outsider-witness

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Outsider-witness Practices: Some Answers to Commonly Asked Questions— compiled by Maggie Carey & Shona Russell

    $9.90

    The use of outsider witnesses is a therapeutic practice commonly engaged with by those interested in narrative therapy. This accessible paper offers an introduction to, and clarification of, some of the intricacies of this practice. This paper was created through a collaborative process involving well-respected therapists from Australia, the USA, Mexico, South Africa and the UK.

  • Recipes for life: A collective narrative methodology for responding to gender violence— Meizi Tan

    $9.90

    This paper explores the use of collective narrative methodology in a two-day group retreat organised for women who had experienced gender violence in their intimate relationships. The women developed ‘recipes for life’ by using the skills and knowledge they had developed through responding to gender violence. Outsider-witness practices were used to acknowledge the women’s alternative stories of resilience and resistance to gender violence. Narrative practices of collective documentation, externalising the problem, and deconstructing social discourses that support gender violence, were incorporated through the creative use of food metaphors. This supported the women in breaking their silence and reduced the sense of isolation, shame and disempowerment that often surrounds gender violence.

  • Inviting paranoia to the table— Amanda Worrall and June

    $9.90

    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.

  • Narrative conversations alongside Interpreters: A locally-grown outsider-witnessing practice— Poh Lin Lee

    $9.90

    In the context of providing counselling to people who are being held within mandatory immigration detention, this paper seeks to explore the possibilities and dilemmas of inviting people who act as interpreters to reposition as meaningful witnesses to asylum seekers’ performances of preferred identity. These moments of witnessing, when offered in ways that attend to the complexities and dynamics of culture, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, education, ability and age, can contribute to the honouring and thickening of the alternative stories and robust identity claims of people seeking asylum, who are exploring ways to respond to multiple, ongoing injustices. This paper offers ideas for making visible practices of solidarity and shared cultural knowledges and understandings between people seeking asylum and people who interpret.

  • Talking about sex: Narrative approaches to discussing sex life in therapy— Ron Findlay

    $9.90

    How do we discuss sex issues in therapy with a narrative and post-structuralist, postcolonial approach? This paper discusses the ethics and practices of narrative approaches to talking about sex in therapy. It discusses ways to reduce the influence of shame and embarrassment, promote local knowledge and skills, and to minimise the impact of the gender and sexuality of the therapist.

  • The narrative docket: Facilitating narrative practices with involuntarily referred adolescents— Clement Yee

    $9.90

    This paper introduces the ‘narrative docket’, an innovation developed for work with adolescents who have been referred to social services by police or the legal system. The paper details the three components of the narrative docket, and demonstrates their application with a young person, Aiai1, in a time-limited case management program. The ideas underpinning the narrative docket include collective narrative practice, externalising problems, outsider witnessing, re-authoring and counter documentation.

  • Witnessing and positioning: Structuring narrative therapy with families and couples— Jill Freedman

    $9.90

    In this paper, the author describes a way of structuring family therapy that fits with the narrative metaphor, creating space for stories to be understood, deconstructed and further developed. In this process, people move between positions of telling and witnessing. Family members engage in shared understanding and meaning making.

  • Azima Ila Hayati – an Invitation in to My Life: Narrative Conversations about Sexual Identity— Sekneh Hammoud-Beckett

    $9.90

    This paper describes a therapeutic conversation with a young gay Muslim man and his brother which was shaped by the definitional ceremony metaphor. Through deconstructing ‘games of truth’ in relation to attitudes to homosexuality and the process of ‘coming out’, space was created for this young man and his brother to realign their relationship. In the midst of the current hostile climate affecting all Arab Muslim families, this paper describes the story of two brothers and their concept of loyalty.

  • Legacy: A writing and spoken word story project documenting the legacies of lost loved ones— Tanya Pearlman

    $9.90

    Exploring the relationship between literary ideas, particularly as they pertain to personal storytelling, and narrative therapy, this paper describes a writing and spoken word story project that took place at a California high school. The high school participants had all experienced significant losses and this project explored and honoured the legacies of these lost loved ones.

  • Narrative Approaches to Supervision Consultations: Reflections and Options for Practice— Lincoln Simmonds

    $5.50

    Consultations where professionals working with people with difficulties see another mental health professional for advice and help, are an important part of the work of many therapists. This paper discusses how a narrative perspective can be particularly helpful in deconstructing one particular discourse that can at times dominate in consultations – that the therapist is the sole expert or authority on people’s difficulties. Although this paper focuses on consultations with professionals, many of the ideas and issues discussed are relevant to consultations with non-professionals.

