Narrative Practice and Community Assignments— Michael White


This paper describes explorations of the relevance of narrative practices to working with communities which are facing various concerns and predicaments. These explorations have been undertaken in the context of community assignments that have been initiated in response to approaches from communities. In describing these explorations, this paper highlights the assumptions that have oriented our participation in these initiatives and some of the principles of narrative practice that we have found to be of particular importance in them. As well, this paper presents some special considerations in regard to addressing the psychological pain and emotional distress that is the outcome of trauma; discusses the priority given to the development of partnerships between the members of our team and between team members and community members; and provides an account of the structure of the community-wide gathering phase of these assignments.