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What's the problem?

By Sabine Vermeire, Willem Beckers, Kris Decraemer and Mieke Faes.




These papers are available as a free resource and with kind permission of the original author and publisher. If you have written a paper which you would like us to feature please get in touch using the email box at the bottom of the page.



A number of videos featuring members of the INT teaching faculty talking about different aspects of narrative practice. 



Links to other websites of interest.


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What's the problem?

Sabine Vermeire, Willem Beckers, Kris Decraemer, Mieke Faes

To purchase, click here


INT is proud to be associated with the publication of this wonderful book, which we launched in the UK in April this year (2018).

Children and adults share the externalisations of their emotions, worries, troubles and pain.

Children and adults externalise and visualise their problems and investigate what they mean to them: a multi-coloured collection of difficulties, worries, dilemmas and obstacles in clay, in drawings, cartoons and other creative outings.

The stressmonster appears when Rosie (9 year) has lost something or when the quarrels at home become really problematic. It has real vampire teeth. So it can easily bite and produce stress. Step by step Rosie creates the anti-stressmonster. He specializes in making funny faces.

This and other stories offer inspiration for therapists. The beautiful little stories in this book are recognisable and a support for clients, young and old alike.

This book will be really useful in direct work with those who consult with us whether we are clinic based, school based or community based, and is a must for the waiting room or classroom where people can use it in whatever way fits for them.

To purchase, click here





When 6 is Bigger Than 10:  Unmasking Anorexia Through Externalisation

Externalising conversations and anorexia

Hugh Fox

Lessons hard won: An introduction
to the theory and applications of
‘consulting your consultants’

An introduction to the narrative practice of consulting your consultants and how acknowledging and circulating the knowledge of children and families can become powerful processes for the child and family at the
centre of our work, other children and their families and us as practitioners.

Lindsey Hampson

The pain of the injustice of being blamed

An account of a narrative therapy conversation in an adult educational setting, which made issues of discourse and context visible in relation to stammering

Steve Sheasby

Documenting children's stories

The use of documents in working with children

Andy Gollop and Cass Pulley

Researching people’s experience of narrative therapy

Client contributions to an evaluation of narrative therapy

Amanda Redstone

The League Against Upsets after Divorce or Family Change

Circulating alternative stories to known audiences and ‘communities of concern’

Lindsey Hampson and Dale*

A good citizen. First published in Context 105, Autumn 2009,Narrative Perspectives

Using narrative in contexts of trauma

Hugh Fox

Narrative therapy, difference and possibility: Inviting new becomings. First published in Context 105,Autumn 2009, Narrative Perspectives

The paper explores some broad implications for practice which arise from understandings about identity which emphasise difference and possibility, and describes how these connect with the intentions and practices of narrative therapy

Sarah Walther and Maggie Carey

Is second order practice possible. First published in Journal of Family Therapy. 1997, 19, 219 - 242

This paper was written during the journey to narrative ideas and describes the thinking and practice of second order and postmodern positions in family therapy

Mark Hayward

Narratives of Supervision. First published in Context 41 February 1999

This paper describes early stages of learning a narrative practice in a supportive partnership and was written jointly with Amanda Redstone

Mark Hayward and Amanda Redstone

The Narrative Metaphor: A report of experience. First published Australia and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy 2000, Vol 2, 3.

This paper was a contribution to the ANZJFT symposium on the relationship between narrative therapy and other therapies

Mark Hayward

Narrative and the Art of Aircraft Pilotage. First published Journal of Systemic Therapies. 2003, Vol 22, 1

This paper, uses flying metaphors and analogies to review the content of Level 1 & 2 Intensive trainings at The Dulwich Centre with Michael White

Mark Hayward

Developing skill Ambitions. First published International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work.  2002, Iss 4

This paper uses ideas from Michael White and Foucault to address dilemmas in teaching and marking, as well as to provide a structure for approaching skill ambitions

Mark Hayward

Critiques of Narrative Therapy – A Personal Response. First published Australia and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy.  2003, Vol 24, 4

This paper responds to common critiques of narrative therapy that therapists from other persuasions have voiced

Mark Hayward

Re-membering – A Supervision Exercise. First published Context.  Dec 2003, 70

This paper describes a re-membering conversation in the context of a supervision group

