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2009 #1 Creative narrative practice  

This journal is a collection of thoughtful and profound papers from England, South Africa, the USA, and Australia, all focussed on new directions in narrative practice.
Part one includes papers about transforming a women's refuge to become a place of celebrating women's stories, as well as a piece on using cartoons in therapeutic practice.
Part two includes two papers about working with older people in aged care home contexts, as well as using collective narrative documents as eulogies.
Part three explores narrative practice in pastoral care contexts, while the final section includes a paper about working in a context of extreme self-harm.



2008 #4 Mental health and families  

This issue both expands our thinking about how narrative ideas can be applied, as well as reporting on two projects initiated by Dulwich Centre.
Part One of the journal features three papers on mental health and families: 'Children, parents, and mental health' by Dulwich Centre; 'Growing up with parents with mental health difficulties' by Ruth Pluznick and Natasha Kis-Sines; and 'When your child is diagnosed with schizophrenia: The skills and knowledges of parents' by Amanda Worrall.
Part Two, 'Alternative assessments: Looking for subordinate stories' features the article 'Narrative approaches in Centrelink: "It's those turning questions . . ."' by Lesley Dalyell.
Finally, Part Three documents Dulwich Centre's 'Women and Grief' Project, which features contributions from around the world.
In all, this issue is both profound and moving in its content, as well as stimulating and rigorous in its application of ideas in new ways and contexts - showing that, as narrative practice is engaged with around the world, the ideas are being taken up in innovative and generative ways

2008 #3 Narrative sex therapy  

This issue of the International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work features what we believe will be an influential paper by Yael Gershoni, Saviona Cramer and Tali Gogol-Ostrowsky entitled: ‘Narrative sex therapy: Talking with heterosexual couples about sex, bodies, and relationships’. The first section of this journal issue also includes a paper titled: Using the ‘failure conversations map’ with couples experiencing fertility problems. The second section of the journal focuses on a key aspect of narrative practice: an ethic of circulation. This relates to ways in which therapists and community workers can document and circulate the skills and knowledge that people are using to address difficulties in their lives. Three papers are included here. The third section of the journal includes two thoughtful papers which explore how research can influence practice. One of these relates to the meanings of sexualised coercion and gender in psychosocial group sessions for women. The other undertakes conversational analysis of externalising conversations. This diverse journal issue includes papers from Canada, Israel, Australia, Denmark and England

2008 #2 Special issue in memory of Michael White  

This special issue includes a piece of writing by John Winslade and Lorraine Hedtke who were present at Michael White’s final workshop in San Diego. They were with Michael when he suffered a heart attack at a restaurant in the evening after this workshop, and they played significant roles in caring for friends and family from this moment until Michael died in a San Diego hospital a few days later. This memorial piece is introduced by David Epston.
This special issue also includes a very rich diversity of thoughtful, practice-based papers. The first of these, by Yishai Shalif and Rachel Paran, describes work they conducted in bomb shelters in Northern Israel during military conflict. The next section of the journal features two articles focusing on a complex area of work – responding to young men who have engaged in sexually abusive actions. In the third section of the journal, Deidre Ikin conveys stories of her work with people wishing to make changes to drug and alcohol use. This paper includes a document created by a mother whose child had been removed from her care. The next paper to be included is by Kath Reid. Drawing on notions of ‘family as a verb’, her paper documents the work of a Queer Families project, which seeks to co-explore and richly-describe diverse meanings of ‘family’.

2008 #1 'Normality', the written word & teaching narrative practice  

Interested in learning or teaching narrative therapy practice? This special issue is a response to the many requests we receive for examples of ‘teaching exercises’ related to narrative therapy. These requests come not only from teachers but also from practitioners who are wanting further ways of improving their skills and/or ways of exploring narrative practices with colleagues. This issue includes exercises from Russia, USA, Australia and Canada. The journal also includes a lead paper, ‘Turning the spotlight back on the normalizing gaze’, by Jane Hutton and Kate Knapp. This is a delightful exploration of how conversations about normality and failure can lead in unexpected directions. The paper also describes a partnership between a therapist and visual artist. The second section of this journal issue features two papers on the use of the written word in therapeutic consultations. Many Pentecost, from New Zealand, describes four different genres of writing used within counselling. The article itself is written in the form of the letter to the person consulting her. The paper following, by Adam Hahs, describes the use of greeting cards as therapeutic documents. The journal is completed by the announcement of an exciting new project: ‘the found in translation project’. If you work in languages other than English or in bi-lingual or multicultural contexts you may be interested in participating in what promises to be a lively and generative international conversation.



