Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Coming to terms with the events of September 11th: an interview with Kenneth V. Hardy



    With the city in which you live still struggling to come to terms with the deaths of 3,000 people on September 11th, and with military retaliation still occurring in Afghanistan, in some ways it seems a strange time to be talking about forgiveness. Living and working as you do in New York City, perhaps we could begin by talking a little about your experience of September 11th and subsequent events …

    Not long ago I wrote a short piece about September 11th entitled ‘After dusk and before dawn’. It seems to me that we are at a critical time in this country and that actually it is very relevant to be talking about broader issues such as forgiveness, compassion, and how we come to terms with injustice, privilege and loss of life.

    Personally, I found the events of September 11th profoundly emotional and difficult to come to terms with. Living and working in New York City, we had a close-up view of the devastating events of that day. Here at the Ackerman Institute of the Family, many of us continue to be involved in working with firemen and with the police, and some of us were intimately involved in responding to the events of the day itself. We continue to meet together and talk about what is involved in this work and we remain in touch with the ongoing experience of families who have lost loved ones. Three thousand people died on that day and this means that the lives of three thousand families and countless friends and other relatives can never be the same. That is a grief of vast proportions.


  1. “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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?


    Cal Albright
    Kermode Friendship Center
    Terrace, BC

    • 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.


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

  5. 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


    • 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.


  6. 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.