Workshop presented to the Trondheim Family Therapy Office Presented by Elize Morkel and Helen Malgas 1 & 3 May 2019

Elize Morkel is a psychologist in private practice in Somerset West. Narrative therapy has become a focus of study in the early 1990’s and since 1999 Elize has been offering training and supervision to colleagues and masters students from various disciplines working in a diversity of contexts. Over the years she has invited trainers from overseas and organised workshops for them. In her doctoral dissertation in Practical Theology she reflects on narrative therapy as a transformative participatory praxis for the South African context
  Helen Malgas is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice in Plumstead, Cape Town.  She is also employed as an independent contractor to the City of Cape Town Health Department where she facilitates groups for nurses and social workers employed at various primary healthcare facilities throughout Cape Town.  Previously Helen worked as student counsellor at the University of Cape Town and as HIV/AIDS Counsellor at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Health Clinic.  Helen has found her “therapeutic home” in Narrative Therapy and is an active member of the Narrative Therapy community in Cape Town. She remains committed to growing her skills as a narrative practitioner and to finding creative ways of sharing her expertise with others in her community.Helen is currently studying towards her Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of Free State.

In this two day workshop Elize and Helen will look at issues of social justice and how it impacts the work that we do in under-resourced communities in South Africa. We will reflect on the impact of economic inequality and discuss and illustrate community ways of working where resources are limited and individual therapeutic work is not cost effective.  We will also look at the impact of trauma and discuss and illustrate ways in which to address trauma which is so prevalent in communities that struggle with issues of poverty. Narrative practices provide useful lenses and practices which will be discussed, illustrated and practiced during the workshop


Content that will be included in the two day workshop

  • A brief summary of historic and post-apartheid South Africa with emphasis on local mental health provision
  • Typology of witnessing developed by Kaethe Weingarten will be introduced and used by Helen and Elize to share their stories as South Africans living on opposite sides of the racial divide
  • Social justice, restitution and social capital
  • A participatory therapeutic practice as described by Elize in her PhD
  • Narrative Therapy practices that support work in under-resourced communities
  • Reasonable hope as discussed by Kaethe Weingarten will be introduced and illustrated
  • Complex trauma work as described by Michael Guilfoyle
  • Outsider witness work
  • De-briefing and self-care for practitioners