Full Programme




08h00 – 09h00   Registration
09h00 – 10h00     Plenary    Generating hope and possibilities in South Africa     Presenter:   Elize Morkel
10h10 – 11h00 Session 1 1A Linda Price

Equitable conflict mediation in the context of inequity

1B Fran Tong

Reflecting on current theories and practices of bereavement support:  Co-creating opportunities to re-story people’s preferred experiences of loss.

1C Janet Bytheway

Holding a complex family dynamic using letter writing for case management

1D  Jean-Pierre Hartmann

Events become meaningful – but how and according to whom?
11h00 – 11h30 Tea
11h30 – 12h30Plenary    A New-Ro-Narrative Therapy: An Overview with a Focus on Preferred Identities and New Narratives                  

Presenter: Jeff Zimmerman

12h40 – 13h30 Session 2 2A Barbara Gerber

Enriching narrative therapy with mindfulness:  Privileging the body and breath

2B Kim Barker

Supporting the healing journeys of those who have experienced sexual violence: What I have learnt from ‘survivors’

2C Kim Van der Hoven & Linda Van Duuren

What role can schools play in the shaping and remaking of a new society?

2D Nicole Dickson

Creating a ‘narrative of care’ for the work of pastoral communities

13h30 – 14h30 Lunch
14h30 – 15h20 Session 3 3A Michael Guilfoyle

Storying un-storied experience in therapeutic practice

3B Bettie Rall

Chitter-chatter and the mysterious force: A case study

3C Thérèse Hulme & Linda Van Duuren

Active witnessing in organisational settings

3D Vigdis Eriksen

Working with a genogram in narrative therapy

15h30 – 16h30Plenary    Relational Mediation: Creating a readiness for separation when working with highly conflicted couples
Presenter:  Stephen Madigan


09h00 – 10h00  Plenary    Narratives from the therapeutic journey of two psychologists  Presenters:  Helen Malgas & Jennifer Githaiga
10h10 – 11h00 Session 4 4A Jenny Dunkley

A collaborative approach to working with parents and adolescents

4B Deon Binnemann

Prisoners of patriarchy:  working with men in relationships

4C Dirk Odendaal

A movement towards language

4D Johann Van Greunen

Rainbow Nation? Community work in diverse South African contexts: Challenges and opportunities for narrative practice.

11h00 – 11h30 Tea
11h30 – 12h20 Session 5 5A Judy Rankin

I am not sure if I am a REAL Narrative Therapist?

5B Jeanne Hailey & Phelo  Muyanga

A generation for change: The Voice Club learners’ campaign against violence and weapons in their school and the surrounding community of Cato Crest in KZN

5C Nicki Spies

Appreciative inquiry as vehicle to generate alternative stories and unique outcomes within a mining context

5D Faith Sijula

Challenging perfectionism:  A frozen flower starts growing

12h30 – 13h20 Session 6  6A Chené Swart

Narrative practices in coaching and consultation:  For leadership, community and workplace contexts

6B Elizabeth Scrimgeour & Sverre Jor

What is narrative therapy, and how is it helpful in totally different contexts

6C Mike Witney

Using metaphor and narrative ideas in trauma and family therapy

6D Doreen Hofmeyr

Narrative practices open up possibilities in career counselling.

13h20 – 14h20 Lunch
14h20 – 15h10 Session 7 7A Marietjie van Loggerenberg

Gay marriages and the Dutch Reformed Church: religious freedom or unfair discrimination?

7B Cheryl Wright

A narrative therapeutic journey from hooks to roses: Rescuing children’s stories to shape their preferred identities.

7C Mark Connelly

Narrative therapy as a therapy of appreciation.

7D Manie Engelbrecht

Different conversation with maximum sentenced offenders

15h20 – 16h30Plenary    Addressing Sexuality and Gender in narrative Therapy Conferences    Presenter:  David Nylund



Description of parallel sessions

Supporting the healing journeys of those who have experienced sexual violence: what I have learnt from “survivors”, presented by Kim Barker

Sexual violence is a profound and complex problem, both in South Africa and globally. The statistics translate into vast numbers of women, men and children who have been subject to rape and sexual violation. The multiple taboos and silences around sexual violence, together with a lack of services, mean that only a small percentage of those affected will receive any psychosocial support. I am therefore interested in developing alternative collective practices which can reach this ‘hidden population’ and offer support for their ongoing healing journeys. In this presentation I share what I have learnt about this from ‘survivors’ of sexual violence in the course of research and therapy.