2007 #4 Children & young people: Dreams, responses & dilemmas  

Due to requests from readers, this issue focuses on ‘Children & young people: Dreams, responses and dilemmas’. The first paper, by Angel Yuen, proposes a ‘response-based narrative practice’ to assist children who have been subjected to trauma. The second, by Milan Colic, describes the use of narrative practices to explore the meaning of the dreams being experienced by a young person with whom he was working. And the third, by Jodi Aman, conveys ways in which narrative approaches can assist in linking families together when children/young people are going through difficult times. Two papers on the theme of ‘Eating issues’ follow. Ali Borden describes the work of the Eating Disorder Center of California. She conveys how narrative ideas can be used within a treatment centre to provide opportunities for the renegotiation of identity in group settings. Cari Corbet-Owen then provides a brief ‘exposé of body-worry’. The final section focuses on ‘Sharing dilemmas of practice’, with Chris Chapman and David Newman reflecting on their work with men who have been violent and/or abusive

2007 #3 Eating issues, transgender journeys and narrative practice  

 In this journal issue: Eileen Hurley describes her use of narrative documents in work with young men in a US jail. Maksuda Begum conveys stories of her work in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in which she speaks with children with disabilities and their mothers. An alternative intake questionnaire informed by narrative ideas, which was developed by David Denborough in collaboration with Maksuda Begum, is also included. Due to requests from readers, we have then included two papers about the use of narrative practices in responding to eating issues. Shona Russell describes ways in which narrative conversations can contribute to a deconstruction of perfectionism, while Tracy Craggs and Alex Reed provide a novel account of therapy for anorexia. The final section of this issue consists of four papers which focus on transgender experience and possibilities for practice.

2007 #2 Experience Consultants  

This special issue contains papers related to the theme ‘Experience Consultants’, and each paper in the first section of this journal has been written by those with insider knowledge of particularly complex experiences. These include experiences of growing up with a parent with serious mental healtrh concerns; the story of a therapist who herself experienced psychosis; stories from the Romany people about ways of generating culturally appropriate practice; a story from a young Australian woman who was adopted from Vietnam and has developed unique ways of understanding issue of culture and belonging; and insider knowledge about diverse experiences of gender and sexual identities. To complete this issue, we have included two papers on the theme of re-thinking formal clinical paperwork and assessment. William Madsen offers a range of ideas and suggestions as to ways of working within traditional structures that support a collaborative clinical practice. While Mim Weber explores constraints, dilemmas and opportunities in relation to ways in which narrative ideas can inform assessment processes in relation to ‘eating disorders’.

2007 #1 New Voices  

This journal issue consists of papers from authors never previously published who are doing innovative work. The first paper, by Anne Kathrine Løge from Norway, introduces an approach to working with divorced parents to ‘disarm the conflict’ and assist them in developing skills of collaboration in relation to parenting their children. The second piece, by Ron Nasim from Israel, describes innovative group work in a psychiatric day clinic. The second section of the journal consists of two papers about ways of working with queer folk from religious backgrounds. The third part of this edition features   the hopeful work of two organisations, one Israeli, one Palestinian, which are dedicated to finding a way out of the cycles of violence in that part of the world. Finally, the focus turns to Africa, and more particularly to Rwanda. It is now almost thirteen years since the genocide took place in Rwanda. We think readers will be moved to hear of the work of organisations which are supporting survivors and continuing to seek justice.

Responding to Violence  

Finding ways to respond to those who have enacted violence and abuse against others has long been a challenge to the field of family therapy and community work – and it continues to be. This journal issue explores some of these challenges. It begins with interviews with Nancy Gray and Amanda Reddick, and documents from Afro-Canadian communities in Nova Scotia, Canada. These pieces describe individual work, group work and community engagement, and convey how a team of workers, from differing cultural backgrounds, are working in partnership with local communities to respond to men’s violence. These pieces are then followed by an interview with Tod Augusta-Scott, also from Canada, about his work with men who have enacted violence in intimate relationships. Then the journal changes tack, with a paper from New Zealand by Julie Sach entitled ‘Conversations in groups with women about their experiences of using anger, abuse & violence’. Talking about women’s use of anger and violence is a complicated topic, and we hope to invite you into considering these complexities. The final paper relating to responding to violence is by Mimi Kim, a Korean-American woman, and founding member of Incite: Women of Color against Violence, an organisation in the USA which is committed to addressing violence against women while also questioning and challenging the violence of the state. Mimi’s paper ‘Alternative interventions to violence: Creative interventions’ poses significant questions and dilemmas about ways forward in addressing family, intimate and other forms of interpersonal violence. It is a thoughtful, challenging and hopeful collection of papers and we look forward to hearing from readers about your views, perspectives and stories on these issues.
The second part of this journal consists of a paper on a different, yet similarly important issue –ways of understanding and responding to drug and alcohol ‘addiction’. The paper ‘Deconstructing addiction & reclaiming joy’ consists of extracts from discussions on the Deconstructing Addiction League E-list. It includes correspondence between members, theoretical and practical considerations, celebrations, a virtual interview and definitional ceremony, as well as the first story in what is hoped to become an archive of practices of joy and connection – free from substances. It is, we believe, a joyful and rigorous piece.

