GEN PRAC 7005 - Narrative Approaches to Counselling and Community Work

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course provides a rigorous introduction to narrative practice. All of the central practices of the narrative approach will be explored, along with an accessible introduction to the theories and thinking that informs the practice. This introduction is relevant for a range of contexts including counselling and working with groups and communities and will include explorations of the key ideas of narative therapy, with an emphasis on developing skills in using the narrative approach and how this might apply in a variety of settings.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEN PRAC 7005
    Course Narrative Approaches to Counselling and Community Work
    Coordinating Unit General Practice
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 1 week intensive
    Assumed Knowledge GEN PRAC 5005HO, GEN PRAC 6018HO, GEN PRAC 5008HO or equivalent
    Restrictions Available to M. Counselling & Psychotherapy students only
    Course Description This course provides a rigorous introduction to narrative practice. All of the central practices of the narrative approach will be explored, along with an accessible introduction to the theories and thinking that informs the practice. This introduction is relevant for a range of contexts including counselling and working with groups and communities and will include explorations of the key ideas of narative therapy, with an emphasis on developing skills in using the narrative approach and how this might apply in a variety of settings.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Jaklin Eliott

    Guest Lecturer: Maggie Carey

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8 8313 2128
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe the underlying theories and core ideas of narrative approaches to counselling and psychotherapy
    2 Critically appraise research studies related to the clinical application of narrative therapy, and an appreciation of the evidence base to narrative therapy, its clinical applications, its strengths and limitations in practice
    3 Discuss the ethical and political concerns regarding counselling that are specifically raised within the narrative community of practice
    4 Identify the relevance of narrative approaches to specific areas of counselling practice
    5 Provide information to clients regarding the nature of narrative therapy
    6 Describe and critique the variety of techniques and approaches used in narrative practice
    7 Practice narrative therapy appropriately in counselling
    8 Describe and appropriately apply narrative approaches to different age groups and populations
    9 Identify a range of resources regarding narrative approaches
    10 Critically reflect on their own development of a narrative approach to counselling
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-10
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-4, 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3-10
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-10
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. N/A
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-10
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-4, 8-10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The required readings will be made available to participants via MyUni.

    General Reference
    White, M. (2007). Maps of Narrative Practice, New York: W.W. Norton
    Russell, S. and Carey, M. (2002). Narrative Therapy: Responding to your questions, Adelaide, S.A.: Dulwich Centre Publications

    Reflection 1: Locating Narrative Therapy
    Epston, D. and White, M. (1992). Experience, Contradiction, Narrative and Imagination: Selected papers of David Epston and Michael White. Adelaide, South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications. (Chapter one)
    Morgan, A. (2000). What is Narrative Therapy? An easy to read introduction. Adelaide, South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications (Part one, pages 1-16)
    Thomas. L. (2004). “Poststructuralism and therapy – what’s it all about?” in Narrative Therapy: Responding to your questions. S. Russell and M Carey. Adelaide, South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications pp 760-84.

    Reflection 2: Externalising conversations and de-centre practice
    White, M. (2007). Maps of Narrative Practice. New York, NY, Norton. (Introduction and Chapter One, Externalising conversations)
    White, M. and Morgan, A. (2006). Narrative Therapy with Children and their families. Adelaide South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications. (Externalising conversations revisited Chapter one, pp 1-56)
    Russell, S, and Carey, M. (2002). Narrative Therapy: Responding to your questions. South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications. (Externalising, pp 1-18)

    Reflection 3: Re-Authoring conversations
    Russell, S, and M. Carey (2002). Narrative Therapy: Responding to your questions. South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications. (Chapter Two: Re-Authoring conversations pp. 19-43)
    White, M. (2007). Maps of Narrative Practice. New York, NY, Norton. (Re-Authoring Conversations, pp. 61-128)

    Reflection 4: Re-membering practices and Definitional Ceremony.
    Hedtke, L. (2000). “Dancing with Death”, Gecko: Issue 2. Online:
    White, M. (2007). Maps of Narrative Practice. New York, NY, Norton (Re-membering conversations pp. 129-164)
    White, M. (1988). Saying Hullo Again: The Incorporation of the Lost Relationship in Resolution of Grief in Dulwich Centre Newsletter Spring 1988, pp 7-11.
    Russell, S. and Carey, M. (2002). Narrative Therapy: Responding to your questions. Adelaide, . South Australia, Dulwich Centre Publications. (Outsider – witness practices. Chapter 4, pp 63-90) White, M. (2007). Maps of Narrative Practice. New York, NY, Norton. (Definitional Ceremonies. Pp. 165-218)