About Kim Barker

Kim is a Narrative Pastoral Therapist who prefers working collaboratively in collective spaces. For the past three years she has been involved in doctoral research looking at the role of public protest and collective action in recovery from sexual violence.

Prisoners of Patriarchy: Working with men in relationships, presented by Deon Binneman

South Africa is a deeply divided and violent patriarchal society. Our oppressive and violent past has deeply scarred our nation deeply. Although conversations that address the effects of patriarchy are difficult, they need to be pursued.  But social discourses – like patriarchy – have the power to silence certain voices.  How can these conversations be opened up in a therapeutic relationship?  How can men be assisted to deconstruct patriarchy – and its effects on their lives -and work towards constructing new identities that might better serve their relationships and partners?  These are the questions that I consider daily in my work with a wide variety of relationships.

About Deon Binneman

Deon is a Registered Counsellor working in private practice in Durbanville, Cape Town.  He first studied Theology at the University of Stellenbosch (BA, BTh); then continued his studies at the University of South Africa where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology.  After many years as a minister of religion, Deon started his second career as a counsellor in 2001.  Deon’s first contact with Narrative Therapy was in 1992 when he enrolled in a course at the University of the Free State.

Holding a complex family dynamic using letter writing for case management, presented by Janet Bytheway

Working with a child with a serious psychiatric illness can be challenging. In this presentation I will discuss how letter writing became both a case management and therapeutic tool in working with families where a child has been diagnosed with a serious psychiatric condition. I will discuss how writing letters to the multidisciplinary team and to the family became a form of re-telling the family’s story. This re-telling of the changes that have taken place enabled them to be witnessed more widely; contributed to a richer identity conclusion for the child and the family; and allowed for ongoing management and feedback.

About Janet Bytheway

Janet registered as a Clinical Psychologist in 1992. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of the Western Cape and did her internship at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital in Mitchells Plain. In 1995 she co-founded the Blaauwberg Therapy Centre, a multidisciplinary centre where professionals can work together as a team.
Janet, who is an accredited FAMAC mediator, has a special interest in working with families in distress. In 2006Janet founded the Kids Voices Project (formerly The Play Therapy Team). This community project trains volunteers to do therapeutic play with children who might not otherwise have easy access to therapeutic services.

Narrative Therapy as a therapy of appreciation, presented by Mark Connelly

Narrative Therapy and Appreciative Inquiry – both grounded in constructionist principles – emerged at similar times. Appreciative Inquiry evolved as an organisational development tool which emphasised the choice to focus on the positive – on what works – rather than on problem solving.  In this presentation I suggest that Appreciative Inquiry compliments Narrative Therapy practice and opens new possibilities for exploration.  I will focus particularly on two ways in which Appreciative Inquiry influences therapeutic practice: the choice to prioritise what gives life to clients when they are most effective and most capable; and the emphasis on the identity that is created in relationship and community.

About Mark Connelly

Mark practises as a Registered Counselling Psychologist in Cape Town. He was exposed to postmodern practices and Narrative Therapy during his Master’s degree at Rhodes University.  He learned about Appreciative Inquiry (AI) from Ken and Mary Gergen. Mark was instrumental in arranging the first Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators Training in Cape Town in 2006. Mark uses AI to facilitate change for groups and individuals. He is still practising to become a real Narrative Therapist.

Creating a ‘narrative of care’ for the work of pastoral communities, presented by Nicole Dickson

In this presentation I will describe how a local church community is creating a ‘narrative of care’.  Through the ongoing development of an experiential learning process that seeks to integrate Narrative ideas/practices with some insights of Practical Theology, a ‘narrative of care’ helps to support and make meaning of stories in a local South African context.
A ‘narrative of care’ provides a learning context for participants from diverse church communities and faiths to explore and deconstruct:
  • some discourses associated with Christian “counselling”
  • the common ground between Narrative ideas & the Gospel life of Jesus
  • ways to honour the “other”
  • the idea of meaningful conversation

About Nicole Dickson

Nicole, who is a staff member at Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni, oversees the newly-formed Institute for Creative Conversation.  The Institute fosters support and training in Narrative Pastoral Practices both at Northfield Church and in the wider community.
Nicole is passionate about Narrative Practices and the Pastoral Care concerns of the local congregation.  Nicole has a desire to broaden the ways in which these practices can be used to deepen personal growth; enhance spiritual capacity; and nurture the reconciliation of cultures, relationships and conversations in South Africa.