Considerations of Place  

This journal begins with a paper from Jodi Aman, in the USA, which provides an account of how the metaphor of ‘therapist as host’ can shape therapeutic practice. Jodi describes a number of sparkling ways in which those seeking counselling can be welcomed to the experience of therapy.
The second part of this journal focuses on ‘Considerations of place’. Mark Trudinger’s paper, ‘Maps of violence, maps of hope: Using place and maps to explore identity, gender, and violence’ invites us to consider the significance of ‘place’ in the formation of identity and therefore to the endeavour of therapeutic and community work. Manja Visschedijk provides a reflection on this same topic. This is an exciting new area for narrative practice and we look forward to seeing how practitioners take up these ideas in their own contexts!
The next two papers offer creative examples of outsider-witness practices. A paper by Debra Smith and Jeanette Gibson describes the ‘Inside/Outside’ program in which members of the community were invited into a prison to witness the stories of those incarcerated, and vice-versa. And Michelle Fraser conveys how the West Street Centre has developed a series of ‘community days’ in order to bring together feminist, therapeutic and community development aspirations. We hope by including creative examples of outsider witness work that others may be tempted to try something different and in their own ways.

Crisis and Community  

The first section of this issue comprises of two papers on the theme of how narrative therapy ideas can be applied to crisis work.. The first, by Elizabeth Buckley and Philip Decter, offers a narrative and anthropological framework for working with children and families in crisis.
The second section of this journal issue describes an approach to community work informed by narrative ideas that we hope will be of relevance to practitioners in a wide range of contexts.
The third section of this journal consists of two further practice-based papers. Judith Milner recounts the story of how a group of parents, who were caring for children whose behaviour had been sexually concerning or harmful, transformed their lives and, in the process, transformed a service. And David Epston, Cherelyn Lakusta and Karl Tomm describe a novel approach to parent-children conflicts.

Working with young people  

The lead paper by Ncazelo Ncube (Zimbabwe/South Africa) is about creative and inspiring work with vulnerable children in Southern Africa. How can the lives of children who have experienced significant losses be responded to in ways that are not re-traumatising and that bring to light children’s own skills and knowledge? What sorts of exercises can be used in camps for vulnerable children? How can children be provided with significant experiences that do not separate them from their families, values and cultural norms? This paper describes a creative exercise informed by narrative therapy principles and practices.

This is then followed by a range of papers offering practical ideas about ways of working with young people. There are also powerfully moving accounts of the skills and knowledge of young people in dealing with hard times.  We trust you will enjoy this collection and we look forward to hearing your feedback.



Responding to Trauma Part Two  (Double issue)  

The journal issue, on responding to trauma, has been quite some time in the making. There have been so many conversations that have shaped the papers that are included here. Focusing on this theme this year has meant  witnessing more than usual the violence, trauma and abuse, that is a part of life for  many people. It has also meant coming to know about inspiring work in different parts of the world, from individuals and organisations who are dedicated to responding to trauma in ways that make a difference. Stories of this work are included here. We hope that these stories will spark conversations in your own context and lead to continuing creativity in your own work.  

Some of the questions that are considered in this issue include: 

As therapists, how can we respond when natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, result in hundreds of thousands of people being evacuated to the city in which we live? What role can we play? 
When working with children who have endured significant trauma, how can we ensure our conversations do not contribute to re-traumatisation? How can we provide an alternative territory of identity for these children to stand in as they begin to give voice to their experiences?
What occurs behind the electric fences of Australia’s immigration detention centres? And what can a counsellor do who works within them?
How can we remember the life and work of Simon Wiesenthal, who died while this publication was being put together? And what difference can this make to our work?
When receiving and documenting the testimonies of those who have been subjected to trauma, violence and abuse, how can this be done in ways that are not re-traumatising and that, instead, contribute to redressing the effects of trauma in the person’s life? How can these testimonies then be used for broader purposes? 
When working with religious families who have experienced significant trauma, how can text and spiritual practice be a part of the healing process? 
When working in a context like the Acid Survivors Foundation in Bangladesh, how can narrative ideas assist to unearth and thicken the values that shape our work?
When one’s work is occurring in a context of occupation, and the trauma that people are experiencing is not past or post, but is continuing, how can workers respond?
How can narrative ideas be used to shape therapeutic gatherings for Indigenous women? 
How can we move away from thin descriptions of resilience that attribute success to something inside an individual alone, and instead in our work develop rich descriptions of resilience?
How can we assist survivors of political violence, war and terror to speak the unspeakable?
How can narrative ideas assist us to
walk alongside women on their journeys to reclaim their lives from the effects of domestic violence.

 The papers included here are from Bangladesh, Israel, USA, UK, The Palestinian Territories & Australia. Two thorough practice-based papers are also included in second part of this journal which relate to work with women with physical differences and disabilities, and work with people whose lives are affected by substance use. 

Responding to Trauma Part One  

Since the events of September 11th in the USA, the field of ‘trauma work’ has grown exponentially. This increased interest in these matters seems to offer many possibilities as well as a range of hazards! There is so much to consider. Some of the questions that are considered in this issue include: 

·                                 The concept of trauma de-briefing has been the focus of considerable debate in recent years. Are there ways in which narrative ideas can be helpful when meeting with people who have recently experienced trauma?

·                                 Understandings about trauma and trauma work that have been developed in western countries are now being ‘exported’ across cultures. What are the implications of this, and how can care be taken not to replicate forms of psychological colonisation?

·                                 How can workers understand their experiences in this area? Notions of ‘vicarious trauma’ are now common place and it is regularly assumed that therapists and counsellors can become traumatised themselves by witnessing stories of trauma. Are there alternative ways of understanding and responding to workers’ experience?

