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Narrative-Invitational Approaches to Working with  Violence and Abuse

Terry Callahan, Mark Byrne

2022 TBC

9:30 am - 4:30 pm each day

Drawing inspiration from the work of Alan Jenkins and Michael White, this workshop opens space for Counsellors, Therapists, Social and Community workers to reflect and practice ethical and accountable ways of working with instigators of abuse and violence to reduce violence and harm in communities. 

We explore the scaffolding of respectful interviewing that provides the conditions for facing-up and being accountable to often shameful acts towards partners and children. Important topics over these three days include:

  • first conversations to map out a therapeutic journey of responsibility and accountability to people who have been hurt. 

  • invitations to a client to 'tell it like it is' rather than to disguise what happened

  • developing skills to respectfully interrupt to counter stories of blame, justification or denial

  • bringing forward non-violent hopes and ethics as parents and partners to becoming respectful, thus exposing contradictions between what instigators of abuse say to what they do

  • responding to shame (and avoid 'shaming')

  • understanding control, violence and abuse and to invite clients to consider non-violent ways of responding and establishing respectful and safe relationships

  • '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

  • listening to stories of survivors of abuse to understand the grave impact on their lives and the lives of children.

Refer also to 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.

Note: Problem with language: this method has been termed Invitational Narrative, we prefer Narrative-Invitational as this process draws on two distinct sets of practices: Narrative Therapy & Invitational Practices toward Ethics.

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