Bringing narrative practices to work with Anangu people — Tjunkaya Ken


This paper reflects on a conversation between narrative practice and Anangu (Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people) culture, specifically with Anangu women from the Ernabella community. The focus is on amplifying the voices and perspectives of Anangu in relation to the effects of Western therapeutic practices, including narrative therapy. The Tree of Life metaphor was introduced to a group of Elders living on Country. These senior women provided insights into cultural resonances and adaptations that could be applied when working with Anangu to ensure the Tree of Life process aligns with Anangu cultural values and beliefs. To help piranpa (non-Aboriginal) practitioners better understand Anangu, the paper introduces the key cultural concepts of Tjukurpa and connection to Country, and outlines the effects of colonisation on Anangu. It also introduces the Anangu arts of kulini (listening, reflecting and sensing with the body) and milpatjunanyi (storytelling in the sand).

Ken, T. (2022). Bringing narrative practices to work with Anangu people. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (2), 18-24.