·                                 What are some of the considerations when working with a heterosexual couple in which both partners have experienced trauma?

·                                 When therapists, or their loved ones, experience significant trauma themselves, how does this influence their work?

·                                 Little attention has been paid to the experience of those who have been subject to rape and/or sexual violence within prisons. What would a support package for prisoner rape survivors look like?

·                                 How can practitioners respond to communities who have experienced trauma related to war and conflict? How can ‘narrative theatre’ approaches be used in this work?

The papers included here describe work in Sri Lanka in relation to the tsunami,  Australia, Israel, Uganda, Burundi, East Congo and Gaza (Palestinian Territories). We’ve also included two papers relating to work with children, one from Bangladesh and one from Australia.

Psychiatry & Narrative Ideas  

This issue contains papers around a number of themes, first of all ‘Psychiatry and narrative ideas’.  We’re pleased to include here the first of a series of papers by psychiatrist SuEllen Hamkins in which she explores the use of narrative practices within her psychiatric practice. This paper follows on from the formation of a group of psychiatrists who are interested in narrative ideas, which occurred in Oaxaca, Mexico at the 6th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference.  The second paper in this issue, also by a psychiatrist, Nacho Maldonaldo, was a keynote at this conference and describes experiences of mental health work within Argentina, Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico. The third paper in this initial section is by Pam Burr Smith and describes an exercise used with groups in a psychiatric hospital setting. It involves the use of humour and novel ways of inviting externalised conversations. The next section of this journal focuses on ‘Stories from working with men’ and includes two papers, by Mark Gordon and Larry Towney, which were given as keynote addresses at an international summer school of narrative practice that took place at Dulwich Centre in Adelaide late last year. A third keynote from this session, by Art Fisher on ‘Narrative possibilities for unpacking homophobia’, will be published in an upcoming issue! Two papers on ‘Stories from working with women’ are then included. The first, by Cindy Gowen and Stephanie Paravicini, describes the ways in which young women in a Californian high school are taking a stand against sexual violence. The second, by Shona Russell, discusses the responsibility of therapists to open spaces in conversations with women to examine cultural and social conditions that can easily remain invisible. The next piece, ‘Was it a girl or was it a boy?’, by Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, a bi-gendered doctor and family therapist in Norway, then throws into question issues of gender and sexual identity! Finally, the journal concludes with two pieces that both involve ethical explorations. Bill Madsen offers a training exercise developed to assist workers to examine inadvertent disempowering professional practices that may have negative effects on the people who consult them. A paper by Leonie Sheedy, about the experience of  former state wards, foster children and those who grew up in Children’s Homes,  invites social workers and other health professionals to come to terms with the history of these professions.




The initial section of this journal issue explores two realms of complexity. The first  paper, by Sue Mann, examines some of the more complex questions posed by work with women who have experienced sexual abuse, including: ‘Am I a sex worker because of the abuse?’ and ‘Am I gay/lesbian/queer because of the abuse?’ The second paper, ‘Climbing the mountain: The experience of parents whose children are in care’, documents the work of a moving and inspiring parenting/playgroup for parents whose children have been removed from their homes. We would be very interested in hearing your feedback on these two pieces and on any other matters of complexity that you are currently struggling with in your work.The second section of the journal contains a piece that has already attracted a lot of interest. Creating a counselling flyer that is congruent with narrative ideas can be quite a challenge. To assist in this process, a range of practitioners from different parts of the world have pooled their ideas and here we have published the result. Three practice-based papers then follow. The first by Dave McGibbon is short piece entitled ‘Narrative therapy with young people: What externalising practice and use of letters make possible’. The second, by Sheridan Linnell, involves both theoretical exploration and practice description and is entitled, ‘Towards a ‘poethics’ of practice: Extending the relationship of ethics and aesthetics in narrative therapies through a consideration of the late work of Michel Foucault’. While the third paper is a thorough description of Rudi Kronbichler’s narrative practice with boys struggling with anorexia.


Welcome to this special issue on the theme of ‘love’. It’s been a real pleasure to put this edition together. Inspired by a paper by Elena Smith, entitled: ‘The narratives of love - Addressing the issue of love in a therapeutic context’, this journal consists of writings about considerations of love in therapy from Denmark, Hong Kong, Colombia, Mexico and Australia. These pieces are thoughtful, practice-based and wide-ranging. They consider the use of narrative practices in deconstructing jealousy; in working with male partners of women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse; and in examining and deconstructing how certain philosophies of love are influencing couple relationships. These pieces also consider how children respond to family tragedies; ways of assisting parents to reclaim their knowledge and pride in their children’s differences; and how to assist therapists to respond to the confusion that some women who have been subject to childhood sexual abuse experience in relation to understandings of love. Also included here are discussions about ways of acknowledging and honouring lesbian and gay and other relations of love; and ways of using the written word to link migrants with their home communities. It is a diverse collection! Part Two of this journal consists of the second instalment of a series of papers on narrative therapy and research. This collection consists of a moving piece of co-research with young people on ‘suicidal thoughts’; explorations on the use of definitional ceremony as a research method; ways of decentring research practice; and considerations of ethics within research work. These papers are from authors from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Part Three consists of continuing correspondence in relation to feminism and transgender issues.

