violence

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  • Narrative Ideas in the Field of Child Protection— Alison Knight & Rob Koch

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    This paper explores the use of various narrative practices with children and their families in child protection settings. The first half examines how a ‘double listening’ approach and the engagement of outsider witnesses can be used with children who have experienced trauma and abuse. The second half of the paper gives an account of therapy over a number of months, with a family struggling with the effects of violence, alcohol and depression. Externalising conversations were found to be very helpful in allowing members of the family to work together in response to these challenges, rather than working against each other. These conversations were also documented through digital photographs of a child’s drawings on a whiteboard, which were then sent to the family as a form of therapeutic document.

  • Maps of Violence, Maps of Hope: Using Place and Maps to Explore Identity, Gender, and Violence— Mark Trudinger

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    What might be some of the possibilities of exploring the relationship of ‘place’ to identity in the lives of the people with whom we work? This article explores some ideas that might inform this work, and details one practice-based example: working with young men on issues of gender and violence. Part 1 explores the relative invisibility of ‘place’ in narrative therapy and its source texts, as well as in the broader histories of thought in western culture, before looking at some possible sources of inspiration and thinking about how we might be able to explore place more fully in narrative practice. Part 2 examines the social construction of maps and their relation to identity, looks at how mapping has been used to support new directions in the lives of individuals and communities, and wonders how maps might be taken up as therapeutic documents in narrative therapy. Part 3 is an outline of a workshop the author has run with young men based on the preceding ideas, which examines the perpetration and resistance to violence in local places, and in the young men’s negotiation of those places.

     

    Free article:

    Reflecting on Maps of Violence, Maps of Hope— Manja Visschedijk

    This short reflection, from a feminist practitioner, on the article ‘Maps of violence, maps of hope’ by Mark Trudinger, poses further questions about the relationship between place, maps and identity. It also contemplates further implications for counselling practices that may evolve from considerations of ‘place’.

     

  • ‘Rescuing the Said from the Saying of It’: Living Documentation in Narrative Therapy— David Newman

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    This article explores some creative ideas about using therapeutic documents in narrative practice. After a discussion of the theoretical background, important principles, and ethical issues in employing documents, the author gives examples of emails used to recruit a ‘care team’, and keeping care teams informed of developments in people’s lives. The main part of the paper explores the idea of ‘living documents’: therapeutic documents that are added to by various clients over time. This new departure in therapeutic documents is different from the existing practices of ‘archives’ held by various leagues – which tend to simply be collections of different individual’s documents; and of collective documents, which are usually produced by a group in a collective voice.

  • Caring about Violence and Our Communities— Amanda Reddick

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    Developing meaningful partnerships and relationships between workers responding to violence and communities affected by these issues requires considerable care and thoughtfulness. In this piece, Amanda Reddick describes some of the thinking that is informing the community engagement she is involved in and the histories upon which this is based.

  • Joe’s voyage of life map: away from alcohol— Nick Coleman

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    This article explores using a visual therapeutic document, the Voyage of Life map, with men living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. These men, who are revising their relationships with alcohol and other influences on their lives, have had previous experience with twelve-step models and broader ‘recovery’ approaches. 

    The Voyage of Life map, and the broader narrative practices that surround its use, are demonstrated through the story of one man, Joe, who is of a mixed cultural background. Through the process, Joe renegotiates his life in relation to alcohol, and re-claims aspects of his Māori whakapapaʼ(history/genealogy).

  • Saying hullo, goodbye, or both? Multi-storied re-membering practices to assist women in the transition after the loss of a male partner to suicide— Marnie Sather

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    This paper explores the complex experiences of women who have lost a male partner to suicide after experiencing violence from that partner. These circumstances often result in women trying to rise from the ‘stigma’ of violence and suicide. This paper describes how using multi-storied re-membering narrative practices creates space for women to speak of their multitude of experiences. These stories illuminate agency and hopes for the future for the women. They also offer ways free of a double taboo: in relation to suicide and in relation to men’s violence against women.

  • A narrative response to violence and abuse in an accommodation setting for people with cerebral palsy— Natalie Morton

    $5.50

    This paper describes the use of narrative ideas in response to violence and abuse in an accommodation setting for people with cerebral palsy. There had been reports of verbal and physical abuse between residents, and staff reported feeling unequipped to respond to these behaviours. A community assignment approach (White, 2005) was adopted, using externalising and re-authoring maps, definitional ceremonies and documentation to support rich double-storied identity description. This case example demonstrates how this approach supported the mobilising of individuals and a community to respond to concerns about abuse and violence and increase community wellbeing.

