re-authoring conversations

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in | 0 comments

Showing 1–16 of 23 results

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

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    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.

  • Overeating as a Serious Problem and Foods as Real Good Friends: Revising the Relationship with Food and Self in Narrative Conversations— Angela Tsun on-Kee

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    This paper tells the story of ‘John’ and the ways in which he has revised his relationship with food and with himself through narrative conversations. It is the first example within narrative therapy literature that documents an approach to working with overeating. The work took place in Hong Kong, China.

  • Introducing Narrative Psychiatry: Narrative Approaches to Initial Psychiatric Consultations— SuEllen Hamkins

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    This paper is the first in a series to examine the use of narrative therapy approaches within psychiatry. The author, psychiatrist SuEllen Hamkims, describes ways in which narrative ideas shape the initial conversations she has with those who consult her.

    Initial psychiatric consultations are conceptualised as re-authoring conversations in which questions that generate experience and gather information assist in the development of a history of resistance to the problem. Examples of co-research and letter-writing are also offered. The paper ends with a reflection from Virginia Slaughter whose conversations with the author about experiences of depression are offered as examples of this work.

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

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    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.

  • Stories of hope and pride— Emma Cox

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    Pregnant women with negative identity conclusions often have their stories of hope and pride overshadowed by problem-saturated stories. Consequently, their stories of hope and pride remain unnoticed and untold. This paper describes how narrative practices can create space for these women’s stories of hope and pride to be noticed and richly told in ways that allow women to reconnect with previously subjugated knowledges. Further, this paper includes two stories of practice that demonstrate the significant and powerful outcomes that have been made possible through the use of narrative practice innovations that create space for women’s stories of hope and pride to be noticed and told.

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

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    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.

  • Consulting young people about living with cancer— Carolyn Ng

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    This article draws on the narrative therapy concept of ‘consulting your consultants’, and documents the skills and knowledges of young people who are living with cancer. The young people offer their ideas about how to think about aspects of cancer in externalised ways; ways of focusing on living, rather than dying; the life lessons and skills they have learnt from family members; and how their skills and knowledges might be helpful for others.

  • Creating an Alternative Pathway through the Criminal Justice System: Enabling Alternative Stories to Be Heard— Kate Hannan

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    This article describes the work of the Australian-based Court Support Program, which offers support to young people who have been charged with committing a crime, or have been a victim of crime. The program helps young people understand the criminal justice system during the three stages of presentencing, sentencing, and post-sentencing. To describe the program’s work in detail, the author presents her work with one young man using a range of narrative practices during each of these three stages.

  • Discovering the good man: Double story development with a survivor of repetitive ongoing trauma in immigration detention—Janet Pelly

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    This paper explores the possibilities for transforming a trauma narrative while the person remains in a traumatic situation. It focuses on my work with Yasin (not his real name), a stateless Middle Eastern man who sought asylum in Australia in 2013 after a lifetime of persecution for his ethnicity, religion and attempts to seek protection. The paper describes the use of narrative practices, including double-storied testimony, re-authoring conversations and the Team of Life process, to help Yasin manage life in an immigration detention centre, and to reduce the frequency of his flashbacks and nightmares. The paper presents the efforts of one man to re-author elements of his life while trapped in an environment that both replicates past trauma and denies hope for a better future.

  • Exploring narrative group work for responding to burnout in novice teachers— Fan Lingli

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    This paper describes a project supporting six novice teachers in Chinese public kindergartens to successfully take charge of their lives during their first year of teaching. With the help of externalising conversations and re-authoring conversations, we explored the realities of being a new teacher, and how burnout had invaded these teachers’ lives. The teachers came to recognise themselves again and to honour their own uniqueness. Using the mobile instant messaging software WeChat, the project established a virtual community for teachers to gain further interpersonal support and develop skills and knowledges about extricating themselves from their predicaments. Finally, through a definitional ceremony, the project created an opportunity for teachers to tell their stories more vividly and to build consensus with more people. All participants in this project came to understand burnout in new teachers as a sociocultural product. We hope that structural change will happen in our educational system.

  • Narrative Approaches in Centrelink: ‘It’s Those Turning Questions …’— Lesley Dalyell

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    This paper documents a narratively-based interview guide for social work assessments used in Centrelink, a major Australian government department. The questions used in the assessment are illustrated by examples from conversations with the young people and their parents consulting the service, as well as reflections from the team of social workers who trialled the interview guide. The paper shows how working within existing governmental frameworks can still lead to conversations with clients that are respectful, generative, and hopeful.

  • Troublemaker Cards: Promoting the language of responsibility and prevention in men’s domestic violence— Ryan Greenwell

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    This paper describes the use of Troublemaker Cards in men’s domestic violence behaviour change groups as an innovative approach to expose and challenge the dominant ways of being and thinking that support men’s violence and abuse towards women. While language that minimises men’s responsibility-taking for their actions is available and ubiquitous, the Troublemaker Cards offer an alternative, and promote the gendered and political understandings of violence and abuse in a respectful parallel journey of discovery. The externalising language used on the cards keeps the men’s identities separate from these discourses, and yet supports an attentiveness to their relationship with them. Guided by the cards in a ‘cool engagement’, the men are invited to explore and deconstruct the Troublemakers as well as build the foundations for second-story development. Evidence from practice suggests that once men experience this separation and foresee alternative territories to step into, they can better describe their relationship with the ‘Troublemakers’ in a ‘hot engagement’. In a context of accountability to women and children, the men create opportunities to propose how they will prevent potential future abuses and take action based on preferred relationships to the Troublemakers, such that they are not unwittingly reproducing dominant ways of being.

  • Expanding the landscape: Narrative practice in rehabilitation services for adults affected by intellectual disability in Hong Kong— Ocean Hung

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    This article proposes the adaptation of narrative practice to the field of psychological services for adult persons affected by intellectual disability. The author advocates such adaptation in order to help anchor the agenda of rehabilitation service to the service users’ hopes and dreams instead of the traditional notion of ‘behavioral problems’.

    In particular, the author discusses the use of narrative-based practices to facilitate the service users’ participation in the co-construction of identity conclusions about themselves and their relationship with others within the care system. The use of narrative ideas and enquires in case consultation is discussed. In addition, three extended practices, namely ‘Group re-authoring’, ‘Identity revisiting documentation’ and ‘Action dialogue’ are described and illustrated with stories of two service users.

  • 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.

  • Narrative Explorations in Clinical Health Psychology— Rob Whittaker

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    This paper documents the author’s experience as a clinical psychologist using narrative approaches with people living with diabetes. The paper begins by contrasting narrative and poststructuralist approaches with those of contemporary clinical health psychology, and gives some background on diabetes and the broader challenges this can bring to people’s lives. Three narrative practices are then explored in relation to diabetes: externalising conversations, re-authoring conversations, and practices of circulation. This last practice is shown through a number of letters written to the referring community nurse in a regional diabetes service, but also serving as therapeutic documents for the person who consulted with the author.

  • Re-authoring: Some Answers to Commonly Asked Questions— compiled by Maggie Carey & Shona Russell

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    The understanding that our lives are shaped by the stories that we create about them underpins all narrative practice. This practice-based paper, which was created through collaborative processes involving narrative practitioners in a number of different countries, seeks to answer some commonly asked questions about re-authoring conversations. Practical examples are offered throughout, as are explanations of the thinking that informs re-authoring conversations.

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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