The Statement of Position Map – Version 1
* This handout was developed by Kath Muller from training materials created by Paul Montgomery. Kyabra Community Association, PO Box 1103, Sunnybank Hills, Qld Australia 410. It brings together the Statement of Position Map and the Scaffolding map. I first saw this handout in the Handbook for the First Block of the Ummeed Mental Health Training Program (Mumbai, India: 2013), co presented by The Ummeed Child Development Centre and Narrative Practices Adelaide.
There are five steps, each with certain types of questions that we can use in the Statement of Position Map Version 1 in relation to a problem.
Categories of Response
1. Exploring a name for the problem, concern or struggle that is experience near.
2. Mapping the effects of the problem, concern or struggle.
3. Evaluating the effects of the problem, concern or struggle.
4. Exploring why the client(s) has taken this position in Step 3.
5. Creating Foundations for Action.
1. EXPLORING A NAME FOR THE PROBLEM, CONCERN OR STRUGGLE THAT IS EXPERIENCE-NEAR (CHARACTERISATION).
The first type of questions are questions to do with negotiating with the person how they would describe and characterise the problem they want to focus on.
- This naming or characterisation of the problem is an externalised name, and it is one that is in the person’s own words.
- It is also a name that describes the person’s own particular experience of the problem.
- We can call this an experience-near description of the problem.
2. MAPPING THE EFFECTS OF THE PROBLEM, CONCERN OR STRUGGLE ON DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE PERSON’S LIFE.
The second type of questions in this Statement of Position Map are questions that map the effects of the problem on different areas of the person’s life, and look at some of the tactics that the problem uses to have its influence.
- This is an opportunity to really map out what the problem is doing in the person’s life.
- It is very important that this continues to be an externalised conversation, and not an internalised one.
3. EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF THE PROBLEM, CONCERN OR STRUGGLE.
- These questions invite the person to evaluate the effects of the problem and reflect on what they are learning or realising about it.
- The questions give the person the chance to make their own assessment of what the problem is doing in their life. This is a very significant step.
- The worker does not declare their own evaluation of the effects of the problem.
4. EXPLORING WHY THE CLIENT(S) HAS TAKEN THIS POSITION IN STEP 3. (UNDERSTANDING ABOUT WHAT IS GIVEN VALUE)
- The fourth step asks why the evaluation was given. We are asking for thoughts about some of the ways that the client wants their life to be that are more in line with what is important to them.
- We ask the client to do this so that we can start to get some pointers to the preferred story that the problem is getting in the way of.
5. CREATING FOUNDATIONS FOR ACTION
- These questions invite people to make predictions about the particular actions they might take that would be based on what they’ve just been talking about – about what they give value to.
- These plans for action would have them stepping more into their own preferred directions in life and away from the influence of the problem.
- There is then this whole new territory to explore and we do that using the practice of Rich Story Development which is also known as the Re-Authoring map.
- It sounds as though blame is part of your life now. How long have you been noticing this blame?
- What effect does the blame have on your life?
- How does the blame impact on your energy for daily tasks?
- Does blame have an impact on your relationship with other family members?
- What effects does blame have on your child’s life?
- What do you think about the effects blame is having on your life?
- Are you accepting what blame is doing?
- Are these effects acceptable to you or not?
- Why is this? Why are you taking this position on what blame is doing?
- How would you prefer things to be?
- If you were to stay connected to what you have just said about what you
- prefer, what next steps could you take?
Why Externalize Problems?
- Externalising establishes a context where people experience themselves as separate from the problem where the problem no longer speaks to them of their identity or the ‘truth’ about themselves.
- The problem is the problem, the person is not the problem.
- People’s own knowledge is fore-grounded – people become the expert in their own lives.
- The effects of labelling and pathologising are diminished.
- Externalising reduces guilt and blame, yet leaves room for responsibility.
- Externalising creates space for people to have a view/position in relation to the problem and creates ways for people to take action as opposed to being overwhelmed by the problem.
- Externalising creates space for people to join around problems and their effects.
- Externalising makes visible the politics/context of people’s experience and meaning making.
What Can Be Externalized?
- Feeling states/ ‘Moods’ (‘the bad mood’, ‘the funk’)
- Thoughts and Ideas ( ‘the bad thoughts’, ‘the mean thoughts’, ‘the encouraging thoughts’)
- Phenomena (‘teasing’, ‘the bullying’ )
- Practices of self (‘the cutting’, ‘self hate’)
- Cultural practices (‘adultism’, ‘stigma’. ‘blaming’, ‘expectations’)
- Expressions (‘the I don’t knows’)
- Tactics (‘the wire razor of isolation’, ‘Blame’, ‘Shame’)
- Forces (‘fundamentalism’, ‘perfectionism’)
- Skills/practices (‘looking after myself’, ‘self–care’, ‘trying new things’)
- Hopes/dreams (‘to be content’, ‘having friends’)
- Visions/principles (‘social justice’, ‘fairness’)
- Memories (‘the flash backs’, ‘the fears’)