Gaye Stockell and Marilyn O’Neil founded the Sydney Narrative Family Centre in Sydney, Australia. They have been engaging with narrative ideas for more than twenty years within psychiatric settings.
Raymond & the Black Dot
Gaye and Marilyn’s conversations with Raymond in 1990 had profound effects on their work practices as mental health workers in a psychiatric rehabilitation center. Diagnosed as a schizophrenic, Raymond shared “A black dot” story that draws a link to an experience as an art student.”..the art teacher had held up to the class a canvas that was white with a solitary black dot in the Centre. She asked the students to comment on what they saw. All the students said they saw a black dot. The teacher had responded by saying “but what about the rest of the canvas!”
“Toward Collaboration: Raymond’s Story” by Gaye Stockell and Marilyn O’Neil is on the Narrative Approaches website.
Reconstructing identities and inviting preferred stories of self
In this “Dulwich Centre Friday Afternoon” video presentation, Gaye and Marilyn look back to the ‘Worthy of Discussion Groups’ that took place in a community mental health rehabilitation service. They describe how these groups involved reconstructing identities and inviting preferred stories of self. They also discuss how they are now engaged with people in reconstructing identities in many other contexts, including within prisons.
Reconstructing identities and inviting preferred stories of self by Marilyn O’Neill and Gaye Stockell
Archived reflections follow the video.
Further reading (free to download through the Dulwich Centre Website)
O’Neill, M. (2004). ‘Researching “suicidal thoughts” and archiving young people’s insider knowledges.’ International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3:38-40. and Angela, Brett & Jess (2004). ‘A conversation with Angela, Brett and Jess about suicidal thoughts, failure and resistance.’ International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3:41-42.
Stockell, G. & O’Neill, M. (1999). ‘Bridging the gap: Conversations about mental illness experiences‘. In Dulwich Centre Publications (eds): Narrative Therapy & Community Work: A conference collection (chapter 14), pp.125-136. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications
Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social construction. New York: Routledge.
Hamkins, S. (2005) ‘Introducing narrative psychiatry: Narrative approaches to initial psychiatric consultations‘ International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 1:5-17.
O’Neill, M. & Stockell, G. 1991: ‘Worthy of Discussion: Collaborative Group Therapy.’ Australia & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 12(4)
White, M. (1995). ‘Psychotic experience and discourse (Stewart, K. interviewer).’ in Re-Authoring Lives: Interviews & essays (chapter 5), pp.112-154. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.
White, M. (1997). Narratives of Therapists’ Lives. (Chapters I, IV, IX, X). Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.
Worrall, A. (2008). When your child is diagnosed with schizophrenia: The skills and knowledges of parents International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (4), 27-37.