A collaborative approach to working with parents and adolescents, presented by Jenny Dunkley

The South African Children’s Act (2005) legalizes children’s right to participate in matters concerning them. This requires a fundamental shift in the way that parents and professionals engage with children: it puts children’s rights – specifically their right to a voice – under the spotlight.

Parenting literature has tended traditionally to privilege the views of parents and professionals. This has resulted in the marginalisation of children and adolescents. Inclusion of adolescent voices becomes feasible within an ethic of collaboration. This approach does not frame one generation as acting on the other, but affirms the value of inter-subjectivity and of shared meanings around which strategies and plans can form.
This presentation offers a Narrative and social constructionist framework for working with parents and adolescents – a framework that highlights the value of remaining in collaborative and hopeful positions.

About Jenny Dunkley
Jenny is a Psychologist in private practice in the Helderberg. She has a special interest in working with children, adolescents, young adults and families. Jenny, who has a PhD in Child Psychology, is passionate about education and the development of young people. She has a strong sense of community and her work is informed by Narrative Therapy and Narrative Practices. She is on the support team at many of the schools in the Helderberg basin. Jenny is driven by a strong desire to be a part of empowering young people to make a difference in their own lives.

Different conversation with maximum sentenced offenders, presented by Manie Engelbrecht

In this presentation I will share some of my discoveries as I explored the therapeutic challenges faced in my engagement with maximum sentenced offenders on our journey towards a meaningful therapeutic process. The client population consisted of inmates with severe criminal backgrounds and with a tendency to re-offend within the prison setting. Therapeutic intervention with this client demographic is typically compounded by severe resistance. I will share my personal narrative as I challenged pathogenic thinking by using a Narrative approach. This shaped my therapeutic engagement with a challenging group of clients usually referred to as: “very difficult; often impossible to treat; and these conditions usually have a bad prognosis.

About Manie Engelbrecht

Manie is a Clinical Psychologist practising at George Hospital where he is responsible for Psychological Services in the general hospital and in the Psychiatry Department. Manie recently relocated to the beautiful Garden Route from Bloemfontein, where he was employed as a Psychologist at Mangaung Correctional Centre, providing psychological services to maximum sentenced offenders. Manie, who is also a qualified Social Worker, was introduced to Narrative Therapy during his Social Work studies.

Working with a genogram in narrative therapy, presented by Vigdis Eriksen

In this presentation a live interview will be conducted with a person focusing on her/his family genogram. The interview will be based on circular questioning that demonstrates how we collaborate to identify the significant parts of the story. Parallel to the interview I will request participants to form a “reflecting team”. Our goal is to assess the outcome of the interview and search for the “stars” in the narrative.  What was it that touched or resonated with you? This interview method was created and developed by Professor Tom Andersen of Norway; the theoretical foundations were generated by Michael White of Australia.

About Vigdis Eriksen

Vigdis is employed as a Family Therapist and Sexologist at the Regional Family Counselling Agency in Stavanger, Norway.  Vigdis, aged 55, is married and has three adult children.She has visited South Africa seven times.  In 2011 Vigdis worked for three months as a volunteer in a day care centre at Drakenstein Palliative Hospice in Paarl, Western Cape.Vigdis connected with Dr Elize Morkel’s work when she attended her Narrative training in 2008. In 2011 she participated in a team under Elize’s supervision.

Enriching Narrative Therapy with Mindfulness – Privileging the body and breath, presented by Barbara Gerber

Beaudoin and Zimmerman (2011), drawing on recent developments in the field of neuroscience, extend an invitation to Narrative practitioners to place a greater emphasis on “affect-infused” experiences. My presentation will explore how incorporating aspects of Mindful practice in Narrative Therapy is one response to this invitation.  Both Narrative and Mindful approaches create a sense of space between a person and their difficulties in a non-pathologising way.  Narrative Therapy does so linguistically through conversation and meaning making. Mindfulness, with its initial focus on the body and breath, cultivates the ability to be present to life’s experiences in a non-verbal and sensory way. This embodied awareness and focus on the “felt sense” opens up possibilities for enriching Narrative practices which work at supporting preferred ways of being in the world.

About Barbara Gerber

Barbara, who is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice in East London, works with couples and those who experience anxiety, depression and stress related symptoms.  In addition to her private practice, for the past six years Barbara has facilitated the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme with medical practitioner, Dr Janine Kirby. In support of her work with Mindfulness Barbara is both a student and instructor of Tai Chi and Qi Kung. Prior to opening her practice she co-ordinated the Masters Programme for Counselling Psychologists at Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare, East London Campus.

