Susannah Sheffer

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Grieving Together: The value of public ritual for family members of executed persons— Susannah Sheffer

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    Families of people who have been executed receive little sympathy for their grief and little recognition of the execution’s traumatic impact. Their grief is disenfranchised in that the loss cannot be publicly mourned and is not socially supported (Doka, 1989; Jones & Beck, 2006). 

    This paper describes an attempt to address some of the harm to families of executed persons through the creation of a private support gathering and public remembrance ceremony.  Designed by the organisation Murder Victim’s Families for Human Rights, the ceremony gave participating family members an opportunity to come together, mark their losses publicly through a symbolic act, have their grief witnessed by others, and acknowledge both the murder victim and the family member who had been executed. As a demonstration of the value of public and communal ceremony in the aftermath of traumatic loss, this discussion offers and example of a way to respond to losses that have been stigmatised and re-establish community among those whose grief has been disenfranchised. 

  • Finding Grief: Using Fiction-writing to Communicate Experience after the Death of a Loved One— Susannah Sheffer

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    This paper tells the story of how a fifteen-year-old boy, in the aftermath of his mother’s death, discovered a way to articulate and share his experience through writing, particularly through the creation of a fictional character. The paper looks closely at the relationship between the teenager and the author who worked with him, and at the way in which fiction can offer a unique opportunity to create a character that is ‘not oneself’ while paradoxically allowing for a deeper exploration of one’s own emotional landscape.

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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