Narrative therapy and research  

The first sections of this journal consists of a diverse collection of papers. These relate to: questioning how attitudes to women’s sexuality influence women who have been subjected to sexual assault;  proposals for using narrative maps of practice to assist people in changing their relationships to substances; a letter to the ongoing ‘Feminism, therapy and narrative ideas project’ discussing transsexual/transgendered experience; and the write-up of  a recent gathering on Robben Island, South Africa, in which participants from Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, Samoa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Germany, Burundi, Eritrea, Northern Ireland, the USA, Australia and South Africa came together to try to find ways to contribute towards the healing of histories of trauma that have occurred in their respective countries. The second section of this journal focuses on the theme of research and narrative ideas. It begins with a question and answer paper which explores the origins of narrative therapy being understood as co-research and the many vibrant links between narrative practices and research practices. Other papers describe ways of repositioning traditional research in ways that honour clients’ accounts of therapy; ways of inviting those with whom we work to document their ‘wisdoms’ and to make these available to other families; ways of evaluating therapy conversations that are congruent with narrative practice; and the story of one practitioner's professional identity story as she moved from engaging with narrative practice in counselling, to narrative practice in research. Finally, this journal also includes two invitations to you the reader. We hope you will become involved in our new project about ‘Responding to trauma: including the trauma of war, occupation, terror, political violence and torture’. And we also hope you will join us in a new ‘Village-to-village’ project which is attempting to build links between our readership and a number of villages in Papua New Guinea.

Stories from Hong Kong  

This special issue focuses on stories from Hong Kong where there is a vibrant community of narrative practitioners. This community is engaging with  narrative ideas and finding ways to practice these in their own context and in their own ways. Many of the papers in this collection describe this process by illustrating group work with young women dealing with mental health issues; consultations with people in relation to drug use and addiction; group work in relation to overcoming the effects of child-sexual abuse; and consultation with children and young people. The complex histories of Hong Kong and how these influence people's identities and counselling work are also considered. The second half of this journal features a thorough practice-based paper by Michael White entitled, 'Working with people who are suffering the consequences of multiple trauma: a narrative perspective'. This is the written version of a presentation that Michael made in Ramallah, Palestine.


Back issues of The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

Mothers and Daughters  

This issue introduces a new topic for conversation. The first paper included here is entitled, ‘The Mother-Daughter Project: Co-creating pro-girl, pro-mother culture through adolescence and beyond.’ This piece has been created by a group of mothers and daughters (including SuEllen Hamkins and Renee Schultz) and it describes inspiring conversations involved in the deconstruction and construction of mother-daughter discourses. This is followed by a reflection from Anita Franklin and a related piece by Amy Ralfs. We then offer an invitation to you, the reader, to become involved in further conversations on this topic. If you are working with mothers and daughters, if you are a mother or a daughter, and especially if you have a perspective on this topic that may not have been described in any detail in this issue of the journal, then we would love to  hear from you. The second half of this journal issue consists of a series of practice-based papers on different topics. Hugh Fox offers a sparkling review of the use of therapeutic documents in narrative practice. Jacqui Morse and Alice Morgan describe group work with women who have experienced violence. John Winslade explores how narrative mediation can assist in the re-negotiation of discursive positions.  Lorraine Hedtke further articulates the use of re-membering conversations with people who are experiencing loss and grief. And Elspeth McAdam and Peter Lang offer descriptions of the use of appreciative enquiry within schools and school communities in England, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and in Southern Africa. As you can see, it is a diverse collection!

Mental Health  

The first half of this journal focuses on an issue dear to our hearts – mental health. The Hearing Voices Network offered a series of papers within a keynote address at the 5th International Narrative Therapy and  Community Work Conference in Liverpool, UK in July.  We have received many requests for written copies of their moving presentations and are delighted to be publishing these here.  Also within this mental health section is a write-up of a recent community gathering, which took place in Canberra, Australia, and documents the skills and knowledges of those living with mental health issues. Entitled ‘These are not ordinary lives’, this paper richly describes the perspectives, ideas and stories which give meaning to lives lived out of the ordinary. The second half of the journal changes tack. It includes a short practice-based paper by Mike Boucher on the rarely discussed topic of ‘Exploring the meaning of tattoos’, and a sparkling article by Judith Milner entitled ‘Narrative group work with young women…and their mobile phones’. The final piece in this journal is another in the popular series of questions and answers compiled by Maggie Carey and Shona Russell. This rigorous paper contains thorough examples of therapeutic consultations   and detailed descriptions of the thinking that informs ‘re-authoring conversations’, one of the key  practices of narrative therapy. This issue, we believe, contains a collection of moving and varied papers that are of direct relevance to therapists, counselors and community workers. We hope you find them relevant, engaging and in some way stretching of your thinking and practice.

