October 2, 2022 - January 23, 2023 11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Exploring Our Relationship with Narrative Questions
What makes a ‘good’ or well-crafted narrative question?
Who gets to decide?
What is involved in honing our narrative question-asking-skills/craft?
How do we know that a question is one that is worth considering for the person/people with whom we consult?
What is our hope(s) that our questions will open up for the people we consult with to understand about themselves or their relationships?
What questions do we ask ourselves that help us know that we are asking questions that align with our ethics?
What else, besides our questions, feel important to consider and to attend to?
This 8 week bi-weekly series is for people who are interested in exploring their relationship with narrative questions. It is not a “how to” ask “better” narrative questions, but an invitation to explore the types of questions we feel drawn to asking, and why? An invitation to explore our hopes in asking questions, and the ethics we are striving to uphold in asking the questions we ask. Beginning October 2nd, we will meet biweekly via Zoom (except monthly in December) on Sundays from 11am -12:30pm NY time (October 2nd, 16th, 30th, November 13th, 27th, December 11th, January 8th and 22nd).
The format of sessions will involve live interviews. Each person will have an opportunity to be interviewed (if they want to be) by the facilitator, or by another participant (if interest is expressed by a participant to be the interviewer) and to participate as an outsider witness. Participants will have a chance to ask questions to both the interviewee and the interviewer. Questions might include:
What were your hopes or intentions in asking particular questions/pursuing a particular line of inquiry? What were the ethics guiding (or reflected in) a particular question(s)? What were you prioritizing in pursuing a particular line of inquiry? Interviewees could be invited to share what question(s) they appreciated being asked (and why) and/or what question(s) they wished they’d been asked that they weren’t asked, and why.
*The structure is flexible, and can be adapted once the group comes together and we co-discover what the hopes and preferences are of the participants.*
Participants will leave each session feeling more connected to their own preferred ways of asking questions, and more connected to why it is that these ways of asking questions are preferable.
Participants will leave sessions feeling more connected to what they already know (and appreciate) about their own question-asking skills.
Participants will leave sessions feeling a sense of agency about crafting questions that align with their ethics, values, preferences, purposes and commitments in this work (and in life).
Less of a hope – and more of a looking-forward-to – what I will learn from participants, and how my question-asking will be shaped by these conversations.
Amy Druker (she/her) from Toronto, Canada, first met the narrative worldview when she was working as a harm reduction outreach worker in downtown Toronto. A co-worker encouraged Amy to attend a workshop on narrative therapy because of their shared ethics and politics. At the time, Amy was not interested in pursuing the practice of therapy, as she did not yet understand how the projects of social justice and the practice of therapy were combinable. This changed the day Amy attended her first workshop on collective narrative practices. Amy was particularly captivated by an approach to working with people that did not insist on the de-politicizing, individualizing and pathologizing of people’s suffering. Amy sought out work at a public agency whose programs (serving youth and families) were guided by narrative therapy, where she practiced for 7.5 years. Amy describes her time at Oolagen as one of the richest learning and unlearning opportunities of her life. She and her co-workers questioned taken-for-granted language and practices that did not align with their social justice values. Amy currently runs an independent practice where she consults with people of all ages for therapy, and engages in clinical consultation/co-learning conversations with therapists and community workers both in her independent practice and at a harm reduction agency in downtown Toronto. Amy’s practice is guided by the ethics of ‘doing’ curiosity, consent, collaboration and by a commitment to not insisting on the individualizing or de-contextualizing of people’s suffering. Amy has facilitated workshops on various topics related to narrative therapy since 2014, including introductory workshops, workshops on the politics of documentation, and on despair and suicidal thoughts. Amy is on faculty at the Narrative Therapy Initiative and the Narrative Therapy Centre. To get in touch with Amy, please email her at [email protected] or visit her website: www.amydruker.com
Amy’s Letter to Narrative Therapy
To learn more about the evolution of Amy’s relationship with narrative therapy including her relationship with narrative questions, please read her following letter to Narrative Therapy.