unique outcomes

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in | 0 comments

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  • Bringing our gaze to perinatal depression— Amanda Worrall

    $9.90

    Perinatal depression (PND) affects about one in every seven women who give birth in Australia each year (healthdirect, 2017) and suicide is considered to be the leading cause of maternal death in the perinatal period (Ellwood, 2016). Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the cause of PND is still not clearly understood (BetterHealth, 2017). Understandings of perinatal depression are predominantly shaped by a biomedical model, and the insider knowledge of women is given little if any space. Amanda was keen to engage with women to seek some answers to PND. The following questions helped to shape this exploration: What do women consider to be the issues and problems that make up PND? What have they learnt in relation to what reduces its influence and presence in their lives? What becomes possible for women when they recognise their knowledge as legitimate knowledge?

  • My meeting place: Re-arming ourselves with cultural knowledge, spirituality and community connectedness— Vanessa Davis

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    This paper introduces ‘My Meeting Place’, a process that integrates Aboriginal art practices and narrative practices to facilitate culturally appropriate counselling by Aboriginal practitioners working with Aboriginal children and young people. It offers an Indigenised therapeutic framework that contributes to the decolonisation of Aboriginal people. The paper includes a step-by-step description of how My Meeting Place was used in a one-on-one counselling session to create and guide narrative conversations.

  • Uncovering Bulimia’s demanding voice: Challenges from a narrative therapist’s perspective— Kassandra Pedersen

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    This paper presents responses to a series of challenges faced during work with a 17-year-old girl who sought to reclaim her life from bulimia’s demanding voice. Kiki was at first unwilling to participate in therapeutic conversations, and initial contact occurred through her boyfriend, who became part of an anti-bulimia team. Encouraged by her boyfriend, Kiki, who was determined to ‘stop throwing up at last’, decided to attend sessions. Through externalising conversations, bulimia was personified as ‘The Guy’, who ruled her daily life with judgements. Kiki described The Guy’s effect on her life and developed a stance resisting his influence. The process of working with Kiki raised a number of challenges: assisting a person who initially declined to participate, overcoming pathologising discourses, resisting the tactics of the problem and its allies, supporting a preferred identity in an unsupportive environment, and keeping Kiki’s preferences and beliefs at the centre of our work. This paper explores the use of narrative practices, including externalising conversations, double listening, identifying unique outcomes, and the failure conversations map, to address these issues and support resistance to bulimia.

  • Words from the brink of the chasm: Poetic, bibliotherapeutic writing in narrative therapy – the use of literary texts and the discovery of preferred stories— Michal Simchon

    $9.90

    This article aims to integrate bibliotherapy and narrative therapy. The use of writing and reading processes can help reveal preferred stories. Asking people to talk about themselves and tell their life stories using excerpts from poems makes their story unique and exotic. Writing in this fashion empowers their experiences and exposes the details of the unique outcome that are embedded in the text. Similarly, this type of writing enables people to express experiences that are difficult to articulate in ordinary words. This article demonstrates the contribution of therapeutic writing and the discourse that arises from it for narrative therapy that is usually conducted orally.

    Free paper:

    This article comes with a companion piece:

    Toward a poetics of therapy: A response to Michal Simchon’s ‘Words From the Brink of the Chasm’— Steve Armstrong

    This is a complementary piece in response to Michal Simchon’s observations about the integration of bibliotherapy and narrative therapy in ‘Words From the Brink of the Chasm’ (2013). I make some suggestions about what might be called the poetics of therapy. In particular, how poetry can enliven therapeutic conversation; how poems and a poet’s passion for precise word choice, help guard against stale imagery or description and can aid in locating vivid descriptions for lived experience that might otherwise be practically beyond words. Based on Simchon’s discussion of free-writing in groups and Bachelards’ Poetics of Reverie (1969), I offer a re-imagining of White and Epston’s (1990) landscape of action and consciousness.

     

  • Creating different versions of life: Talking about problems with children and their parents— Geir Lundby

    $9.90

    When working with families, many parents have told us that externalizing the problem is the single most important thing they experienced in our work together. This paper describes how externalizing conversations and double-story development can assist children and their parents talk about problems and create different versions of life. Examples from narrative family therapy conversations with two Norwegian families are included.

  • ‘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. 

  • Narrative therapy at any age— Dafna Stern

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    This article recounts the author’s explorations in narrative therapy in conversations with two centenarians living in a nursing home. Through focussing on the elderly people’s own skills and knowledges of life, externalised conversations about death, and conversations about making contributions to others, new and renewed accounts of life were created, in a context where this might often be unexpected.

  • Using Narrative Therapy to Respond to Addiction: An Experience of Practice in Pakistan— Muhammad Mussaffa Butt

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    This paper is based on narrative work carried out in an addiction treatment centre in Pakistan, with someone who had struggled with drugs for a long time. The use of narrative therapy not only helped the client immensely, but also changed my way of thinking and my orientation as a psychologist. Narrative therapy was not emphasised in our course work on clinical psychology. And during our professional training in the addiction treatment centre, it was not even mentioned. However, the first time I used narrative therapy, I became fascinated by the process and its outcomes. The progress of the following sessions further strengthened this belief in the therapy and we continued with it. In this way, both of us (the client and the therapist) developed preferred stories by which to live and work.

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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