    Recommended Resources
    Textbook: White, M. (2007). Maps of narrative practice. New York: Norton.
    Online Learning
    3.3.1 MyUni
    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework program have access to a Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. This course is available on MyUni at .
    Please check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to your study in the course. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site:
    · Discussion Board – Users can post discussion items and reply to other posts. Note: If you would like to have a specific Discussion Board Forum created, please send your request to
    · Send Email – This feature enables users to send email to fellow students.
    · Group Pages – Groups enable Users to collaborate with each other. Groups usually consist of a smaller group of Users in a course or organisation, such as study groups or project groups. From a Group Page, users may send email, exchange files, enter discussion forums or enter collaboration sessions.
    Note: Only members of a particular Group can access the Group communication features (discussion forums, email, etc.). If you would like to have a specific Group Page created, please send your request to . For example, Group Pages can be created to include students living in the same geographical area or students working for the same organisation.
    Please note that you also have access to individual MyUni sites for EACH course you are enrolled in. Please check the sites regularly as they may contain important announcements that are relevant to your study in the course.

    3.3.2 Access Adelaide
    Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows you to access and, in some cases, amend your records. It can be found at:
    You can log into Access Adelaide to view:
    · your enrolment details for any term
    · your academic results
    · your unofficial academic transcript
    · your personal details
    · the fees, charges and payments on your University account · your exam schedule
    · your graduation eligibility details.
    As a student you can:
    · change your address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as well)
    · change your password
    · set a password clue to help you remember your password.

    3.3.3 Student email
    It is important that you set up your student email and check it regularly. Information from your course coordinator and student administration will be sent to you at your University of Adelaide email address. It is your responsibility to check your email. You will need your student number located on your student card to log in.

    3.3.4 Computers
    Where can I use a computer in the University?
    Computing facilities are provided to students by the University, and there are several suites of computers available, including at the Barr Smith Library and in Hub Central. The University web site has a list of computer labs at:

    3.3.5 Internet access

    The University provides a free dial-up service to students without the need for a commercial ISP account. This service is available at the cost of a local call to students residing within Adelaide (please refer to your telecommunications provider for confirmation of call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates ( Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will begin with a four day intensive program of interactive learning. Teachers will use illustrations from their own work along with structured exercises and group discussion as a way of supporting participants to engage with narrative practice. The emphasis will be on developing skills in using the narrative approach and how this might apply in a variety of settings. On the foundation of the study of narrative ideas and their philosophical/theoretical background, and skills-based learning, students are encouraged to connect their study to their own work and areas of interest, and to develop their own narrative ways of working.

    The learning from the initial face-to-face workshop will be extended through submission of critical analysis of and reflections on provided readings. A narrative conversation that participants conduct with a client or colleague will be recorded and transcribed, and used as the basis for an assignment focussing on the use of ‘narrative mapping’ .

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The workload for this course is equivalent to 12 hours per week over a semester. Full attendance is required at the interactive workshop. The workshop and accompanying reading will require at least 30 hours in the initial week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Session 1 Introduction to the Narrative Metaphor Stories as vehicles for learning
    Multi-storied experience
    Taking a non-expert position
    Session 2 Responding to problem stories through Externalising Conversations Distinguishing between internalised and externalised ways of thinking
    The statement of position map of practice for responding to problem stories
    Session 3 Rich story development of preferences Developing personal agency through story development.
    Making links with neuro-science and storying
    Session 4 Explorations of intentional understandings of identity Distinguishing between structuralist and non-structuralist accounts of identity
    Session 5 Absent but implicit The absent but implicit pathway to preferred stories of self
    Responding to trauma
    Session 6 Discourse and deconstruction The social, relational and political context of experience
    Session 7 Rmembering conversations Contributing to a sense of membership, using the "club of life" metaphor
    Barbara Myerhoff
    Session 8 Scaffolding conversations Supporting people to step down from what is 'known and familiar' to what is possible to know. Taking the story forward Lev Vygotsky
    Session 9 The social and relational construction of identity Outside witness practice
    Session 10 Responding to violence and abuse using a narrative frame Exploring concepts of accountability
    Resistance and capture
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Essay: critical reflection/analysis Summative 30% 1-3, 6, 8-10
    Participation Summative 10% 1-10
    Structured analysis ('mapping exercise') of narrative interview Summative 60% 1-10
    Assessment Detail
    Critical analysis of narrative practice (1500-2000 words: 30%)
    Each participant is expected to submit a critical analysis of selected reading on narrative practice. The aim of the analysis is to consider the implications of narrative approaches for therapeutic practice. These readings and further instructions will be available on MyUni.