Storying un-storied experience in therapeutic practice, presented by Michael Guilfoyle

If our lives and identities are constituted in narratives, what are we to make of experiences that seem to escape narration; experiences that have (apparently) eluded the forces of social construction that seek to capture us, and yet which still persist as powerful presences in our lives? And then, what might a practitioner do in such a situation? Occasionally in my therapeutic and community work I encounter persons who endure, or have endured, terrible experiences which they have been unable to story. Such experiences seem to be not only more common than I originally thought, but they can also – quite paradoxically – have powerful effects on people’s identities and lives.  This presentation draws on the ideas of Arthur Frank, Mikhail Bakhtin, and others to explore possible avenues for theory and practice.

About Michael Guilfoyle

Michael is a Clinical Psychologist, and a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of the Western Cape. Over the course of his career Michael has been fortunate enough to have the space to integrate his interests in therapeutic practice and academia. In particular, Michael’s work explores the fields of Narrative practice and post-structural thought. Michael’s book, The person in narrative therapy, was published in 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan. He has also written several journal articles and book chapters in these areas.

A generation for change: The Voice Club learners’ campaign against violence and weapons in their school and the surrounding community of Cato Crest in KwaZulu-Natal, presented by Jeanne Haley & Phelo Muyanga

This presentation focuses on a high school learners’ campaign. They committed themselves to earning back a good reputation for their school by making their school a weapon-free zone and a safe space for learning. This campaign resulted in the voice of the youth joining the agenda in constructive and creative ways concerning how to tackle problems of crime, weapons and gang-related activities in their school and community. This enabled these young people to begin to imagine themselves in more positive and creative ways: ways that value life and education as an alternative to violence.

About Jeanne Haley

Jeanne is a founding member and Director of Mpower, a KwaZulu-Natal based organisation working with vulnerable children and youth, with a particular focus on youth-headed households. Through individual and group workshops, Mpower collaborates with vulnerable children and youth to re-author their lives in ways that help to free them from the problem-saturated stories of their past and present and opens them to new possibilities. Jeanne has a Masters degree in Psychology (UKZN). Her focus areas are Narrative psychology, youth identities and community work. Jeanne has participated in Elize Morkel’s Narrative Therapy Intensive Workshop.

About Phelo Muyanga

Phelo Muyanga is Mpower’s Programme Co-ordinator. She has completed a BAdmin degree majoring in Human Resources. She draws her inspiration from seeing young people grow: developing the skills and the confidence they need to take advantage of opportunities. Phelo is a Narrative life coach and a skilled and experienced group facilitator. Phelo has attended a Narrative Therapy Intensive workshop with Elize Morkel and training in facilitation and group work with Jude Clark of the Narrative Foundation. She recently completed the Firelight training course for emerging community leaders in the Cape, for which she was selected to receive a full bursary.

Events become meaningful! – but how and according to whom? presented by Jean-Pierre Hartmann

Understanding “narrative” theory opens up more possibilities for Narrative Therapy practice. The work of Jerome Bruner shows itself in Narrative Therapy’s understanding of the two landscapes:  action (events over time); and meaning (how those events are interpreted). Any telling of a life’s events weaves between these two dimensions.  In this presentation I will unpack these two landscapes. Using photographs as metaphors of narrative, I will place the two landscapes under fresh scrutiny and hold them up to a close reading of Bruner’s Acts of Meaning and Actual minds possible worlds alongside Michael White’s reading of these texts.  This presentation will enable “positioning” and persons understanding/meaning of the “telling” to come to the fore.

About Jean-Pierre Hartmann

Jean-Pierre is a passionate and inspired Psychology student who has been engaged  with Narrative Practice for the past four years. He has an acute interest in post structural philosophy, especially Foucault’s idea of discourse and its implications for power relations and agency.

Narrative practices open up possibilities in career counselling, presented by Doreen Hofmeyr

In this presentation I will discuss and illustrate the shifts that Narrative Therapy brought to the way in which I approached both my clients and the information I obtained through psychometric testing during career counselling sessions. I relinquished the expert position and joined the client in a collaborative exploration of possibilities beyond the stereotypical expectations. This shift opens up space for the client to become the agent who crafts his or her own career dreams. The outcomes often surprise and delight far beyond expectations.

About Doreen Hofmeyr

Doreen is a Counselling Psychologist in independent practice. She specializes in Career and Subject Counselling for learners, students and adults.  In the past ten years Doreen’s exposure to Narrative Therapy has impacted her life and influenced her work significantly.

