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Approaching Knowledge Exchange Narratively Dr Alette Willis and Prof Liz Bondi Schools of Divinity and Health in Social Science University of Edinburgh.

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Presentation on theme: "Approaching Knowledge Exchange Narratively Dr Alette Willis and Prof Liz Bondi Schools of Divinity and Health in Social Science University of Edinburgh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Approaching Knowledge Exchange Narratively Dr Alette Willis and Prof Liz Bondi Schools of Divinity and Health in Social Science University of Edinburgh The Theology and Therapy Project

2 Outline of Presentation Overview of Theology and Therapy Project –Aims –Contrast to dominant stories Narrative Inquiry in Social Sciences –Importance of narrative –Particular relevance to counselling and divinity Narrative KE –How fits theoretically –Reader Theatre

3 Project Aims to understand the ways psychotherapy, Christianity, and a new language of spirituality intertwined post 1945 focusing on Scotland, but connecting to the UK –how did psychotherapy in post-war Scotland borrow and adapt Christian ideas and practices? –how did Christianity in post-war Scotland adopt and translate psychotherapeutic ideas and practices? –how was the Scottish fusion of psychotherapy and Christianity exported to England?

4 Oral Histories Include: Bob Brown Judith Fewell Hamish Montgomery Colin Kirkwood Ken Lawson Francis Macnab Jean Morrison

5 Archival Sources Include Papers of T. & T. Clark. National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Papers relating to Dr Winifred Rushforth ( ), Centre for Research Collections, Main Library, University of Edinburgh R.D. Laing Collection. Special Collections Department, Library, University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

6 Psychotherapy and Christianity Framing psychotherapy –increasing medicalisation –recovering alternatives Remembering the role of religious traditions –expressing vocation, extending ministry –the churches and the development of counselling Religious values and psychotherapy –psychotherapy as holistic healing –psychotherapy as building community

7 Stories Matter Dominant stories delimit policy options –Intelligibility –Medical story versus humanistic/Christian Identity depends on available stories –Narrative-self stories told by and about –Intelligibility Choices, decisions, behaviours informed by stories –Narrative psychology –Narrative ethics Social narratives shaped by local tellings –dialogue

8 Narrative and Counselling concerned with meaning-making Talk-therapies –Local dialogue –Aim to free people from damaging stories and develop more livable ones Narrative Therapy –Social-constructivist, Foucauldian –Explicitly interested social-change –Michael White:

9 Narrative Inquiry in Social Sciences Widespread growing interest Narrative-self balances: –Relationality, discourse, power –Humanistic, individuality and agency History, genealogy, origin myths Vocation –Excavate and amplify moral impulses in stories (Frank, 2002) –Amplify and circulate counter-narratives (Riessman)

10 Narrative KE? How amplify stories outside of Academia? Narrative form –More accessible, engaging –Emotions –Reasonably common in policy dissemination and in health education Knowledge Exchange? –Dialogical nature reading and listening to narrative –Making explicitly dialogical through workshops

11 Readers Theatre Literacy technique employed in schools Text laid out in script, read not performed Laramie Project, Moises Kaufman 2001 Medicine –Patients (Cueva 2010) –Healthcare staff (Savitt 2010, Bell et al 2010) Often used to communicate history –bring history alive –Seattles Museum of History & Industry –Historical medical narratives play at Scottish Storytelling Centre

12 Moving from transcipt to Readers Theatre Script 1970s... Alan: I became very aware that people were coming to courses on TA, not to learn TA, but because here was the church offering a space where they would be heard, and where they could ask questions and not be hit for it, and explore it using another language alongside the theology. I recognised in the end […] that people were asking spiritual questions, they were asking questions about themselves and their difficulties and their relationships and that whole area but they were also asking theological questions. But there was this other area which seemed to be about spirituality, whatever that was, and Im not quite sure yet what it is But its a sense that its what holds all of these areas together and for me now

13 Impacts? Narrative resource for self-narratives of people involved in religion, spirituality and counselling Stories told within and about Scottish organizations Stories told about origins of counselling in UK??? Open-up possibilities for being and acting in the world

14 Thank you. Please visit our website:


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