern Western culture, and the attendant relationships with normative judgement and the ‘normalising gaze’. One option for deconstructing these practices in everyday life – to both address the operations of power within normative judgement, and to address experiences of personal failure – is the ‘failure conversations map’ employed in narrative therapy. This map is outlined through one of the authors’ own application of it to her relationship with her daughter, as well as an exploratory use in some therapeutic conversations.

  • Uncovering Bulimia’s demanding voice: Challenges from a narrative therapist’s perspective— Kassandra Pedersen

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    This paper presents responses to a series of challenges faced during work with a 17-year-old girl who sought to reclaim her life from bulimia’s demanding voice. Kiki was at first unwilling to participate in therapeutic conversations, and initial contact occurred through her boyfriend, who became part of an anti-bulimia team. Encouraged by her boyfriend, Kiki, who was determined to ‘stop throwing up at last’, decided to attend sessions. Through externalising conversations, bulimia was personified as ‘The Guy’, who ruled her daily life with judgements. Kiki described The Guy’s effect on her life and developed a stance resisting his influence. The process of working with Kiki raised a number of challenges: assisting a person who initially declined to participate, overcoming pathologising discourses, resisting the tactics of the problem and its allies, supporting a preferred identity in an unsupportive environment, and keeping Kiki’s preferences and beliefs at the centre of our work. This paper explores the use of narrative practices, including externalising conversations, double listening, identifying unique outcomes, and the failure conversations map, to address these issues and support resistance to bulimia.

  • What the Wildman, the Dragon-Arguing Monster and Camellia the Chameleon taught me about externalising conversations— Maggie Carey

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    In this paper, Maggie Carey relates three engaging stories about her use of externalising conversations with children. In doing so, this paper illustrates the diversity of metaphors that are engaged with in externalising conversations and the ways in which the knowledges, imagination and stories of children can be an intricate part of therapeutic conversations and how these can be shared between families.

  • Words from the brink of the chasm: Poetic, bibliotherapeutic writing in narrative therapy – the use of literary texts and the discovery of preferred stories— Michal Simchon

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    This article aims to integrate bibliotherapy and narrative therapy. The use of writing and reading processes can help reveal preferred stories. Asking people to talk about themselves and tell their life stories using excerpts from poems makes their story unique and exotic. Writing in this fashion empowers their experiences and exposes the details of the unique outcome that are embedded in the text. Similarly, this type of writing enables people to express experiences that are difficult to articulate in ordinary words. This article demonstrates the contribution of therapeutic writing and the discourse that arises from it for narrative therapy that is usually conducted orally.

    Free paper:

    This article comes with a companion piece:

    Toward a poetics of therapy: A response to Michal Simchon’s ‘Words From the Brink of the Chasm’— Steve Armstrong

    This is a complementary piece in response to Michal Simchon’s observations about the integration of bibliotherapy and narrative therapy in ‘Words From the Brink of the Chasm’ (2013). I make some suggestions about what might be called the poetics of therapy. In particular, how poetry can enliven therapeutic conversation; how poems and a poet’s passion for precise word choice, help guard against stale imagery or description and can aid in locating vivid descriptions for lived experience that might otherwise be practically beyond words. Based on Simchon’s discussion of free-writing in groups and Bachelards’ Poetics of Reverie (1969), I offer a re-imagining of White and Epston’s (1990) landscape of action and consciousness.

     

  •  ‘Our story of suffering and surviving’: Intergenerational double-story development with people from refugee backgrounds— Emma Preece Boyd

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    This paper explores the use of double-story development and other narrative practices to work intergenerationally with people from refugee backgrounds. It examines double- storied accounts of the effects of and responses to trauma, displacement and other dif culties, using work with a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo as a case study. Response-based enquiries, externalising and re-authoring were engaged to seek out alternative storylines about skills, knowledges and values. These alternative stories were further reinforced through therapeutic documentation, metaphors such as Team of Life, de nitional ceremonies and other narrative methods. In particular, this paper offers examples of practice in which rich stories and preferred identities were shared intergenerationally with family members or trusted audiences, and how this contributed to reinforcing preferred narratives. The paper also describes the author’s engagement with collaborative practices in order to democratise expertise and address power differentials inherent in working across language and culture with often marginalised communities.

  • All my relations: Re-membering and honouring those who come before and after us— Angela Voght

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    I write this article not to step into an expert role as a narrative therapist or to speak for all First Nations People, but rather to share my experiences of narrative practices and how they helped to reclaim my relationship with my mom 26 years after her death. I write this, too, as a personal account of reclaiming my identity as a First Nations woman. I do not wish to speak in an instructive way that would suggest all people should reclaim their identity in this particular fashion, but rather to explain the impact on me as I restored parts of my story that had been lost to a modern dominant cultural worldview that often overlooks the importance of stories. Another important focus of this article is how knowledge drawn from both First Nations Cultures and Narrative Practice has influenced my work with people who are dying and their families. The weaving of these knowledges brings a different strength and a new pattern emerges.