Active Witnessing in organisational settings, presented by Thérèse Hulme and Linda van Duuren

In this presentation we will be looking at Active Witnessing as a Narrative Practice in relation to Self, to Conflict and to the Other, through examples of our work in chools, NPO settings and Industry.

Some of the questions we will be exploring include:

  • What do we mean by Active Witnessing?
  • How do we create appropriate contexts for Active Witnessing to take place?
  • How do we consider and reconsider the complex set of processes put in motion when working in contexts of conflict, despair and/or lack of trust?
  • How can Active Witnessing generate possibilities for voice and visibility – also beyond the room and into the greater community?

About Thérèse Hulme and Linda van Duuren

Thérèse and Linda founded The Cape Town Narrative Co-op in April 2013.   They have both dedicated a large part of their Narrative careers to teaching Narrative ideas and practices to people working in communities such as NPOs, schools and youth care facilities. Their Narrative Co-op training aims to bring Narrative Therapy ideas into everyday life.
Thérèse and Linda are particularly interested in supporting and strengthening the spirit of possibility in the daily practices of people who, through their involvement in communities (as above), hope to have a therapeutic effect on the lives of others. Their workshops are designed specifically for lay-counsellors: people who have not had training in professional therapeutic disciplines.

A movement towards language, presented by Dirk Odendaal

My presentation will reflect on the “movement to language” that has taken place in recent years and on how the awareness of language can enhance the therapeutic process.  This “movement” has a history: it started taking place at the beginning of the twentieth century and is still continuing.  This “movement” has also led to the development of the language focussed (narrative) paradigm in the discipline of Psychology, specifically Narrative Therapy, Collaborative Therapy, Discourse Therapy and similar therapeutic interventions.  Reflexivity, as tool of research and intervention, also made an important contribution.  My focus will be on the contribution which the awareness of language in the Narrative metaphor makes to the therapeutic process.

About Dirk Odendaal

Dirk was born in Indwe and lived as teenager in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.  He studied for the ministry at Stellenbosch University. Dirk has worked in the DRCA, Qumrha (1983 – 1988) and in the URCSA, Mdantsane (1988 – present).  He completed a DLitt at UPE in 1991 and an MA in Counselling Psychology at Rhodes University in 2005. Dirk is now registered and practising as Psychologist. In 2010 Dirk began lecturing part time in the Department of Psychology at Fort Hare University, East London campus and was appointed as full time Associate-Professor from 2012.

Equitable conflict mediation in the context of inequity, presented by Linda Price

Approaches to conflict mediation in the field of labour relations typically position the mediator as a neutral agent.  This “outsider-neutral” perspective locates the mediator beyond the conflict situation with no connection to either party.  In this presentation I suggest that equitable outcomes are difficult to achieve through impartial processes alone. A neutral stance might mask the intrusion of the mediator’s own values and entrench existing power disparities between parties to the dispute.  As relationships are central to the mediation process (Ingerson, De Tienne and Liljenquist, 2015), mediators must be aware of how they respond to the beliefs and values of parties.  In this presentation I will show how mediators cannot stand apart from their own history and cultural context.

About Linda Price

Linda is a Registered Organisational Psychologist and runs an independent practice working with conflict, career and diversity issues. Supervision is central to her work. Linda has run practice development processes since 2010 titled The Practice Diaries.  She is also a conflict mediator and part-time CCMA commissioner.  Linda has taught at UKZN and UCT in Narrative psychology; career development; quality/ meaning of working life; organisational development; conflict management and professional development.

Chitter-chatter and the mysterious force: a case study, presented by Bettie Rall

Many of the young people who consult me experience how social narratives and cultural knowledges persuade them into a sense of being a failure in life. Their experiences of lacking the skills to live up to expected standards leave them feeling helpless. In this presentation I show how a young boy found relational externalization done in a playful way useful to investigate the cultural forces that were shaping his identity. By focussing on insider-knowledges he was able to re-author a preferred identity that opened up many new possibilities for his life.

I will illustrate this presentation with examples of the sand-tray activity, the therapeutic letters and the metaphors that I used during our collaboration.

About Bettie Rall

Bettie is an experienced Counselling Psychologist in independent practice at Cape Gate, Cape Town. She did her Masters training at the University of the Free State and was introduced to Narrative Therapy by Elmarie Kotze in 1993.

I am not sure if I am a REAL Narrative Therapist? Presented by Judy Rankin

After nearly forty years of walking an ever winding professional path, how do I answer this question? My path has been a rich tapestry and, aged 64, I still feel the excitement about the rich colours, textures and threads which are yet to be woven. I know that there is a strong frame which holds and guides all my work to connect, to create and to collaborate.

