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Counselling and Storytelling - How did we get here?

Suzanne Jenkins

We are a species of story makers and story tellers. Stories are central to our development of self concept and identity and how we distinguish ourselves from others - a process central to our wellbeing. Aboriginal people have long been telling stories in which they have created a sense of landscape, community and place. These stories hold a significance that stretches from the dawn of time, from the stories of the Dreamtime. Our invitation to 'World Dreaming' states -The intention of psychotherapy has always been to find forms of communication, expression and understanding that allow nonviolent resolution of conflicts and the emergence of the individual human spirit not so! Central as stories may be to the human condition they were not valued in modern psychological theory or practice. Traditionally scientific knowledge was prized over narrative knowing. The growth of science and technology correlated directly with the loss in legitimacy of stories as a means of communicating truths about the world. Storytelling was abandoned in favour of paradigmatic knowing representing scientific modes of thought. This process had particularly severe repercussions for traditional peoples and their way of life. This paper traces the effects of the 'fall and rise' of narrative methods for understanding and enhancing human behaviour.

WORLD DREAMING: WORLD CONGRESS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
Visit The World Council for Psychotherapy at http://www.worldpsyche.org

Suzanne Jenkins
Suzanne Jenkins
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Suzanne Jenkins

Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Sciences, Counselling, University of Notre Dame , Fremantle Australia.
Suzanne lectures primarily in the Counselling Skills and Counselling Children units, and supervises Counselling students on placement from the Bachelor of Counselling Degree at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle. She maintains a role in private practice as a Consultant, Trainer and Therapist in the fields of interpersonal violence, trauma and child protection. Her research interests include Indigenous health and education, particularly in relation to the experience of Indigenous children who leave home communities to attend school.

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