Community Practice   

How can narrative ideas be engaged with in work with communities of people? This issue of the journal responds to this question. The first paper relates to a community of experience - those people who live with physical or visual impairments. The work of the Peer Counsellors of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland questions many taken-for-granted assumptions and offers alternative ways of responding to the experience of disability. The second paper, 'Narrative practice and community assignments', is by Michael White and explores the relevance of narrative practices to work with communities which are facing various concerns and predicaments - particularly those that are the outcome of experiences of trauma. And the third paper, by Yvonne Sliep, describes some emerging principles to assist community workers who are seeking to respond to vulnerable children in poverty-stricken environments. The second section of this issue contains a paper compiled by Shona Russell and Maggie Carey that heralds the beginning of an exciting new project here at Dulwich Centre on 'Feminism, therapy and  narrative ideas'. We hope this journal edition will offer ideas as to how narrative practices can inform work with communities in your particular context.

History and Practice  

This issue consists of three sections. The first contains five accessible and thorough practice-based papers detailing the use of outsider-witnesses in narrative therapy; school counselling practices; working with people who are struggling with problems of substance use; and ways of destabilising the habits of highly effective problems. The second section contains thoughtful interviews relating to history and healing. Two of these were conducted in South Africa and relate to ways in which Apartheid and Holocaust histories are being engaged with to contribute to healing in the present. The third describes the inspiring work of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City. The final section, entitled 'Voices from Bali' has been created as a response to the bombing that took place there last year. We have collected the views and perspectives of a number of people who live and work in Bali. It is our hope that these words will remind us of the longer term effects of violence, and that they will draw our attention to the creative and thoughtful responses of the Balinese people.

Working with women survivors of sexual abuse, Re-membering, and Addressing personal failure  

This issue of the journal explores realms of history and practice that we believe will intellectually stretch and inspire. The first paper, by Sue Mann and Shona Russell, describes the use of various maps of narrative therapy in working with women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The second paper, 'Re-membering - commonly asked questions', has been created through a collaborative process co-ordinated by Maggie Carey and Shona Russell and involving therapists from North America, Australia, England and Austria. In question and answer format, this paper introduces and clarifies the use of re-membering practices in therapy. The third paper, by Michael White, is entitled 'Addressing personal failure'. Never before has the sense of personal failure to be an adequate person been so freely dispensed. This paper thoughtfully describes therapeutic options relevant to addressing this sense of personal failure.

Teaching and Supervision  

This issue focuses on a theme which we have wanted to publish on for some time - Teaching and Supervision. In this publication, practitioners and teachers from Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, the USA, Norway and England discuss the aspects of supervision and teaching narrative ideas that are bringing them the most challenge and delight. This issue also contains a practice-based paper by Maggie Carey about externalising conversations with children, and a paper by Michael White which describes the use of journey metaphors within therapy, teaching and community work contexts. Finally, we've included two inspiring interviews from South Africa which remind us of the broader meaning of education for man of the people of this world.



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Popular back issues of the Dulwich Centre Journal (formerly Dulwich Centre Newsletter): Single issues £12.00, Double Issues £24.00 + 10% postage Please email your requests to
Talking about families  

This journal explores four different themes in relation to families. The first 'Exploring family histories', grapples with the complexity of engaging with family histories across generations when dispossession and injustice is a part of these histories. The second, 'The personal is the professional', consists of moving and thoughtful accounts by counsellors about how legacies from their families of origin in relation to mental health issues have led to creative developments in their own work. The third, 'Families seeking refuge', sheds new light on the experience of refugee families and poses many questions in relation to how we as health professionals can respond to those who have to flee their countries and leave their homes and family members behind them. And the final theme, 'Celebrating alternative families', conveys some of the delights, struggles and learnings involved in creating gay and lesbian, anti-nuclear families. In the process, these stories offer new perspectives on relationships and the making of family that have widespread implications. This collection of papers will be of relevance to anyone working with families - in all their diversity.

Taking the hassle out of school - and stories from younger people  

The first section of this publication describes the exciting work of the Ani-Harassment Team of Selwyn College in Auckland, New Zealand. Over the last six years, students who make up the Anti-Harassment Team have responded to some profoundly complex and difficult situations within the schoolyard and facilitated mediations in creative and wonderful ways. The story of the Anti-Harassment Team offers hope and practical ideas to anyone interested in new approaches in addressing conflict, harassment and violence, or in working in partnership with young people. The second section of this publication describes other creative work happening in schools, including work on 'interviewing racism', 'questioning teasing and self-doubt' as well as work related to marijuana use, family conferencing and ways of reclaiming culture and community. The final section features the voices of younger people and their compelling stories of survival, partnership and challenging youth despair.

Working on issues of abuse an violence  

This journal consists of a diversity of papers all of which consider issues related to violence and abuse. Survivors of violence write of their resilience and how they will be silent no more. Practice-based papers describe their work with men who have experienced child sexual abuse, and workshops in schools designed to address issues of homophobia. A number of interviews explore areas in which further conversations are sought, including - how to work with the interface of domestic violence and child protection; how to engage and work with the mothers of sons who have perpetrated abuse; and how to talk about domestic violence in diverse cultural communities. Two further interviews are included as part of exploring the broader context of this work. One concerns the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its attempts to address histories of violence in South Africa. The other, with the Family Centre from Wellington New Zealand, builds upon their previous writings about partnerships of accountability. It explores ways of working in partnership across relations of power when trying to address issues of violence, abuse and domination.