In this presentation I will explore some of the mentors who contributed to my ideas and ways of being with people. At present I am a somewhat disillusioned “teacher” of psychologists in a university setting. I will share the experiences I have had with the interweaving of archetypal stories (Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes); the powerful use of metaphor (narrative art therapy); and “the gifts of darkness” (Thomas Moore, James Hillman) into the creation of new narratives and possibilities in the lives of others.

About Judy Rankin

Judy is a Psychologist who has achieved recognition both nationally and internationally as a Narrative and collaborative therapist and trainer. She has trained and supervised psychologists within university settings for twenty years as well as counsellors within various community contexts. These include teachers, nurses, social workers, AIDS counsellors and peer counsellors. Judy teaches and trains nationally and internationally as well as publishing and presenting her unique ideas at national and international conferences.

What is Narrative Therapy?  How is it helpful in totally different contexts? Presented by Elizabeth Scrimgeour & Sverre Jor

This conversation, between Elizabeth Scrimgeour and Sverre Jor, is a celebration of the meeting of minds which started ten years ago in Paarl, South Africa. The conversation started when a group of therapists from Trondheim, Norway – who were part of narrative therapy training with Elize Morkel – accompanied the Drakenstein Palliative Hospice team on community home visits. This was just after anti-retroviral medication was rolled out in South Africa, uncovering in its wake the complexities of not only “dying from” – but also “living with” – a life threatening illness.

Desmond Tutu said: “To be, is to participate.” Paraphrasing Kaethe Weingarten, Elizabeth said: “If you know, then you have to do… our work is too hard, too difficult, to do alone.”In this conversation Elizabeth and Sverre will investigate how Narrative Therapy can be helpful as a way of living and acting across different society’s borders.

About Elizabeth Scrimgeour

Elizabeth is a palliative professional nurse. She has an MTh specialising in Narrative Therapy and, for the past eleven years, has been the CEO of Drakenstein Palliative Hospice.  Elizabeth’s passion is living justice, ethics and community transformation.  This passion has led to the establishment of three Butterfly House Palliative Community Resource Centres in Paarl.

About Sverre Jor

Sverre, one of the Norwegian therapists who visited the Drakenstein Palliative Hospice ten years ago, has worked as a couple therapist in Familievernkontoret I Sør Trøndelag since 2002. During this time he has also worked with couples, offering courses for parents with disabled children in Norway. Sverre’s background is working with youngsters at risk, and pre-school children.

Challenging Perfectionism:  a frozen flower starts growing, presented by Faith Sijula

In this presentation I will show how my attendance of a one week intensive workshop in Narrative Therapy opened up delightful possibilities for my therapeutic journey with a university student who was paralysed by Perfectionism and Self-doubt.  I used externalizing conversations and supported these with therapeutic documents to undermine the stories of negative comparison; fear of not being loved; high standards; competitiveness; and performance pressure.  The story of a frozen flower served as metaphor for my client’s life and encouraged her to turn from the shadow towards the sun where she was able to blossom and acknowledge her talents, achievements and valuable relationships.

About Faith Sijula

Faith is an Educational Psychologist working with diverse populations in diverse settings. Faith thrives on challenge and is passionate about working with people, especially youth, and making a difference in their lives. She believes that although we all have skills to change our stories from being problem saturated, sometimes we just need be led in the right direction to see the unique outcomes.

Appreciative Inquiry as vehicle to generate alternative stories and unique outcomes within a mining context, presented by Nicki Spies

I approached my recent work within a mining context from a strength paradigm by means of Appreciative Inquiry. It included facilitating training workshops, which were succeeded with individual and team coaching sessions. This stance, embedded in appreciative curiosity, invited new ways of understanding, participating and narrating within mining work teams, especially in terms of intra gender relationships. It moved team members from being voiceless “docile bodies” (Foucault) to participating, engaging and accountable team members. It created agency and enabled individual team members and teams alike, to reflect on their engagement with self and others. It galvanised new ways of being, seeing and doing that embodied respect and appreciation for self and for others. It remedied and rectified disrespectful practices and restored and inspired positions of being aware, empowered and accountable in individual, communal and work spheres.

About Nicki Spies

Nicki is a Narrative practitioner, whose skills as a therapist, gender discourse analyst, facilitator and trainer are applied in private practice as well as in corporate work. Her facilitation in group training and corporate coaching is known by an interactive and participatory approach. Curiosity and awareness of power relations, coupled with her deep appreciation for context and local knowledges, frame Nicki’s highly effective style.

