Narrative-Invitational Approaches to Working with  Violence and Abuse

Sonja Bar-Am, Terry Callahan, Mark Byrne

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. June 23 - 25, 2021

9:30 am - 4:30 pm each day


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. 

We explore 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 three 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.