'Companions on a Journey'
An exploration of an alternative community mental health project

For the last five years, a group of people centred around the Dulwich Centre in Adelaide has been creating an alternative Community Mental Health Project in an attempt to meet more adequately the needs of people with psychiatric diagnoses who are considered 'chronically' and mentally ill. This edition describes this project, not in the sense of offering solutions or prescriptive ways of working, but in order to share experiences and learnings. Within the project, people who experience 'voices and visions' (often referred to as the auditory and visual hallucinations of schizophrenia) work together with community support workers to expose the tactics and effects of these 'voices and visions'; to honour and build upon individuals' knowledges and skills; to create ever-widening communities of reflection and support; and to question collaboratively the dominant ways of understanding and living in this culture. 'Companions on a Journey' describes ways of working in solidarity and partnership on issues of mental health that are enriching, challenging and fulfilling for all who are involved.

New perspectives on ‘addiction’  

This edition aims to take some small steps towards creating new conversations about ways of working with people experiencing problems related to alcohol, other drugs and gambling. Through a series of articles, interviews and reviews, practical ideas for ways of working are offered and the broader social and historical context of the work is discussed. By focusing on the context and stories which shape people's lives, and by exploring alternative metaphors to those of 'addiction' and pathology, it is hoped creative ways of working with gambling and drug related problems will be generated. Many of the papers in this edition are now on this website... click here

Challenging disabling practices
Talking about issues of disability

This heartfelt collection of papers explores many different ways of talking about living and working with issues of disability. Powerful expressions of the experience and politics of disability sit alongside practical examples of ways of working.

Communities respond to HIV/AIDS, Diabetes & Grief  

This issue explores ways of working with communities that seek to facilitate unity in the face of potentially overwhelming problems. Two examples of these ways of working are explored: the work of Yvonne Sliep and the CARE Counsellors of Malawi, Africa, on issues of HIV/AIDS; and the work of the Aboriginal Women's Health and Healing Project of South Australia on issues of diabetes and grief. The stories within this journal are not intended to provide answers to complex problems, but are offered instead as invitations. They are invitations to imagine ways of working with communities that create the opportunity to bring difficult topics out into the open; that remain committed to community participation at the local level; and that build upon unity and traditional knowledge.

Young people and adults working together  

This publication offers stories from young people and adults about working across generations. Its aims include: to provide practical examples of work between younger and older people that is offering the potential for change, and that is enriching the lives of those who are involved; to give voice to some of the experiences of young people within our culture, the dilemmas that are being faced, and the issues that are being explored; to invite readers to consider what partnerships between older and younger people might look like, and how we might work together on issues that our communities are facing.

 Towards a healthy community… the work of Latino Health Access  

This journal focuses on the work of Latino Health Access, an organisation in Orange County California, which acts as an institute of community participation. In a range of inspiring ways, Latino Health Access involves local residents in addressing health concerns in their own neighbourhoods. Within these pages many stories are told - stories of re-creating hope and pride. In the second half of this journal a number of thoughtful reflections are offered by authors including Salvador Minuchin, Loretta Perry, Jean Stefancic, Richard Delgado, Maggie Carey, William Doherty, Jorge Navas and Ricardo Mendoza. This journal will be of direct relevance to anyone interested in playing a part in the regeneration of communities and any therapists who are interested in moving therapeutic conversations beyond individual office-based work. Nb. To read an extract of the work of Latino Health Access click here

Bisexuality: Identity, politics & partnerships  

This journal explores issues of bisexuality. People with bisexual experience, whether they claim a bisexual identity, a heterosexual identity, a gay/lesbian identity, or no sexual identity at all, open up all sorts of questions relevant to those engaged in narrative work. These include questions about identity itself; about community and belonging; divisions and partnerships; questions about holding privilege and experiencing oppression; and questions about the negative effects of thin conclusions and the helpfulness of thick descriptions. Within this publication, writers from North America and Australia consider these questions and many more through explorations of personal experience, theory, history and work practices.

Creating respectful relationships in the name of the Latino family  

'Trying to find ways of working to reduce domestic violence that are respectful to issues of both culture and gender has brought many challenges....It is our hope, and the hope of many members of the Latino community, that this paper will reach others people who are working with members of non-dominant cultural groups... We hope that our struggles and experiences may offer a starting point for conversations about how communities can come up with their own culturally appropriate ways of addressing violence' Features work with the Latino Community in California as well as reflections from Samoan, Maori, Vietnamese, Native American, and lesbian perspectives on the issue of responding to domestic violence.

Narrative Therapy & Community Work:
A conference collection

This journal represents a range of workshops, presentations and conversations that took place at the second Dulwich Centre Publications' Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference in Adelaide in February 2000. From practice-based seminar papers, to keynote addresses on 'Reconciliation' and 'Spirituality', this collection contains a diversity of thoughtful and inspiring writings.



Homelessness  (1999 #3)

In this publication a variety of papers from Australia, Brasil, North America and South Africa, explore the experience and politics of homelessness. Practice-based papers also describe a variety of projects and ways of working with the complexity of this issue. This journal features the last interview given by Paulo Freire.