Nicki has a BA (Hon) in Counselling Psychology from Stellenbosch University and a MTh and DTh from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her book on gender and sexuality discourses within South African context was published in 2011. She has since co-authored a second book and several magazine articles.

Narrative Practices in Coaching and Consultation: for leadership, community and workplace contexts, presented by Chené Swart

In the past ten years narrative practices have grown beyond therapeutic contexts into the world of communities and workplaces.

Narrative coaching and consultation is the process where alternative preferred narratives are co-constructed with coachees and clients. The Narrative approach to consulting and coaching creates the space where the client can show up as resourceful, imaginative and knowledgeable. This workshop will enable you to take Narrative ideas into your work as a coach, consultant or leader on team and individual level. The interactive learning space will create the space for participants to experience the work whilst learning about it. We will work with the practices, skills, values and assumptions of the Narrative approach as we apply these to real-life stories.

About Chené Swart

Chené is an author, speaker and consultant at Transformations, a consulting company that provides services to small, medium and large businesses, communities, and educational institutions in South Africa, USA, Canada and the Bahamas. Transformations has been providing leadership development, training, diversity journeys, coaching, research, facilitation and consulting services to a diverse range of clients. Chené teaches Narrative Leadership Practices as part of the Post Graduate Diploma in Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch Business School. She lectures on Narrative coaching in the Advanced Course in Personal and Corporate Coaching at the University of Pretoria. Chené was a featured speaker on Narrative Organizational Practices at the international conference on Narrative Therapy in Vancouver, Canada in May, 2012. Chené’s book, Re-authoring the World: The Narrative Lens and Practices for Organisations, Communities and Individuals, was published by Knowres Publishing in September 2013.

Reflecting on current theories and practices of bereavement support:  co-creating opportunities to re-story people’s preferred experiences of loss, presented by Fran Tong

Practitioners who provide bereavement support profess to honour people’s individual and unique experiences of loss.  But my experience  with practitioners shows  a strong tendency to  link these “unique” and “individual” experiences to what is known, familiar and predictable within the so-called conventional frameworks of grieving.

In this presentation I will explore certain taken-for-granted assumptions that underpin bereavement support. I will question whether these ideas create opportunities for the “bereaved” to recount and re-story their preferred position in relation to the deceased. Do people’s experiences tend to be discounted or disqualified to fit into dominant, conventional stories of grief?   Alternative approaches and practices will be introduced based on social constructionist thoughts linked to Narrative Practices.

About Fran Tong

Fran is employed by the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa as a District Technical Advisor. She assists professional staff at health care facilities and community based organisations to review and improve their current service packages so as to improve patient outcomes and retain them in care. Fran completed her MTh in Pastoral Therapy, specialising in Narrative Therapy. As a trained facilitator for her organisation, Fran constantly creates opportunities to weave Narrative Practices into her training thereby enabling her to support and advocate for a respectful and client-centred approach to care.

What role can schools play in the shaping and remaking of a new society? Presented by Kim van der Hoven and Linda van Duuren

In this presentation we will be looking at how schools have a responsibility to build a sense of community and to actively teach and demonstrate a way of being that speaks of compassionate and respectful living. According to Johnathan Jansen, a leading South African educator: “If we cannot get it right in our schools we won’t get it right in society.”
Our presentation includes:
  • The use of Narrative Practice to create a sense of belonging, preferred identity and common humanity
  • The integration of Narrative ideas into whole school practice. These include:

– staff code of conduct

– speaking to and about children
– speaking to and about parents and families
– managing behavioural challenges with respect to hurtful practices and bullying
– our relationship and response to “difference” on every level

– looking at the four short steps from backyard bullying to genocide

About Kim van der Hoven and Linda van Duuren

Forres Preparatory School is a progressive, co-educational school in the heart of Rondebosch, Cape Town. As Director of Forres, Kim has committed to providing a balanced, dynamic and relevant education for every child at the school.  For a number of years, Kim has integrated Narrative Practice into the philosophy and practices of the school at every level to support her belief that every child is unique and that individual minds learn differently. Linda, who has a background in Educational Support and Narrative Practice, works closely with Kim, her staff, the Forres children and their parents. Linda’s focus is on integrating Narrative Practices into this school community. This includes teacher training, support consulting and Narrative counselling.

Rainbow Nation? Community work in diverse South African contexts: challenges and opportunities for Narrative Practice, presented by Johann van Greunen
In this presentation I wish to dispel idealistic and romanticised ideas about the South African cultural and racial landscape. I will extract examples from my work in diverse cultural communities in the Western Cape to illustrate the complex challenges we face when building relations across the divides of race, culture and gender.

