outsider witnesses

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in | 0 comments

Showing 1–16 of 17 results

  • A Child’s Voice: Narrative Family Therapy— Lisa Johnson

    $9.90

    This article recounts an approach to working with a seven-year-old girl in response to a problem that had muted her voice. The narrative practices employed included absent but implicit questions, therapeutic documents, re-authoring conversations, definitional ceremony, and the use of an ‘Anticipated Petitioner’ to support a ‘consulting your consultants’ interview.

  • Addressing Sex in Narrative Therapy: Talking with Heterosexual Couples about Sex, Bodies, and Relationships— Yael Gershoni, Saviona Cramer & Tali Gogol-Ostrowsky

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    In talking with couples about sex, it is often assumed that storylines about sex also involve storylines about relationships and bodies. In our couple therapy work, however, we have found it significant to disentangle these storylines. By exploring separate storylines of relationship/intimacy, body image and sex, many new possibilities for narrative sex therapy with couples have emerged. This paper outlines these possibilities through sharing one example of narrative sex therapy with a heterosexual couple.

  • Narrative Ideas in the Field of Child Protection— Alison Knight & Rob Koch

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    This paper explores the use of various narrative practices with children and their families in child protection settings. The first half examines how a ‘double listening’ approach and the engagement of outsider witnesses can be used with children who have experienced trauma and abuse. The second half of the paper gives an account of therapy over a number of months, with a family struggling with the effects of violence, alcohol and depression. Externalising conversations were found to be very helpful in allowing members of the family to work together in response to these challenges, rather than working against each other. These conversations were also documented through digital photographs of a child’s drawings on a whiteboard, which were then sent to the family as a form of therapeutic document.

  • Parent–teen conflict dissolution— Ninetta Tavano

    $5.50

    This paper describes how Michael White’s ‘conflict dissolution map’ can be used with parents and adolescents to assist in ‘dissolving’ conflict in narrative therapy sessions. The author explains how the practice of ‘repositioning’ is combined with definitional ceremony and outsider-witness practices to create conversations that allow family members to re-engage in ways that are based on acceptance, care and respect.

  • 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.

  • Cards as Therapeutic Documents— Adam Hahs

    $5.50

    Therapeutic documents have been a feature of narrative practice for many years. In this paper, the author introduces a little-used type of therapeutic document, greeting cards. Examples include a ‘bon voyage’ card to worry, a celebration card due to the reduction of fear, and an anniversary card marking a year of ‘reduced sadness’. The author has found this type of brief therapeutic document to be a very effective part of the therapeutic engagement.

  • Musical Re-tellings: Songs, Singing, and Resonance in Narrative Practice— Chris Wever

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    This paper documents the author’s use of songwriting in therapeutic contexts, especially when working with people in prison and the significant people in their lives. These songs fulfil different purposes: to honour survival and resistance and protest injustice; to assist in the re-membering of lives across time and beyond death; and to celebrate and proclaim subordinate storylines. In addition to reflecting on the process of crafting these songs, the profound outcomes they can have for both therapist and the person at the centre of the work, and how to recruit audiences, the author also reflects on some of the ethical and political dimensions of the work.

  • The Use of Outsider-witnessing in a Prison Setting— Debra Smith & Jeanette Gibson

    $5.50

    An innovative program involving ‘outsider witnessing’ was developed in a prison in Victoria, Australia. This program was known as the ‘Inside/Outside’ program because it involved inviting members of the community to act as outsider witnesses to the stories of those incarcerated in the prison. This paper describes this program and the impact it had on all involved.

  • Yahav’s Story: My Way of Living with Tourette’s— Ron Nasim

    $9.90

    This article documents narrative therapy with a young man who is dealing with the effects, of Tourette Syndrome, and began to experience thoughts of self-harm and doing harm to others. Through an externalising conversation, a conversation to trace values and ideals, and using ideas of ‘the absent but implicit’, the author assisted the young man to achieve some distance from these problems. Together, they then documented some of the young man’s lifestory as a therapeutic document, and used this to engage in a form of definitional ceremony via the written word.

  • Community Therapy: A Participatory Response to Psychic Misery— Adalberto Barreto & Marilene Grandesso

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    This collection introduces ‘community therapy’ which has been developed in Brazil to respond to various forms of social suffering and ‘psychic misery’. The collection includes an introduction to the history, key tasks, and stages of a community therapy gathering; a description of one example of a community therapy meeting; and a brief exploration of how ideas from narrative therapy have been introduced into community therapy practices.

    Note: includes reflections by David Denborough and Cheryl White

     

  • Reflections across Time and Space: Using Voice Recordings to Facilitate ‘Long-distance’ Definitional Ceremonies— Ross Hernandez

    $5.50

    This paper describes the author’s attempts to employ the definitional ceremony map of narrative therapy in contexts where outsider witnesses cannot be physically present. This was achieved through the use of a voice recorder, with the various stages of tellings and re-tellings being recorded and played for the outsider witnesses and clients, bringing about a ‘long-distance’ definitional ceremony which spans a gap in time and space.

  • Songs as Re-tellings— Therese Hegarty

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    This paper describes a practice of writing songs to record the interviews and outsider-witness responses in a group setting. The participants have a history of heroin addiction and are involved in a stabilisation program.

  • That’s the Question: Using Questions to Help Parents to Get to Know Their Children and Allay Anxiety and Anger— Darylle Levenbach

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    When families are caught up in ‘stormy’ relationships, it can be challenging to negotiate a different way of communicating about what each person values. This article suggests a range of questions that parents and young people can use to play the role of an ‘investigative reporter’ and find out about the other’s hopes, dreams, and knowledge. The author provides two examples of these questions – and the process that goes with them – in therapeutic contexts with families in Israel.

  • Dancing Our Own Steps: A Queer Families’ Project— Kath Reid

    $9.90

    This paper focuses on the key narrative practices that informed the Queer Families project, which sought to co-explore and richly-describe diverse meanings of ‘family’, and ways of ‘living’ family. The project explored the history of the skills, practices, hopes, and dreams that family members brought to their versions of ‘family’, and drew on the metaphor of ‘family as a verb’, to explore alternatives ways of doing ‘families of choice’. The article first contextualises the concept of family, deconstructing dominant ‘family’ narratives in western cultures, and historicising the notion of ‘nuclear family’. It then describes the key narrative practices that informed the project, including re-authoring and re-membering conversations, therapeutic letter-writing, and documenting shared community themes. The article then describes the collective narrative practice of sharing these themes with other people to generate ‘re-tellings’ that were then shared with the initial families in the project.

  • Letter Writing: Possibilities and Practice— Susan Stevens

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    This article revisits the use of therapeutic letter writing in narrative therapy contexts. The purposes, types, and content of letters are explored, with examples given of various letters written in different therapeutic contexts. The article discusses how letters can support the various maps of narrative practice, as well as workplace and professional development considerations, such as time pressures and funding considerations, as well as how letterwriting can support learning various aspects of narrative practice.

  • Audience as Accountability?: Dilemmas in the Use of Outsider-witness Practices in Supporting Men’s Anti-violence Projects— David Newman

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    This article explores the author’s concerns about accountability when inviting women as outsider witnesses to conversations with men. A practice-based example of working with a man on issues of anger and violence provides a springboard for thoughtful questions about gender accountability, men’s privilege, safety, and ‘non-burdening invitations’.

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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