Living Positive Lives: A gathering for people with an HIV positive diagnosis
(2000 No. 4)   

This publication tells the story of a gathering for people with an HIV positive diagnosis and workers from the HIV sector. Within these pages are recorded the stories that were told and the skills and knowledges about living with HIV which were articulated. This document has also been deliberately written in such a way as to convey how the weekend was structured by narrative ideas through the use of prior consultative interviews, a gathering program, and the use of definitional ceremonies and outsider witness practices. A number of reflections from Australia and South Africa are also included.

Working with the stories of Jewish immigration to Israel (1999 #4)

In this journal, Yael Gershoni and Saviona Cramer, two Jewish therapists who live  and work in Israel, relate the stories of those who consult them and how the histories of their families inform their conversations. Following this paper, a number of Jewish therapists from Australia, South Africa and the USA offer their reflections, both personal and professional. This edition of the journal not only invites readers into Jewish history, but is of practical relevance to all therapists. It invites considerations of practices and ways of working with the broader histories and contexts that inform all our lives.

Folk Psychology and Narrative Practice by Michael White (2001 #2)

This edition consists of a paper by Michael White entitled Folk Psychology and Narrative Practice. Within it, many of the practices of narrative therapy are linked to an historical tradition of understanding  life and identity that is at times referred to as 'folk psychology'. Consisting of descriptions of a range of therapeutic conversations, as well as rigorous considerations of ideas, history and culture, this paper represents a considerable contribution to the field of narrative therapy.

No.3/4  Learning Narrative Therapy

This journal focuses on the process of 'Learning Narrative Therapy'. Over the years we have received many requests to publish a collection of papers which explores the experience of people engaging with narrative ideas in their practice. As these ideas and practices commonly represent something quite new and different in people's lives, there is often a process involved in engaging with them and learning how to make them their own. This double issue consists of two sections. First of all. there is a series of papers by practitioners who are putting narrative ideas into practice in their work contexts and in their own lives. These are thoughtful, engaging and thorough papers written by people who are relatively new to the ideas. The freshness of approach and openness of the writing reflects this. the second section consists of a series of written reflections on a wide range of topics about eth ways in which narrative practices and particular writings about narrative ideas are influencing practitioners' work and lives. This beautiful collection weaves the personal and the professional. We hope that this collection of writings will provide good company to other practitioners who are engaging and experimenting with narrative ideas and practices.

Reclaiming our stories, reclaiming our lives - responding to Aboriginal deaths in custody (1995 #1)      

This publication outlines a report of a counselling project initiated by the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia. This counselling project implemented one of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Schooling & education: Exploring new possibilities (1995 #2/3)   

This edition emerged from a desire to explore new ways of thinking about education and schooling. The articles included raise a variety of challenging questions and provide some practical and exciting possibilities for action. Questions considered include: Given that schooling plays such a large role in the lives of children and their parents, what implications does an understanding of the dynamics of educational practice have for therapists, counsellors and social workers in their work with families? What are the effects of current practices on individual children, on parents, families, and on whole communities? How does schooling fit into the larger structures of class, race, gender and sexuality? What difference would it make if we applied an ethic of care to our thinking about education? How do concepts of accountability relate to adults' relationships with young people, both inside and outside of school?

Speaking out and being heard - a therapeutic gathering (1995 #4)  

This publication documents the voices of mental health consumers and carers who took part in a joint project that was organised by a group of mental health consumers, carers, the South Australian Council of Social Services, and Dulwich Centre. Includes stories from the gathering; descriptions of participants' skills and knowledges; reflections from listening group members; and a summary of recommendations from consumers and cares which they see as necessary within the mental health system. 

Power & politics in practice (1994 #1)

This issue's collection of writing and conversation explores issues of power and politics in therapeutic practice. Its hope is to open a forum for debate and discussion.

Accountability: New directions for working in partnership (1994 #2/3)

This publication explores forms of accountability that seek to build genuine partnerships across the deep divides of our society. Partnerships of accountability across differences of culture, gender and sexual identity are discussed as well as processes of accountability in work with men who abuse.

Other wisdoms other worlds (1993 #1)

This is the story of an extraordinary event. It is the story of an encounter between people from two ends of the world who came together to share their stories of subjugation, dispossession and alienation under their colonial past, and to explore therapeutic solutions for the present difficulties of their people - solutions drawn from the richness of their own spirituality and cultural meanings.

Professional sexual abuse (1993 #2/3)

This special double issue focuses on the subject of sexual misconduct by professionals. The papers included both individually and collectively focus our attention on the multiple roles of the professional: as sexual abuser, as complicit bystander, as witness, advocate, teacher, healer, activist. They serve to remind us of the choices available to us, and to encourage us to 'assume moral and ethical responsibility for the effects our interactions have on others.

Some thoughts on men’s ways of being (1992 #3/4)

A hopeful, moving and thoughtful collection of papers by men and women examining matters of masculinity and gender and their relevance to the realm of therapy.

Research & family therapy (1990 #2)

Explores matters of research and family therapy