Narrative Practice (NP) is an approach that uses narrative means to enable participants to reconstruct dominant plots of their life stories, it assists participants to explore their resources and strengths to face their challenges. In counselling and psychotherapy, the use of narrative means began in the 1980s, and NP was mainly referred as “Narrative Therapy” (NT). As this approach has increasingly covered a wider range of application contexts, the term Narrative Practice and Narrative Therapy refer to different emphases, and they are also used interchangeably. Michael White has been widely accepted to be the key founder of NP, he organized related techniques into some “conversation maps” in a 2007 publication (White, 2007), and these maps serve as important guidelines to NP. Michael White has denoted an inclusive orientation in this book, welcome further innovations, and chose to use the term Narrative Practice (rather than Narrative Therapy) in the book title. As NP has been gaining more recognition as a counselling approach, stakeholders worldwide have developed more techniques to enrich its contents and widen its applications. For example, Duvall and Béres (2011) have proposed a three-act play framework guiding practitioners to facilitate therapeutic changes, they have seen that such a framework is in line with the scaffolding framework mentioned in White (2007). NP has been applied not only in psychotherapy and counselling settings, but also in interview, group discussion, and community education (Chan, Au-yeung, Chiu, Tsang, & Tsui, 2020, in press; Chan, Ngai, & Wong, 2012). Furthermore, there are organizations worldwide promoting the use of NP; they provide trainings and organize conferences, facilitating a continual development of its theory and practice.
Besley, A. C. (2002). Foucault and the turn to narrative therapy. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 30, 125–125–143.
This paper briefly outlines some features of narrative therapy, examines the Foucauldian themes in White and Epston's theory, and explores narrative therapy's poststructuralist challenge to humanist assumptions in 'therapy culture'. CITATION
Chan, C. et al. (2012). Using Photographs in Narrative Therapy to Externalize the Problem: A Substance Abuse Case. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 31(2), 1–20.
Using a substance abuse case in a hospital in Hong Kong, this article discusses the potential of using photographs to externalize the problem in Narrative Therapy (NT). One of the key principles underlying NT techniques is externalizing. The key observations were that: (i) the proportion of higher-level distancing utterances increased with the progression of the consultation, in line with the intended process of NT; (ii) among the client's utterances reflecting distancing tasks, most of them were associated with the photographs selected by the client; (iii) the consultation dialogues intended to induce distancing tasks were facilitated by the use of photographs. The use of photographs in NT opens up possibilities for future research and practice. CITATION
Chan, C. et al. (2020). Indicators for assessing intervention fidelity of narrative practice: A heuristic review of the concept of scaffolding in White (2007). Journal of Systemic Therapies, 39, 77–90.
Narrative practice (NP) is a psychotherapy approach that helps people identify subordinated storylines and reimagine their lives. The concept of intervention
fidelity (IF) refers to the extent to which an intervention is implemented as planned, and it is an essential component in rigorous intervention research.
However, it is challenging to assess IF in NP, because NP cannot be simply seen as standardized procedures. This study used the idea of scaffolding suggested in White (2007) to analyze White’s conversations and develop a method assessing whether his conversations adhered to his stated principles. Results revealed potential indicators, such as progression, synchrony, and proportion of conversation utterances. These indicators are far from comprehensive and they do not represent any absolute standards. Nonetheless, they open the discussion about how we can rationalize intervention fidelity in NP. CITATION
Chan, C. & Au-Yeung, H. (2020). When narrative practice suddenly goes online due to COVID-19…. Qualitative Social Work.
This article is a reflective consolidation of our practice experience in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 period, in which social work educators and practitioners needed to work online in a prolonged period of social distancing. It illustrates in what ways online practices may denote emerging knowledge and skills that are worth further discussion. These reflections have been consolidated as four knowledge/skill domains in our afterthoughts: i) Context, ii) Conversation, iii) Communication-Modality, and iv) Circulation. These insights may inspire social work educators and practitioners to comprehend the
potential of media technologies more fully. CITATION
Riessman, C. K. & Quinney, L. (2005). Narrative in social work: A critical review. Qualitative Social Work, 4(4), 391–412.
This study examines how the concept of narrative has entered social work over the past 15 years, with special emphasis on research applications. The article also reviews definitions of narrative, criteria for ‘good’ enough narrative research, and patterns in social work journals.
Roscoe, K. D. et al. (2011). Narrative social work: Conversations between theory and practice. Journal of Social Work Practice, 25(1), 47–61.
This paper begins by reviewing the current situation in social work practice. It is contended that much of the literature around social work consists of diverse models of practice that urge social workers to take up various theoretical positions. Equally, social workers are often encouraged to listen to the views of service users. In this complexity, it is often difficult for social workers to know which approach to take. This paper goes on to propose a narrative-based approach to social work practice. Narrative social work is defined as a conversation between theory and practice, which can lead to development in both social workers and service users. An example from the lead author's practice is used to outline the model in action. The paper concludes with some comments about the values inherent in narrative based social work. CITATION
Vodde, R. & Gallant, J. P. (2002). Bridging the gap between micro and macro practice: Large scale change and a unified model of narrative-deconstructive practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 38(3), 439–458.
This article provides a conceptual base for understanding this model, highlight those socio-political elements of the model that integrate clinical practice with social change, present examples, and discuss implications for social work education. CITATION
Baldwin, C. (2013). Narrative social work
Theory and application. Bristol University Press.
This book extends the narrative lens to explore the contribution of narrative to social work values and ethics, social policy and our understanding of the self in social, cultural and political context. CITATION
Duvall, J. & Béres, L. (2011). Innovations in narrative therapy: Connecting practice, training, and research. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
This book presents a compelling evidence base for narrative therapy. The authors see that stories are organized units of experience, evolving from a universal story form containing a beginning, middle, and ending. They propose a three-act play framework guiding practitioners to facilitate therapeutic changes, they see that such a framework is in line with the scaffolding framework mentioned in White (2007). CITATION
Freeman, E. M. (2011). Narrative approaches in social work practice: A life span, culturally centered, strengths perspective. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher Ltd.
The purpose of this book is to explain the process in which individuals tell and retell their narratives, especially during developmental and other transitions in order to create meaning and continuity in their lives. The other goal is to clarify the nature and types of narratives that emerge in people's natural environments during such transitions and during counseling sessions with social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, nurses, and other service providers. Further, it also describes practical narratives and approaches and includes relevant case examples to illustrate how those approaches have been applied effectively in social work and other helping professions. CITATION
Payne, M. (2000). Narrative therapy: An introduction for counsellors. London: SAGE Publications.
This book introduces developments initiated by Michael White and David Epston, and other therapists worldwide. CITATION
White, M. (2007). Maps of narrative practice. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Maps of Narrative Practice lays out the six main areas of narrative practice--(1) externalizing conversations, (2) re-authoring conversations, (3) re-membering conversations, (4) definitional ceremonies, (5) unique outcome conversations, and (6) scaffolding conversations--explaining how to employ them in clinical practice, and exploring the practical implications for therapeutic growth of each one. CITATION