“The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem”. This formative statement by Michael White is a core principle for narrative-oriented therapists. How we consider a problem shapes how we look at it, what we will find, and how we might act in response.
A person may consult with a therapist when in the grip of a problem-saturated story about themselves or some aspect of their life. A narrative-oriented therapist would be very curious about what informs the person’s thoughts and actions, the meanings ascribed to the problem and ways in which these are or are not helpful. Applying ‘double listening' they would additionally notice and appreciate the person’s knowledges, skills, values and commitments that can contribute to responding to the difficulties.
As an alternative to defining the person according to the problem or locating the problem within the person, a narrative-oriented therapist is guided by ‘positioning’ theory which suggest we come to know and experience ourselves through relationships located within specific histories, cultures and political systems and therefore identities are multi-storied.
Informed by this orientation, therapist and client work collaboratively to unpack, deconstruct and reauthor a problem-saturated story. This includes noticing neglected but helpful aspects of experience, witnessing actions in response to dearly held commitments and values, and paying careful attention to the ways in which language is used as these all have liberatory potential. This can support the client to reclaim their life from the effects of a problem, and to discover or find their way back to preferred identity conclusions. This in turn can open hopeful possibilities inclusive of valued relationships and which honour treasured aspects of their history and culture.
This approach necessarily invites therapists to attend to power relations in the therapy room, which includes adopting a decentred yet influential stance and demonstrating respect for clients as the experts in their lives.
Exercises in dyads, journal articles and other handouts, together with ample presenter-attendee dialogue, will support your learning.
Merle Conyer supports individuals, teams, organisations and communities responding to interpersonal, institutional, political, cultural and environmental trauma, healing and justice. Contexts in which she contributes include mental health, legal, government, academic and community sectors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, organisations facilitating redress for institutional abuse, and those contributing to human rights, social justice and environmental justice.
Her track record includes board, management, service delivery and volunteer roles. Through her independent practice she currently offers counselling, supervision, debriefing, training, groupwork, wellbeing support and consulting services. She interweaves interdisciplinary wisdoms such as somatic psychotherapy, trauma-informed practice, narrative therapy, ecological psychotherapy, focusing and mindfulness practices, and is guided by both clinical and cultural supervision.
Merle is an Accredited Supervisor and Clinical Member with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. She holds a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy, Master of Education, Graduate Diploma of Communication Management (Human Resources Development) and Diplomas of Somatic Psychotherapy and Energetic Healing.
Live Interactive Webcast registration
Fees: $199 Primary viewer (includes three month's access recording of the event.
$99 Additional viewer (must watch on same device as primary viewer)
$29 Purchase lifetime access to the recording (available to primary viewer only)
Reminders for all events are sent two weeks, one week, one day and one hour prior.
Evaluation and quiz - your payment includes a quiz which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.
To complete the quiz, please log into your account at pdp-catalogue.com.au and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title.
For live webcasts, post-tests must be completed within one month of viewing the program.
Learning objectives of this training:
“This workshop introduces effective therapeutic practices for walking alongside clients as they explore what strengthens, nourishes and enlivens … a respectful way of being in relationship that can be transformative for both of us." Merle Conyer
How will you benefit from attending this training?
Morning Session (includes a short morning tea break)
Afternoon Session (includes a short afternoon tea break)
Evaluation and post-test - your payment includes a free post-test which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.
To complete the test, please log into your account at pdp-catalogue.com.au and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title.
For live webcasts, post-tests must be completed within one week of viewing the program. (There is no deadline to complete the post-test for digital downloads)
9:00am - 12:45pm
Includes a 15 minutes break at 10:45am
12:45pm - 1:45pm
1:45pm - 5:00pm
Includes a 15 minutes break at 3:15pm
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