March 20, 2016 – Bridging Narrative Therapy and Psychiatry: SuEllen Hamkins, Stephen Burton & Beth Prullage
What do narrative therapy and narrative psychiatry have in common? Our three co-presenters took turns sharing different experiences with bridging narratively-informed psychotherapy, psychiatric care and mental health treatment. The conversation focused on about common core principles and practices for therapeutic conversations that foster resilience, employ externalizing practices to develop culturally-contextualized understandings of problems that are separate from the person’s identity, and build on the family’s or individual’s values, cultural context and vision of well-being.
In preparation, we shared the following:
- Kindness as foothold – a short case story by SuEllen Hamkins
- Warning – A poem by Jenny Josephs as a bridge from pathology to a life enriched by narrative practices.
After working with aging folks as a geriatric psychiatrist for 17 years, I grew to appreciate the non-pathological, non-diagnosable eccentricity and richness of lived experience represented by the woman in the poem.
Recording of March, 2016 Collab Salon
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I have just listened to the Bridging narrative therapy and psychiatry. So sorry that I was unable to participate on line but wonderful and warm Belize drew me from you all at that time. I was so happy to listen to this and really appreciate that narrative therapy and psychiatry can have a gap bridged. I was privileged to be able to teach psychiatrists in Newfoundland for 10 years in narrative practices and feel that some of that practice has been continued because the two people who followed me in teaching them when I left doing that training to move to Montreal were narrative therapists. I have worked in psychiatry as an occupational therapist for several years in Cambridge England and although I respected extremely the psychiatrists there, seeing psychiatrists practiced in a narrative way seemed rather more respectful than other ways. Also, letting the person lead the way in terms of medications seems important. Newfoundland has one of the few Canadian training’s at a graduate level in narrative ideas which I feel have been led by the fact that so many disciplines, including psychiatrists, (I also taught the residents in family practice these ways of working) were able to participate in the narrative practice ideas. It brings the complete team on board. Wonderful work that you are all doing.