I have spent this past week in the beautiful town of Somerset West, attending a workshop on something called Narrative Therapy. There were fourteen of us, from all over the country, who gathered at the home of the course facilitator. Among the group were teachers, social workers, psychologists, community workers, registered counsellors, and me.
I arrived feeling anxious about leaving the family for a whole week, as well as unqualified and intimidated by all the experience in the room. And yet what a wonderful experience it was. Before the week, I could explain to you, quite neatly, what Narrative Therapy is. Now that I have been immersed in it for a week, I am not sure where to start!
During the week we talked a lot about our 'multi-storied' lives. How we all have narratives and stories that make up who we are, and how through telling our stories, and asking curious questions, we can move a little closer to who we want to be. Sometimes it is the untold stories - the quiet voices and the faint threads that, if unpacked and given significance in our lives - hold the power for hope, and change. We learnt about how people already hold within them skills and abilities to overcome problems, and through discovering 'alternate stories' these skills can be re-membered.
In all of this is the invitation to responsibility, to become an active participant in our own narratives, and in the narratives of our families and communities. Thank you for releasing me to spend this week learning and growing. I am so looking forward to how God will continue to work in and through our stories. And how together we can begin to hear again some of the forgotten narratives of who we are as the people of God.
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