re-membering

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • About re-membering: The stories of Nancy and Amy— Sharon Shui-king Leung and Ellen Yee-man Ma

    $9.90

    This paper tells the stories of two girls from Hong Kong, one of whom was Nancy who shared the story of her late grandfather and how remembering their relationship continued to affect her life. Amy, who as a child lived at foster care, talked about the significant people in her life through a re-membering project. The application of the remembering practice was shared and discussed through these two unique stories and its implication for Chinese grief work.

  • Michael White: Fragments of an Event— John Winslade & Lorraine Hedtke with an introduction by David Epston

    $9.90

    We present here fragments, reconstructed from memory, of Michael White’s last workshop. These fragments are interspersed with descriptions of events that took place in San Diego in the days leading up to Michael’s death. Our focus here is not on the medical details, nor on the private family stories, but on the task of recording Michael’s last efforts to teach. Our hope is to play a small part in allowing his words to continue to resonate.

  • Towards a decolonising practice: A non-Aboriginal worker finding meaningful ways to work in an Aboriginal context— Grace Drahm

    $5.50

    This paper describes the development of a decolonising therapeutic practice for working with young people and their families in Aboriginal communities. It shows how different maps of narrative practice have been used to support Aboriginal young people and their families to develop storybooks as therapeutic documents that centre and honour their knowledges and worldviews.

  • Re-membering: Responding to Commonly Asked Questions— Shona Russell & Maggie Carey

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    Re-membering 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 North America, Australia, Austria and England. For ease of reading, it is structured in a question and answer format.

  • The whiteboard as a co-therapist: Narrative conversations in a generalist counselling setting— Lesley Grant & Rowena Usher

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    This article describes an innovative way in which whiteboarding is being utilised in a therapeutic setting. Narrative ideas and practices have been pivotal in developing our use of the whiteboard. In this article we hope to demonstrate the use of the whiteboard in respectful, mindful, co-authorship of client’s stories as they connect with their preferred way of being. We have been inspired to share these discoveries as they are unfolding – therefore this is not a finished product; this is part of a journey.

  • The ‘Mighty Oak’: Using the ‘Tree of Life’ methodology as a gateway to the other maps of narrative practice— Janelle Dickson

    $9.90

    This paper describes using the ‘Tree of Life’ narrative therapy methodology with a young man who was experiencing bullying, and had himself engaged in anger and aggression. This thorough account of narrative practice shows how a ‘stand-alone’ methodology like the Tree of Life can be a ‘jumping off’ point for using the other maps of narrative practice, including re-authoring conversations, re-membering conversations, definitional ceremony, and therapeutic documents. In this way, the ‘Tree of Life’ methodology provides entry points to other narrative conversations and practices, which blend into each other and complement each other for an effective therapeutic engagement.

  • Through a narrative lens: Honouring immigrant stories— Ann E. Kogen

    $9.90

    This article describes how cultural understandings can be utilised in re-authoring stories of individuals suffering from hardships as a result of torture or trauma. Anthropological research about the varied ways in which people express and experience emotion opens possibilities for therapeutic practice. Through an example of therapy, the author illustrates how cultural idioms and understandings can be integrated into a narrative that is healing and empowering.

  • 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.

  • Seeking treasure beneath the ruins: Stories of narrative practice with children and their loved ones— Ross Hernandez

    $9.90

    Children with multiple challenges such as emotional, behavioural, mental, social, developmental, and educational difficulties, often experience constant hardship in their daily lives. These problems also impact their parents or carers. This paper shares stories of narrative practice with children and their loved ones. These stories include the use of externalising conversations, photographs, and the audio recording of outsider-witness responses.

