Narrative-Invitational Approaches to Working with Men who use Violence

Thursday & Friday

September 17 & 18, 2020

9.30am - 4.30pm

Mark Byrne, Sonja Baram &

Terry Callahan

Due to demand, we are now accepting concurrent ZOOM participants to this lively session. An enthralling two-day workshop, exploring ideas and skills for ethical and accountable practices with men who use violence and abuse. A newly emerging and researched initiative in the prevention of violence.


Our innovative facilitation intends to give to both physically-present participants and Zoom participants an immersive experience. We will hold the event in a purpose training room with attention to small group work, group discussion and Live Video capture for Zoom participants, with attention also to chat discussions and questions. Places are limited.


Drawing inspiration from the work of Alan Jenkins and Michael White, this workshop opens space for reflection and practice around ethical and accountable ways of working with men who abuse.  It explores the scaffolding of respectful collaboration with a man that provides the conditions for a man to begin to face up to often shameful acts towards his partner and children. Important topics over these two days include:

  • first conversations with a man to map out a journey of responsibility

  • invitations to a man to 'tell it like it is'

  • developing the skill of 'respectful interruption' of stories of blame, justification or denial

  • bringing forward a man's hopes and ethics as a father and partner

  • responding to shame (and avoiding 'shaming')

  • contact with a man's partner and children

  • searching for exceptions to control, violence or abuse, where a man has acted in accordance with his ethics

  • unfolding dominant discourses of masculinity which support violence and abuse towards women and others

  • 're-membering' practices where men's history of witnessing other significant men's ways of respect and non-violence can be more richly described

  • invitations to men to consider acts of reparation

Sonja, Terry & Mark participated in recent ANROWS (Australia's National Research Office for Women's Safety) research, available for downloading: Engaging men who use violence: Invitational Narrative Approaches .

We welcome practitioners from a wide range of settings from health and mental health to correctional services, child protection services through to academic and social policy. This workshop will also invite participants to reflect on their own parallel ethical and political journeys in working with men who abuse.

Cost $285


Mark Byrne is a counsellor providing therapeutic engagement to both;

  • support people and address the effects of violence/abuse, including childhood sexual abuse, and

  • to support people to stop their practices of violence.

Mark is informed by approaches of Narrative Therapy and by the Invitational Approach developed by Alan Jenkins. Mark works in Uniting Communities across the Specialised Family Violence Service, the Child Sexual Abuse Service, and at Aboriginal Community Connect - supporting people impacted by the nexus of violence, abuse and alcohol/drug use. This work has led Mark to explore social and political perspective on relations of violence and to explore his own professional/personal relationship to power and lesser questioned forms of violence.

 Sonja Baram is an experienced family therapist residing in Adelaide. She has been learning, practicing and teaching about how to have conversations with people in a wide variety of settings and in ways that can be most helpful to them in their lives. She notices how conversations that are guided by Narrative and Invitational therapy can undermine harmful problems and their effects. Sonja is Family and Relationship counsellor with the non-government agency Uniting Communities, which provides Specialised Family Violence Counselling and Counselling around Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault survivors. She has authored several papers in the field and is on the Editorial board of the Australian and New Zealand Family Therapy Journal.

Terry Callahan has been deepening his understandings and practices of Narrative therapy for nearly twenty years. He continues to be delighted and extended by the possibilities for rich story development with individuals, couples and groups who share their lives with him. He has taught at universities, and government and non-government agencies over the last six years. He currently practises with a brilliant and rigorous team at Uniting Communities in Adelaide, who support those addressing family and relationship predicaments, violence, and childhood sexual abuse. He also provides counselling, teaching and consultancy through Adelaide Narrative Counselling and Teaching.

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