Recipes for Life: A collective narrative methodology in responding to gender violence by Meizi Tan

This project explores the double story development of women’s responses to gender violence through the use of collective narrative methodology. This project describes the use of Recipes for Life in a two-days-one-night group work retreat organized for women who have experienced gender violence in their intimate relationships. Two forms of outsider witness practices are further introduced to promote the acknowledgement of their alternative stories of resilience and resistance towards gender violence. Other narrative practices of collective documentation, externalizing and de-constructing social discourses that support gender violence are further incorporated through the use of creative food metaphors to support these women in breaking the silence, reducing sense of isolation, shame and disempowerment that often surrounds gender violence.   

Meizi Tan is a Senior Social Worker with MWS-Daybreak Family Service Centre, Singapore, which is a community based social service agency that provides casework and counselling services to individuals and families who require assistance. Her casework and counselling experience and interest covered issues such as financial hardship, grief and loss, trauma, mental health and family violence. She can be contacted c/o meizi.tan@gmail.com

Published March 31, 2017

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dear Meizi,
    Thank you for sharing ‘Recipes for Life’. I really appreciate the metaphor of ‘uninvited ingredients’, and the skillful concepts used to externalise and locate women’s experience of violence outside of identity. It seems a significant adaptation of narrative practice for culturally resonant groupwork.
    Warmly,
    Kylie

    1. I appreciate this rich metaphor and admire how thoroughly you have worked it through. I love the way you stepped through the aspects of the recipe for life with clear rationale for the narrative practices you incorporated into the workshop.

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