Mark Hayward and Barry Bowen

Burnout – A Narrative Perspective. First published Context 85.  June 2006

This paper draws together a variety of poststructuralist ideas about causes of and responses to therapist disheartenment and despair

Mark Hayward

Using a Scaffolding Distance Map with a young man and his family. First published International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. 2006. No 1

This paper uses ideas from Michael White and Lev Vygotsky to articulate an inclusive meta-map of narrative practice that can be used to chart therapeutic conversations and identify alternative pathways when faced with “I don’t know” answers from clients

Mark Hayward

Narrative practice and supervision - the re-population of identity. First published Context October 2009

This paper explores how consulting our 'clients' in the context of supervision can contribute to workers sense of agency

Amanda Redstone

Is Narrative Therapy systemic? First published Context October 2009

This paper responds to questions about whether narrative practice can be located within a systemic framework of understanding

Mark Hayward

Using therapeutic documents: a review

The use of therapeutic documents is a key aspect of narrative practice. This paper describes four different categories of document – letters recording a session, documents of knowledge and affirmation, news documents, and documents to contribute to rites of passage. Examples of each of these documents are offered here and the author also shares some of his experiences, dilemmas and learnings in creating therapeutic documentation.

Hugh Fox

Supervision as a rich description

A discussion of and reflection on narrative supervision

Hugh Fox

The Absent but Implicit: A Map to Support Therapeutic Enquiry. First published Family Process Journal September issue 2009. Click here to access an electronic version of his article

This paper describes recent developments in the use of the "absent but implicit" in narrative therapy. Michael White used the term "absent but implicit" to convey the understanding that in the expression of any experience of life, there is a discernment we make between the expressed experience and other experiences that have already been given meaning and provide a contrasting backdrop, which "shapes" the expression being foregrounded. In therapeutic conversations, we can use the concept of the "absent but implicit" to enquire into the stories of self that lie beyond the problem story. We review as a foundation for appreciating this particular practice the ways in which narrative therapy supports an exploration of the accounts of life that lie "outside of" the problem story. We follow this by a more specific description of how the concept and practice of the "absent but implicit" offer further possibilities for bringing forward these often neglected territories of life. This description includes the presentation of an "absent but implicit" map of narrative practice, which reflects the authors' shared understandings of Michael White's most recent explorations and teachings.

Maggie Carey, Sarah Walther and Shona Russell

Warehouse of Responsibility

Account of a narrative group for survivors of brain injury.

Stephen Weatherhead and G. Newby

Dilemmas in evidencing narrative reflections from workshop conversations

Reflections on a workshop at the 1st European Conference of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 2009, by the presenters.

Stephen Weatherhead and Graham Jones

Narrative explorations in clinical health psychology

This paper documents the author’s experience as a clinical psychologist using
narrative approaches with people living with diabetes.

Rob Whittaker

What is narrative therapy? The first two chapters from Alice Morgan's influential and highly popular text, 'What is narrative therapy? An easy-to-read introduction'. Alice Morgan
Outsider-witness practices and group supervision This paper describes the work of a ‘narrative supervision group’ organised and run in Sheffield, UK. It conveys how the work of supervision reached out of the room in which the group met and touched the lives of the people who were at the centre of the discussions. In doing so, this paper illustrates a possible model for the use of outsider-witness practices in group supervision. Hugh Fox, Cathy Tench and Marie
Kicking the towers of temper: how Bryony scaffolded our relationship through play "Bryony had been seen by one of the consultant psychiatrists on our team...In asking me to see her he hoped that a narrative approach might be more effective." Hugh Fox
Narrative therapy and outsider witness
practice: Teachers as a community of
In this paper, we describe how the outsider witness practice framework can support staff in educational settings to acknowledge preferred accounts of identity. We summarise the broader orientation to life, identity and relationships that inform narrative therapy as a context for locating outsider witness practice. We then describe the outsider witness practice framework and scaffold in some detail and illustrate this with an example of a piece of therapeutic work with a young man. Sarah Walther & Hugh Fox
Moving Things to Independent Life The influence of Narrative Therapy on working with a woman affected by learning disabilities Amanda Hilton
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