  • A Framework for Receiving and Documenting Testimonies of Trauma— David Denborough

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    This paper seeks to provide a framework for receiving and documenting the testimonies of those who have been subjected to trauma, violence and abuse. It is a framework designed to make it possible to receive and document testimonies in ways that are not re-traumatising and that, in fact, contribute to redressing the effects of trauma in a person’s life. The testimonies that are created can then be used for broader purposes.

  • Dilemmas about ‘Taking Responsibility’ and Cultural Accountability in Working with Men Who Have Abused Their Female Partners— Chris Chapman

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    In this paper, Chris Chapman describes two incidents from his work with men who had abused their female partners in which he inadvertently perpetrated cultural dominance. In one of these incidents, his ‘knowledge’ of the other man’s culture eventually allows him to recognise the cultural dominance; in the other, his ‘knowledge’ of the other man’s culture actively facilitates the cultural dominance. Chris reflects on these incidents in an attempt to reflexively problematise notions of cultural competency and individualistic notions of responsibility.

  • Collection: When the Trauma is not Past or ‘Post’: Palestinian Perspective on Responding to Trauma and Torture

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    The following writings and interviews describe the work of the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC) which is based in Ramallah, in the occupied Palestinian Territories. This organisation was founded by Dr Mahmud Sehwail eight years ago and provides counselling, psychological and psychiatric services to the Palestinian community.

     

    Articles in this collection include:

    Responding to Continuing Traumatic Events— Dr Mahmud Sehwail

    Dr Mahmud Sehwail is the founder and Director of the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC). This paper explains how the TRC came into existence and how this organisation responds to those who have experienced trauma as well as aiming to prevent further abuse and violence.

    A Human Rights Approach to Psychotherapy— Khader Rasras

    This interview explores what it means to develop a human rights approach to psychotherapy and how these principles affect therapeutic work. It also considers ways of reaching out to survivors of trauma. Khader Rasras is the head psychologist at the TRC. The interviewer was David Denborough.

    Glimpses of Therapeutic Conversations: Engaging with Narrative Ideas— Bilal Hassounh, Iman Ja'ouni, Deema Al Tibi, Amani Al-Jamal, Maryam Burqan, Wisam Abdallah

    This paper consists of a collection of short stories of therapeutic practice from Palestinian counsellors and psychologists at the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC). The stories particularly focus on the ways in which they have been engaging with narrative ideas in their practice.

    Public Speech: Bringing People Together— Faiseh Muhtaseb

    A further aspect of the work of the TRC involves hosting public meetings in villages and towns around mental health issues. In this paper, Faiseh Muhtaseb describes the thinking behind this work.

    The Media as an Avenue for Therapeutic and Community Work̛— Hasan Salim

    Alongside the public meetings that are organised by the TRC, their media liaison officer, Hasan Salim, uses newspapers, the radio and television as mediums for further therapeutic and community work. This paper describes this work and the thinking that informs it. The interviewer was David Denborough.

     

  • Voices from Bali: Responding to the October Bombing— Muhammad Arif, Putu Nur Ayomi Janet De Neefe, Sugi B. Lanus Ni Made Marni, Wayan Sarma & Frances Tse

    $5.50

    This piece has been created as a response to the bombing that took place in Bali in October 2002, five months ago. As these words are being written, Australia is preparing to join the USA and Britain to bomb and invade the sovereign country of Iraq many thousands of miles away. Most Australians do not support such a war and are deeply worried about its implications. So too in Bali. Those we spoke to when we visited there last month were unanimous that the looming war in Iraq would bring only further violence and hardship to the world and in turn make the healing of the bombing in Bali much more difficult. The following piece describes some of the ways in which the effects of two bombs in Kuta continue to haunt the people of Bali. As the USA, Britain and Australia prepare a far more devastating attack on the ancient cities of Iraq, a sense of grief visits us. This piece is all about grief, about responses to loss and violence, and about the people of Bali – Australia’s neighbours

  • Coming to terms with the everyday violence of our culture— Monica McGoldrick

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    Extract:

    In the culture in which I live, as with many cultures, violence is a part of so many people’s everyday lives. It is therefore an issue that finds its way into therapists’ offices and homes. In my therapeutic work, whenever we are talking about issues of violence, the question of forgiveness is also present.

    The most common situation that plays itself out in my work concerns working with the survivors of men’s violence. When I work with a woman who has been abused by someone else, I first of all try to find ways in which she can feel whole within her own skin. I try to find ways in which she no longer has to define herself as the victim of another person’s actions. Sometimes this involves finding ways that the woman who has been victimised can forgive herself for what she has been recruited into believing was her own culpability.

1,972 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.”

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. “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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

  13. 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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