The Green Bubble: Narrative, Time Away in the Bush, and Restoring Personal Agency after Hard Times— Andy Umbers


This paper describes the use of narrative practices in conjunction with bush adventure therapy ideas in responding to potentially traumatic experience. It outlines the program journey embarked upon by Evolve with young men and families experiencing ongoing effects of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, and ways in which narrative ideas have informed this work. In particular, it takes up the metaphoric idea of alternative territories of identity and explores the ways in which working in an alternative physical environment might assist in uncovering subordinated storylines and restoring a preferred sense of self. Also highlighted is the importance of practices that seek to link uncovered, preferred identities uncovered in an alternative physical environment (the bush) with the ‘real world’ experience of life at home and in the community. Some creative uses of physical metaphor in the bush are presented, as are song and celebratory means of confirming stories ‘outside’ of the effects of challenging experiences.