  • Who’s your mob? Aboriginal mapping: Beginning with the strong story— Justin Butler

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    As an Aboriginal person, I see firsthand how the dominant culture influences relations of power and privilege through systems, institutions and dominant ideas about best practice. My work involves exploring ways narrative practice aligns with Aboriginal worldviews and how this can support respectful and decolonising practice with Aboriginal people who consult us. In this paper I describe practices that challenge damage-centred accounts that locate problems within individuals and communities. Guided by our Aboriginal worldviews, I work alongside the people with whom I meet in my work to and ways to decolonise our minds and explore multi-storied accounts of people’s lives by starting with and building upon stories of strength using narrative maps of practice.

  • Narrative work and the metaphor of ‘home’— Katie Howells

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    This paper explores how homes – both as physical places and as metaphors– can be taken up in narrative therapy practice. The author first explores various meanings that people attribute to the concept of ‘home’, and then outlines some options for the relevance of the home metaphor to various maps of narrative practice. The paper then recounts three examples drawn from practice: first, re-authoring conversations with a couple leaving one way of living, dominated by addiction, to reclaim another; second, the documentation of the skills and knowledges of a young woman working to ‘stay close to home’ in dealing with anorexia; and, finally, a remembering conversation supported by the metaphor of home with a woman wanting to review her husband’s membership of her ‘club of life’ following his infidelity.

  • Witnessing practices of resistance, resilience and kinship in childbirth: a collective narrative project— Phoebe Barton

    $9.90

    This article explores the in uence of sociocultural narratives on stories of birth, and the use of individual and collective narrative practices in responding to these stories. It emerged from a research project that included 12-recorded conversations with individuals and couples about their experiences of birth. The article describes narrative practices used in these conversations, including: re-authoring and the development of alternative storylines, particularly in response to stories of grief and regret about birth; deconstructing and externalising the context and narratives of birth, turning the gaze back onto structural or systemic issues rather than those at their affect; re-membering and strengthening stories of membership and connection during pregnancy, birth and early parenting; and the absent but implicit, including pain as testimony. The article discusses the methodology and ethics of a collective narrative project that included the production of a document that elevates the insider knowledges of storytellers about their experiences of birth.

  • ‘I gracefully grab a pen and embrace it’: Hip-hop lyrics as a means for re-authoring and therapeutic change— Travis Heath and Paulo Aroyo

    $9.90

    This paper documents the use of hip-hop culture and rap music as a vehicle for change within the context of narrative therapy. Ways in which hip-hop lyrics can provide a voice to a population that is often not granted one, are explored. In addition, dominant stories about hip-hop music as a genre that is exclusively misogynistic, irresponsible, derogatory and offensive, are challenged. A framework for using hip-hop lyrics to assist in core narrative processes such as deconstructing the problem story, unique outcomes, circulation of the new story and re-membering, has been developed. Finally, one of the authors shares his insider experiences with hip-hop music as a tool for change.

    Includes free bonus article ‘Reflecting on Hip-Hop’ by Dzifa Afonu. 

  • Working with people who have lost the Will to live: Following sudden loss, violence and acute or childhood trauma— Chana Rachel Frumin

    $5.50

    This article explores and researches the experience we could call ‘losing the Will to live’. It is based on narrative conversations the author conducted with a group of 10 clients during the years of 2008-2018 as a practicing narrative counsellor in Jerusalem. These conversations were to give space for the stories of these women to be heard and to discover their personal, expert knowledge on this topic, especially in contrast to cultural attitudes that often influence the way people relate to it. The author’s role was sensitively co-researching both the experience itself and the approaches people use to deal with it and find support ‒ inside and outside of formal therapy. Many of the original perspectives, insights and skills these women shared are presented in this article. The intention of the quotes and poems you will read here is to place their language and their experience at the centre of the research.

  • Building bridges: Re-authoring workplace relationships— Ninetta Tavano

    $9.90

    This article reflects on the journey of many therapists to find ways of sustaining collegial relationships across differing paradigms. The author offers three stories of consultation with therapists about workplace difficulties to demonstrate the use of a number of narrative approaches. These include externalising conversations, richly describing intentional state understandings, and re-membering practices.

