Michael White described narrative explorations as journeys with therapists as companions, guided by a range of therapeutic practices or maps. These journeys awake in people a sense of agency, a realization that they can actively shape their own lives. It is in this practice of ‘rich story development’ that the people who consult us gain an experience of coming to new and preferred ways of experiencing their lives. It is this preferred story that provides the person’s own answers and solutions to what is problematic.
Narrative Practices Adelaide
We are delighted to welcome teachers from Narrative Practices Adelaide—the center Michael White started in 2008 just a few months before his untimely death. Maggie Carey, Rob Hall, Shona Russell and their close colleagues will guide us in studying practices that develop rich story development, looking through the lens of noticing and appreciating small details of lived experience. Please have a look at the NPA website to learn more.
Maggie shares here her hope for these online courses:
The first course in this series draws from Maggie Carey’s June 2014 workshop in Shelburne, Vermont: Catching up with Narrative therapy: The Art of Going Slowly with Intent . Professionally filmed, this training event captured some of Maggie’s best teaching moments—a clear, concise and down-to-earth journey into topics about story development including the narrative metaphor, landscapes of stories, double listening, loitering with intent, mapping meaning and action, personal agency, listening for resonance, making links, and neurobiology. This exploration of the narrative approach will be aided by reference to an ‘overall’ map of narrative practice that facilitates some sense of knowing where we are in the conversation.
Responding to Trauma and Difficulties in People’s Lives: Under Construction!
What might Narrative Approaches offer when working with people’s experiences of difficulty and trauma in their lives such as with abuse or violence, intense loss, or being subjected to oppression or injustice? The second course in this series explores Narrative Practices that have been found useful when the effects of trauma establish a sense of vulnerability, hopelessness and a sense of being stuck in the past events and not being able to ‘do’ life. Again, we capture some of Maggie Carey’s best teaching moments from her Vermont workshop, Catching up with Narrative therapy: The Art of Going Slowly with Intent.
Additionally, we bring in the voices of Maggie’s colleagues, Shona Russell, Rob Hall, Lisa Johnson and Sue Mann at Narrative Practices Adelaide to focus on clear illustrations from their work contexts.
Together, we explore a number of narrative practices that support the development and maintenance of stories that are different from the story that the trauma often enforces:
- The pathway of the ‘absent but implicit’ provides a way to establish some solid ground in the preferred story. From this position, the experience of the trauma can be made sense of as a reflection of what has been violated in what the person holds dear. The expression of pain or distress can also be seen as an active response to what has happened, and stories of personal agency can be developed.
- The practice of gathering an audience of ‘outsider witnesses’ to the telling of the preferred stories of life is also explored in this course. The resonance that is experienced in these definitional ceremonies makes a huge contribution to Rich Story Development.
- Shona Russell will share some developments in using the ‘rite of passage’ metaphor for the re-storying of people’s lives where there has been great difficulty. This metaphor provides a supportive framework for undertaking a journey to a new account of self, and honors that change is not something that happens overnight.
Rich Story Development Youtube Playlist
Please come visit the Re-authoring Teaching Youtube Channel where we have created The Rich Story Development Playlist. Here we will highlight a few excerpts: