The results of a pilot examination of the use of narrative therapy with individuals diagnosed with PTSD was released recently and the findings are quite promising. In this study 14 veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD (11 treatment completers) completed structured diagnostic interviews and self-report assessments of symptoms prior to and following 11 to 12 sessions of narrative therapy. After treatment, 3 of 11 treatment completers no longer met criteria for PTSD and 7 of 11 had clinically significant decreases in PTSD symptoms as measured by the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. Pre- to posttreatment effect sizes on outcomes ranged from 0.57 to 0.88. These preliminary results, in conjunction with low rates of treatment dropout (21.4%) and a high level of reported satisfaction with the treatment, suggest that further study of narrative therapy is warranted as a potential alternative to existing treatments for PTSD. Participants in the present study had refused well-established empirically supported treatments for PTSD prior to enrolling suggests that narrative therapy may, if it is shown to have efficacy in more extensive trials, provide an alternative treatment for those who struggle to engage in current state-of-the-science treatments. More information about the pilot study can be found HERE.
If you are interested in learning more about narrative therapy and/or would like to attend trainings please contact CFI.
A couple of weekends ago I had the privilege in participating in a 2 day event as part of Mexico City based artist's Pedro Reyes exhibition The People's United Nations at the Hammer Museum. For the two days I facilitated what Pedro called "Foreign Affairs Therapy," where two delegates representing nations that share historical connections yet have spent much of their past in the turmoil of conflict, where invited to join in a kind of couples therapy trying to work together to improve communication, understanding, and looking for ways to rebuild and strengthen partnership. It was a transformational experience for me. I had the privilege of working with people representing countries like Israel & Palestine, Armenia & Turkey, and USA & Mexico to name a few. The conversations that happened were powerful and rich. I am still digesting it all and imagine I will for some time. Some pics from the weekend follow:
If you happen to be traveling through John Wayne Airport over the next few months please take a look at the show I curated titled Hidden Treasures: Art from the Permanent Collections of Orange County Colleges and Universities. The Daily Pilot wrote about the show and included some images of works that were included.
Wanted to let you know about a project that you might find interesting that combines two of my passions, art & narrative therapy..
I will be participating in a 2 day event as part of Mexico City based artist's Pedro Reyes exhibition titled The People's United Nations at the Hammer Museum. Throughout the two days I will be doing "Foreign Affairs Therapy," which invites two delegates representing nations that share historical connections yet have spent much of their past in the turmoil of conflict, to join in a kind of couples therapy trying to work together to improve communication, understanding, and looking for ways to rebuild and strengthen partnership.
pUN is an exhibition as well as a two-day gathering on May 2nd and 3rd, that brings together everyday citizens connected by birth or family ties to the 195 member and observer nations of the UN. Reyes’s hypothesis is that conflict-resolution techniques used in social psychology, theater, and art can help solve the world’s most challenging problems, from climate change, to fair wages for women, to food shortages.
Throughout the weekend the public will be able to participate in tours that will leave on the hour and will be able to observe the sessions. For more info please click on the exhibition link.
Yesterday I had the chance to attend not one, but two workshops facilitated by Julie Tilsen at San Diego State University. The first one was on Feedback Informed Treatment which I plan to implement at the California Family Institute. I believe FIT provides a path for those that want to work narratively/collaboratively in a world that is requiring the use of words like evidence based practice. The second workshop was on Working With Queer Youth and was held at SD State's community clinic. It was a great time and I had the opportunity to have dinner with Julie and Gerald afterword which was an education in itself. Great conversations. A pic of Gerald and Julie follows:
"Let us get back to the idea that philosophy is an acultural assumption. That fascinates me! Why would we believe that the discussions of Plato and Kierkegaard and Aristotle are acultural? And even worse than that, we believe without even thinking that what they had to say actually applied to us!" - Manulani Aluli Meyer
“It is time for us to move beyond confining parameters of what qualifies as knowledge. When we refuse to consider the value of knowledge that is rooted in the body, in the psyche, in paralogical experience, we fail to challenge colonialist, post-Renaissance, Euro-Western conceptions of reality. We need to move beyond the facile dichotomy of “essentialism” and “constructionism” to embrace other theoretical paradigms inclusive of embodied and in-spirited knowledge.”
Hello Friends! I will be doing the 3rd (and final) meditation workshop this Friday night for Coastline Community College Art Gallery. Learn to meditate in an art gallery! And It's Free! On Friday Nov. 14th from 7pm to 8pm Come learn to meditate in Coastline's beautiful new space. We will cover the benefits of a meditation practice, how to get started, resources and will finish with a period of silent meditation. Hope to see you there and please tell your stressed out friends!
Analouise Keating who is a big influence on the direction of my work has announced a new book series that she will edit. This new book series, focused on post-oppositional transformation: NEW VISIONS in Womanism, Feminism, & Indigeneity, will be accepting book-length manuscripts or book proposals. Looking forward to this series!
This past week I had the privilege of Presenting at the Diversity IN Leadership Conference held at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, CA. My presentation was titled Conflict Coaching in the Workplace: Shifting Culture Bound Conflict Through Narrative Mediation. The purpose of the conference was to provide an educational experience on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in leadership, while offering the latest tools for practical implementation. It was a great conference and I look forward to next year. Some pictures from my presentation follow:
With Dr. Helen Easterling Williams. Dean of Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education & Psychology.
A Sequential Analysis of Externalizing in NarrativeTherapy with Children:
Externalizing, or separating the person from his/her problem-saturated story, is a central approach in narrative therapy. Michael White, one of the therapy’s founders, lately revised his map of the externalizing process in therapy according to Vygotskian theory. In this study we sought to determine whether White’s proposed process was evident in therapy sessions. Sequential analysis indicated that therapists scaffolded children’sresponses according to White’s map, and therapists’ and children’s utterances tended toadvance across the levels of the map over the course of a session, indicating that White’s model of narrative therapy matched the therapy’s empirical process.
"What’s your story? It's all in the telling. Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice. To love someone is to put yourself in their place, we say, which is to put yourself in their story, or figure out how to tell yourself their story." - Rebecca Solnit
“While we do not presume a simplistic causal relationship between anthropocentrism and the myriad crises impacting our planet, we believe that its narrow humanism and restrictive definitions of the human have played significant roles in shaping these crises. We need new definitions of the human, new subjectivities, and new epistemologies. In short, we need new worldviews. Rosi Braidotti makes a similar point: “[W]e need to devise new social, ethical, and discursive schemes of subject formation to match the profound transformations we are undergoing. That means we need to learn to think differently about ourselves[,] … . to think critically and creatively about who and what we are actually becoming.”3 Like Braidotti, we call for the development of “alternative schemes of thought, knowledge, and self-representation." And so, in this article, we explore the possibilities of shifting from anthropocentrism into less centralized, more expansive and interconnected worldviews in which the human is neither exceptionalized nor excluded.”
Decentring the Human? Towards a Post-Anthropocentric Standpoint Theory AnaLouise Keating, Kimberly C. Merenda*