  • The Goodbye Feelings: Working with Children Living in Two homes – One with Mum and One with Dad— Carolyn Markey

    $9.90

    Through descriptions of counselling conversations, this paper explores ways of working with children who are affected by parental separation and who move between two households. It includes extracts of conversations, therapeutic letters and a graph drawn by the child concerned.

1,974 Comments

  1. I appreciated that there was a sequential process provided in this lesson. The power point presentation along with Mark Hayward providing guidance through the steps helps create a vision of what narrative therapy looks like in action. I work in the helping field and often find that clients come in for counselling having already been given a diagnosis of some kind. So often when I ask about problems, I get answers along the lines of “well I have depression” or “people saying I’m paranoid”. Having a series of questions that assist in externalizing with descriptions that is experience near is valuable. The descriptions that are evoked in the power point, wolf monster or black depths, remind me of creative therapies. A character can be created, drawn or written that symbolize the problem.

    I also agree with a response outlined below regarding the usefulness of this map in addictions work. The healthy distancing from the behaviour or clinical state of “addiction” could be incredibly useful. I have also seen this in my practice where people who use substances refer to their problem as “addiction” or identity as “addict”. This can be a very strong narrative that is a thin description, very totalizing and medical.

  2. Hello everyone
    My name is Justin and I reside and work in so called British Columbia. Specifically I work on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and WSANEC people.
    Going through this lesson, I am reminded of the work of Vikki Reynolds. She is a clinical counsellor working and living in Vancouver, BC (I am sure many people reading and contributing here are familiar!)
    In her article ‘“Leaning In” as Imperfect Allies in Community Work” she talks about doing community work informed by justice-doing and decolonizing work. She describes this work as “fluid and groundless”, changing and within relation to the context and intersecting identities and histories.
    This practice seems to connect well with narrative therapies collaboration, interconnection and de-centered practice.

    I would like to comment on how useful it is to hear about the specific examples of collaboration and consent that are provided. Amanda Worrall writing out what was discussed in her meetings with June, (the therapeutic letter) seems like such a great practice. It is in the spirit of collaboration reflecting together in this manner.

    Vikki Reynolds: “Leaning In” as Imperfect Allies in Community Work:
    https://journals.gmu.edu/index.php/NandC/article/view/430/364

  3. Listening to Tileah I was provoked to contemplate my own use of language when working with clients. I enjoy the narrative model of practice and I am aware that for some there is definitely stigma attached to the process of counselling or therapy. I have only had one experience of working with an Indigenous person as a client and I will be sure to look at my use of language. I like the idea of it just being a yarn, it takes the pressure and onus off of the client to do something.

  4. Hello:

    This is Andrea from Toronto.

    I found particularly helpful the discussion in the FAQ around the use of metaphors of conflict and combat. I expect to be working in healthcare settings with critically ill patients and their loved ones (mostly children and parents), and I anticipate hearing them use these kinds of combative metaphors during our conversations. I also anticipate meeting many people who are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from “fighting” these problems. I appreciated the comments in the FAQ about combative metaphors, and the suggestions around exploring other kinds of metaphors which may be less conflict-laden and draining on their emotional resources. Thanks again for making this material available!

  5. I have started to use collaboration with clients when I am asked to write a report. I ask clients what they see as the areas of change and challenge of which they want others to be aware. I also at times share my report with the client first to be sure it accurately reflects their experience. In this way they are both acknowledging their ongoing journey and being acknowledged for the work they have done.

  6. Mike here, in London. I too was interested in “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” It’s a really difficult question. I was involved for about 10 years in working with people suffering from homelessness. Sue Mann’s story really rang true for me. One thing I was involved in was a choir for marginalised people, literally helping them find their voices. That, I felt, was useful, and collaborative. But I have always been suspicious of things like distributing left-over sandwiches to people sleeping rough on the street, as if that made it OK for them to be there as long as we give them some stale sandwiches. Or giving them tents or sleeping bags. What message does it send? Even though it may be well-meaning.

