Narrative responses to physical pains: An interview with Sister Seraphine Kaitesirwa


Sister Seraphine Kaitesirwa is a narrative practitioner in Kigali, Rwanda, where she works at a clinic for children and young people, some of whom experience concerns that show up as physical pains in their bodies. Sometimes, these pains have become named somatoform disorder. The pains can have serious effects for the lives of the children and young people, and their families, causing significant distress. Drawing on narrative principles, and with her appreciation for embodied experience, Sr Seraphine has developed a series of externalising questions and practices that invite the children and young people into a new sort of relationship with the pain, with remarkable effects. On a recent visit to Kigali, David Denborough caught up with Sr Seraphine, eager to hear more about her practice. The two were joined by Yishai Shalif and Cheryl White.