I often feel compelled to challenge dominant cultural ideas and practices that support gender inequality and racial division. As Freedman & Combs (1996) point out: “…not taking a stand supports the status quo.”I will illustrate how Narrative Practices offer opportunities to challenge these divisive and oppressive cultural practices while engaging with communities in building more meaningful interpersonal relationships.

About Johann van Greunen

Johann is a Pastoral Therapist and Reiki Master in private practice. His work includes mentoring for City Health Clinics and study teams from the Desmond Tutu TB Centre. He also facilitates a support group for health care professionals at I & J, Cape Town. Johann’s previous work experience includes: Programme Manager at Community Counselling and Training Centre in Manenberg; mentor for Lifeline HIV/AIDS counsellors in Khayelitsha; Sothemba AIDS Action Group; Wola Nani and Positive Muslims. Johann has also supervised MTh students in the Clinical Pastoral (HIV/AIDS counselling) programme at the University of Stellenbosch.

Gay marriages and the Dutch Reformed Church: religious freedom or unfair discrimination? Presented by Marietjie van Loggerenberg

The Bill of Rights of the South African Constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, amongst others.  The right to religious freedom, belief and opinion and freedom of association are also entrenched in the Bill of Rights. In 2007 the General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church ruled that gay ministers should remain celibate.  According to the Constitution this discrimination is “legal and fair”.  This presentation addresses the fairness of the discrimination by presenting research results on the impact of the 2007 Resolution on gay ministers and gay candidate ministers. The lived experiences of people whose lives are directly affected by the church’s position are highlighted through Narrative Practices and used to challenge the church.

About Marietjie van Loggerenberg

Marietjie holds Masters’ degrees in Educational Psychology and in Theology and a PhD in Theology – Family Therapy.  She was employed by PU for CHE (University Librarian) and by Vista University (Lecturer in Educational Psychology).
Marietjie has been in private practice as a Pastoral Narrative Therapist since 2002. She also lectures at Coram DEO, a Pastoral Care centre in Pretoria. During her training as a Narrative Therapist at the Institute for Therapeutic Development in 2001, Marietjie became intensely aware of the injustices levelled against gay Christians by society, especially by the Dutch Reformed Church. Since then, she has sought to empower gay people by making their stories heard.

Using metaphor and Narrativeideas in trauma and family therapy,

presented by Mike Witney
People living in South Africa experience trauma every day,either first hand – through accidents, crime, violence and abuse – or through being witnesses to a traumatic event. One only has to read a newspaper, watch or listen to the news to glimpse the landscape of trauma in our country.  This results in people in South Africa suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other severe mental health issues.

In this presentation I will use Narrative Practice as a lens to look at ways of opening up possibilities. In particular, I will explore ways of using “The Team of Life Metaphor” as a therapeutic vehicle in trauma work.

About Mike Witney

Mike is an ordained minister working in a church and in private practice as a Pastoral / Narrative Therapist. After completing his Honours degree in Theology, Mike trained with Elize Morkel in Narrative Therapy. He completed his MTh at Pretoria University. Mike is currently a PhD student at Stellenbosch University. His research focuses on using Narrative ideas in Transformational Justice with perpetrators of sexual violence at a local Correctional centre. Mike is married to Judie and they have three daughters and a granddaughter.

A narrative therapeutic journey from hooks to roses: Rescuing children’s stories to shape their preferred identities, presented by Cheryl Wright

This presentation will share an approach to working in creative ways with children to rescue their stories in shaping a preferred identity.  The journey includes three of Michael White’s maps of Narrative practices: externalising; re-authoring conversations; and definitional ceremonies.  Stories rescued from the sand-tray, puppets and painted masks are captured in therapeutic documents and shared with witnesses at the end of the journey.  I will share examples of the Narrative practices from my work with two children, including a story of a young girl’s transformation from scattering “hooks” to sharing “roses”.

About Cheryl Wright

Cheryl is an Educational Psychologist in private practice in Johannesburg.  Her work focuses on children and their families.  Cheryl’s passion for Narrative practices started in 2000 as a Pastoral Counsellor at Bryanston Methodist Church.  Cheryl completed her doctoral studies in 2013. Her dissertation, which focused on exploring hope with young people from the child-headed households, included work with a community in Soweto under the guidance of the NGO, Ikageng.  Cheryl is currently involved with the University of Johannesburg in the supervision of intern psychologists and training in Narrative practices.