  • Children, Trauma and Subordinate Storyline Development— Michael White

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    In this paper, Michael White emphasises the importance of subordinate storyline development in consultations with children who have been subject to trauma. This subordinate storyline development provides an alternative territory of identity for children to stand in as they begin to give voice to their experiences of trauma. This affords children a significant degree of immunity from the potential for retraumatisation in response to therapeutic initiatives to assist them to speak of their experiences of trauma and its consequences. This paper includes illustrations of the implications of these ideas for consultations with children who have been subject to trauma.

  • Collective Narrative Practice with Rape Victims in the Chinese Society of Hong Kong— Suet Lin (Shirley) Hung

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    This article presents an example of collective narrative practice with Chinese women who have experienced rape. In a cultural context where rape is an immense taboo and a source of shame, this group project linked individual women to the collective. The use of the Tree of Life methodology, re-authoring conversations, outsider witnesses, therapeutic letters and documents, and definitional ceremony, has richly described the knowledges and skills of these women which have helped them, and which could contribute to the lives of other women. In addition to acknowledging personal agency, the cultural dimension and social construction of sexual violence was exposed in local language and practice, and the power of dominant discourses was revealed and challenged.

  • Collective narrative practice with young people with Aspergers Syndrome who have experienced bullying— Kit Hung (Chris) Tse

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    This paper presents an experience of collective narrative practice with young people with Asperger Syndrome (Aspergers) who have experienced bullying. In Hong Kong, it is common to hear about bullying of young people with Aspergers. This article first discusses some dominant discourses relating to Aspergers and bullying. It then documents the innovative methodologies of the ‘Smartphone of Life’, which connects young people and assists them to develop second stories with alternative identities.

    The narrative practices of externalising conversations, re-authoring conversations, outsider-witness conversations, and definitional ceremonies are used to richly describe the stories of the young people. In this work, the local knowledge and skills of young people in resisting the challenges of bullying are documented through co-creating collective postcards. The article concludes with some reflections about the collective practice and ethical considerations.

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

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    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.

  • 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.

2,022 Comments

  1. in what ways have you entered into collaborations before? What made these collaborations possible?

    As a peer worker most of my work was entering into collaborations with young people. I would use curiosity to further inquire into their experience, and looking back wow these narrative practices would have been amazing to use in our youth group discussions! We would use art mostly in telling stories. Many of the young people heard voices and saw characters only they could see. They would enjoy painting these voices, externalising the character, giving it a name and talking about the story and nature of the relationship between the voice and the character. I also enjoyed illiciting these stories, as I could tell they would begin to separate themselves from the voices, allowing for guilt and shame to reduce.

    What might make it hard to enter into these practices?

    The one difficult way of entering into these practices was the note writing. The managerial culture of my last workplace meant it was not considered good practice to have clients sit with us to write notes. In fact most clients probably were unaware that workers did regularly make notes each time they had contact with the centre. We were a strengths based centre that thrived on person centred practice. I think there is a bit of a stereotype that note writing is quite clinical and removed from person centred practice, hence a certain avoidance of bringing up notes in front of clients.

    If these ways of working fit for you, what next steps could you take to build partnerships/collaborations in your work?

    I definitely believe I could continue to use art to help young people tell their alternative stories. In mental health many workers draw thin conclusions of clients – bipolar, poor attachment, violent, with even their strengths really talked about in third person. It would be great to start drawing peoples strengths out with the use of story telling, so that clients can start to own their strengths, rather than have clinicans cherry pick these out.

  2. Thank you to Tileah for a wonderful presentation. I love hearing the word “yarn” used in this powerful way (Americans also have that term). The practice of “translating”, of shifting concepts into language that can be more usefully heard, is very powerful. As coaches we can make good use of this to help clients uncover their hidden or forgotten resources.

  3. These stories are amazing examples of what we can discover when we hold onto our “beginner’s mind” and remember that the other person (client, patient) has the information and understanding, not us. We talk a lot in leadership development about “co-creating” and I think this is a beautiful example of two very complementary roles: the person who has the story and the person who helps to explore and shape it.

  4. I like the idea of narrative – there is something about giving people the power to create a narrative, rather than simply appearing in a story told by someone else. Within the narrative metaphor, I especially enjoy the fabric metaphor – the idea of strands. These may touch each other, or not, may go well together in tone or color, or not. But again, there is some power in creating and weaving the narrative.
    In my own work with coaching and leadership development, I find that the emphasis on narrative(s) helps make things more tangible, and therefore brings them to their true scale, instead of letting them take on imaginary and unclearly described proportions.

  5. I love this. Telling our stories in ways that make us stronger. Such a powerful sentiment. Sometimes through trauma, it is hard to access the words that really encapsulate that experience – though using the written word does help us access those hard to utter parts of our memories … in those cases though perhaps the story we tell ourselves is not one that makes us feel strong in the first instance – so finding a way to tell that story in a way that focuses on the strength of surviving to tell that story is just amazing!

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