  • Co-researching Hikikomori problem with insiders’ knowledges: Creating ‘Nakama'(Comradeship) across the ocean & generations— Sumie Ishikawa

    $9.90

    This paper describes the unexpected unfolding of the co-research about ‘hikikomori’ phenomenon which was conducted with hikikomori insiders as co-researchers. Her narrative practice which includes electronic outsider-witness practice, the absent but implicit questions, and documentation of alternative stories, puts individuals’ diverse experiences into collective contexts, challenges the dominant discourses, and elicits insiders’ collective stories of not only their social suffering but also their wisdom, skillful responses, values, hopes, and dreams. This paper also suggests hopeful possibilities of responding to collective problems through creating ‘communitas’.

  • The Story of Ruthi and Miki: Working with a Couple Where Both Partners Have Experienced Trauma— Saviona Cramer and Yael Gershoni

    $9.90

    This paper describes work by two therapists with a heterosexual couple in which both partners had experienced trauma. The man, Miki, had been traumatised ten years earlier in a suicide bombing on the bus on which he was the driver. The woman, Ruthi, had been traumatised in the years since the bombing by Miki’s abusive aggression. The therapeutic conversations described here involved ways of addressing the experiences of both partners, while prioritising Ruthi’s safety. This paper was created from a series of interviews. The interviewer was David Denborough.

  • Letter writing in two contexts: Facilitating stories of resistance— Renee Butler

    $9.90

    This article explores some of the ways in which narrative therapy letter writing can assist in facilitating double-storied testimonies for women in two work contexts, family support work and crisis response. It briefly introduces the reader to some of the women and children who have been involved in this therapeutic letter-writing process and gives the reader a glimpse into some of the narrative letters that have been exchanged. It discusses how letters can richly acknowledge women’s skills and knowledges, especially when working in an environment with strict time pressures, and discusses some of the ways that narrative letters can be incorporated into a busy work environment..

  • Snakes and Ladders: The Ups and Downs of a Self-harming Lifestyle— Diane Clare

    $9.90

    This paper describes work with Jay, a woman who, after experiencing abuse as a child, engaged in acts of extreme self-harm in later life. The work involved a range of health care staff acting as a reflecting team, using outsider-witness practices of narrative therapy. To ensure that this apparently high number of resources used could be justified within the context of budget-conscious health services, the author developed the idea of clearly calculating and reporting on the ‘economix’ of the approach. The article also outlines the practice of ‘bookmarking’ with clients, which became a pivotal practice. The paper concludes with a poignant and reflective postscript given the tragic event of Jay’s death at her own hand.

  • Putting down the burden: Outsider-witness practices, a family and HIV/AIDS— Lauri Appelbaum

    $9.90

    The narrative therapy practice of de nitional ceremony and outsider witnessing can create spaces for people and communities to move through dominant problem stories to new, richer stories of hope and connection. This paper looked at the use of outsider witnessing in a new setting, with a long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS, and his family. This paper introduces David, his history of experiences with HIV/AIDS stigma, trauma, and homophobia, and his current struggles in his relationships with his family. The outsider- witness experience with David and his family is described, with detailed re-authorising conversations between me, David, and his family. Outsider-witnessing practices provided David and his family a way to move through dominant stories of stigma, shame, and disconnection, to richer stories of love, connection and commitment to one another. The paper discusses recommendations and ideas for re-creating these experiences with other long-term survivors, in community and in partnership with AIDS service organisations. The paper concludes with reflections.

2,023 Comments

  1. I’m Clayre Sessoms from Vancouver, BC, Canada, traditionally known as Coast Salish Territories. I acknowledge that my work takes place on the ancestral, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Nations of the Coast Salish People whose relationship with the land is ancient, primary, and enduring. I’m an uninvited settler in what is colonially known as Vancouver. Because my place of work is on stolen land I commit to support a reconciliation, which includes reparations and the return of land. Here I study counselling psychology and art therapy, and I get to incorporate narrative therapy at my practicum placement, a site that provides free counselling services for LGBTQ2S individuals.

    These materials help me to begin to wrap my head around the complexities of narrative therapy. I especially enjoyed learning about how others have used narrative therapy in practical counselling settings.

    I’m moved by how we often tend to hear, accept, or retell the thinnest stories of our lives and the lives of others. I imagine that not valuing the richness of an individual’s diverse range of stories, perhaps, it has been much easier to cling to tired old preconceived notions about others, which can cause undue harm.

    I’m left thinking about the TEDTalk by Chimamanda Adichie about the dangers of accepting a singular story of someone else, rather than leaning in and committing to understand the wholeness of that person’s narrative.

    I look forward to continuing to learn. Thank you to The Dulwich Centre for providing this accessible forum. <3

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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