  7. Hi, I’m Mike. I work as a couples counsellor in London, England. My main training was 50% psychodynamic and 50% systemic. Narrative work was touched on briefly, for one module, and I am looking forward to learning more. Couples certainly do bring stories, often rather thin stories. “My partner is selfish.” Or “My partner had an affair”. Full stop. That’s all there is to know. Even in happy couples, people seem to get shaped into rather thin roles: this partner is the one who’s good with people, that partner is the one who’s good with money, this one cooks, that one drives. If the relationship ends, they may discover, actually *I* also can drive, cook, manage my money, make friends, I am a complete person.

  8. I think it will be an important part of my practice to investigate with clients which elements of our systems (social, cultural, political, economic) that are contributing to or mitigating their problems and suffering. I was particularly struck by the following sentence from the Just Therapy article: “We were unwittingly adjusting people to poverty or other forms of injustice by addressing their symptoms, without affecting broader social and structural change.” I think it is incumbent upon those of us in helping professions to work with the people we are helping to begin addressing the systemic issues that are contributing to (or creating) their problems. Otherwise, we may fall into this trap of “adjusting people to injustice.”

  9. Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a Masters student in a spiritual care program located in Toronto.

    After reviewing this chapter, I’m reflecting upon the question that was raised: “how do we respond to grief when that grief has been caused by injustice?” and thinking about it in the context of working with seriously ill children and their families in a hospital/hospice setting. Patients and families in that setting also face grief that has been caused by injustice (in the form of incurable illness), and I see how the narrative metaphor can be used to help those families begin to reclaim their own lives in the face of tremendous loss caused by uncontrollable circumstances. I can see how the Articles of the Narrative Therapy Charter of Story-Telling Rights would be tremendously helpful when working with patients and families as a framework for telling and receiving their stories about their lives and their problems.

    For me, the material in this chapter also raises the question of how we can help to facilitate healing in a world where systems are seemingly becoming more unjust and creating deep suffering. My initial thought is that we continue to listen to each other’s stories with deep compassion, and the teachings of this course will help to provide us with new ideas and skills on how to do this.

  10. Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk was incredible. The one line where she said “a single story creates a stereotype. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete”. This blew my mind. I am ashamed to have ever participated in the single story belief of anyone let alone whole cultures, communities and countries , continents and so on. I know that moving forward I will endeavour to hear more stories and to encourage others to tell their story. I am about to run a photovoice narrative project to do just this, give a whole community the opportunity to change their stereotype.

  11. “Narrative therapy doesn’t believe in a ‘whole self’ which needs to be integrated but rather that our identities are made up of many stories, and that these stories are constantly changing.”

    I like this, I find it very compatible with my beliefs as a Buddhist. In Buddhism, as I understand it, mistaken beliefs about a solid, fixed “self” are the source of our suffering.

    I work with couples using EFT for couples, and in that approach, there is a big emphasis on externalising the problem as “the cycle that you get trapped in”, and encouraging couples to come up with their own name for it.

  12. Thank you for this. I am a counsellor, and trying to make as much as possible of my notes “in quotes”, that is, writing down things that the clients said. And not my own opinions.

  13. hello

    I the ED of a Friendship Center in Terrace, BC where were mostly target the indigenous population in our city of 12,000. I found your video interesting and something that we may want to try. Havee you been able to to do any follow ups studies to gage the long term effect of your program?

    Regards

    Cal Albright
    ED
    Kermode Friendship Center
    http://www.keremodefriendship.ca
    Terrace, BC
    Canada

    • Hi Cal, thanks for the interest. At this point the only followup has been through conversations with with people who return to volunteer on additional walks or engage with our other programs.

      However, a group of fourth year medical students at a local university have offered to run a pre and post measured study / report in 2020 as part of their studies which should be interesting.

      Let me know if you would like more information.

      CD

  14. Thank you for this overview of Narrative Therapy. I am returning to practice after some time away, and these reminders are timely and appreciated.

  15. 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

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