    Recording and structured analysis of a narrative interview (2500-3000 words: 60%)
    To demonstrate competence with interviewing skills and familiarity with narrative philosophy and practice, students will conduct and record a narrative interview, subjecting this interview to a structured analysis according to standard narrative ‘mapping’ practice. An information and consent form regarding the recording and further use of the interview will be provided to students for the interviewee to sign. Further instructions will be available on MyUni.

    Participation (10%)
    Students are expected to attend and participate in seminar/workshops according to group and program norms. Further details will be made available on MyUni.

    Word/Time Limit
    Students are advised to comply with word limits for written assignments. A 10% leeway on either side is acceptable.
    Assignments should be submitted through the “Assignments” section of MyUni. Instructions on how to submit an assignment in this way can be found at:
    Assignments must be submitted by 11.59 pm on the day that they are due. (note that MyUni will accept your assignment after this time but it will be marked Late.
    Feedback on assignments will be provided to students within 4 weeks of completion of the task so that students can take advantage of this feedback.

    Extension of Time for Assessment Items
    Up to one week
    It is expected that all assessments will be submitted by the specified time on the specified due date.
    However, students may apply for an extension of time to submit an assessment, if they are experiencing difficulty. Applications for extension must be made to the Course Coordinator and copied into the Program Administrator, in writing (e.g. email) prior to the due date lodgement of the assignment. Anticipate that it may take a few days to receive a reply. The grounds for granting an extension include health problems, compassionate reasons and other extenuating circumstances. Extensions will usually only be granted for a maximum of one week, but can be longer at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Academic Progress Committee if substantiated with evidence such as a medical certificate. Only original documents or certified copies of originals will be accepted.
    You will be notified by email to your University of Adelaide student email account of the outcome of your application. If your extension is granted then it is your responsibility to keep in contact with the course coordinator and to hand in the assessment with a copy of the email (or other document) approving the extension.
    Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Longer than one week
    If you require an extension for longer than one week, please contact the Course Co-ordinator to discuss your request. Please submit any applications to the Course Coordinator copied into the Program Administrator If you require an extension for longer than a week due to illness, a medical certificate will be required.
    Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Late Submission of Work
    All assignments should be submitted by 11.59pm on the due date.
    Late submission without an approved extension will be penalised at the rate of 10% of available marks for each day after the due date. Work submitted more than ten days after the due date may be returned unmarked. This action will be taken to prevent students who do get their work in on time being disadvantaged.

    Word Limit
    You are advised to comply with word limits. You are, of course, not expected to achieve exactly the required length and a 10% leeway on either side is acceptable. However, a penalty of 5% of available marks will apply for word limit in excess of the 10% leeway.

    It is essential that you reference all written work accurately and consistently. We ask that use the American Psychological Society Referencing Format (APA 6) and information regarding this system can be found at .

    A Guide to APA 6th Edition, developed by Monash University will also be provided in MyUni.

    EndNote bibliographic software is a very useful tool for managing your references and it is provided free of charge through the university. Information about EndNote can be found at:

    Be aware that marks will be deducted for incorrect referencing in all assignments.

    Requesting a Re-Mark
    Any student who, after discussion of the result with the lecturer in charge, is still dissatisfied with the final grade awarded for a course, or with the mark awarded for a particular piece of assessment work, and who has specific grounds for objecting to the grade/mark, may lodge a written request for a review of the result or an independent second assessment with the Head of Discipline within 10 University business days from the date of notification of the result. Such a written request must contain details of the grounds on which the objection is based.

    Requests must include a summary of the reasons the student believes his or her assessment work deserves a higher mark. These reasons must be directly related to the academic quality of the work. Re-marks, for example, will not be granted where the grounds are that the student has paid tuition fees or incurred liability under HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, or needs one or two additional marks to get a higher overall grade for the course. The Head of Discipline may seek the advice of the Academic Progress Committee, and will make a determination on review or second assessment and inform the student of his or her decision in writing.

    The mark awarded to a piece of work following review or second assessment as provided for in this policy or as a consequence of appeal to the Student Appeals Committee will usually stand as the final mark for the work, regardless of whether this mark is higher or lower than the mark originally awarded.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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