3 What values do you most appreciate as a Narrative Therapist?

How I think about it as a metaphor is that the world we do is kind of slow dislodging and.

How I think about it as a metaphor is that the world we do is kind of slow dislodging and not uprooting, um, and so when you’re doing
careful dislodging and not uprooting, then you have to be very mindful of, you know how you’re tending the earth and not just yanking, and you’re not applying a lot of pressure it’s kind of slow and you kind of feel the earth and you have to
understand how the earth feels under your hand, and the earth has to feel you and that’s what I hope I’m doing is a careful dislodging and not an uprooting of the ways someone has been living their life But I think we’re always willing to be
there with someone in their suffering we’re there with them but we’re not seduced by the problem we’re like yes this is here. We can, I can keep company with your anguish and let’s look how the steps you’re taking or what you’re staying true to just like this problem and expand that and move that forward so I feel like we’re doing that connecting it’s not shying away from
the problem, but it’s a particular way of holding the the problem you know outside of their character, outside of their identity and not totalizing them to the
problem but looking for all these new ways of stepping forward, despite the problem. So I teach and supervise at sort of an entry level. I’m trying to catch people’s attention as they’re entering the profession and steer them in the direction of these
values if possible because I know how much they mean to me and how much they mean to my clients
(SuEllen) Which values in particular? The values that you mentioned of the ways we’ve learned to stand in relation to other people, to be
respectful of who they are to be focused on you know what’s possible, rather than focus on what happened to focus on what they want for
themselves rather than on what we might want for them and then personally the same thing
you were saying perhaps, Charly, the endlessly invigorating experience of being in hopeful
conversations all the time. I recently a couple had a great big fight in my office and it kind of resolved while they were there so it was really beginning middle and end. It started out terrible and then it ended up okay and we were all feeling kind of okay about it and they said, “Oh God this must be exhausting! What do you do for fun?” and I said, “this!” cos’ it’s just true. I do
enjoy it I enjoy seeing what people can do. Now if the session had ended without any step forward, it might not have been as fun, but it’s still fun. It still enlivens me. I feel so fortunate to have work that is so deeply gratifying and I think that for me personally one of the challenges as I grow older and I have know more and more people retiring and and it’s like, how can I ever retire from this work
like I can see slowing down and hopefully creating more space but my intention is to really live and help other people to live a sense with more purpose and more sense of meaning in our lives and connectedness. In my previous life I was an
actor for many years and then I’ve been doing this work for about 20 years
and about ten years ago I stepped out of
retirement and returned to the theater to do a play
that a friend of mine was directing and happened to be in Los Angeles and I arranged it all, so
you know I could see clients on off days and blah blah blah We got to opening night, we opened
and got reviews and I was like boom, and we’re doing it and it was
a six-week run of the play and I remember like at
the end of the first week of the run standing in the wings waiting to go on
for my entrance and thinking Oh my God, haven’t we already told this freakin’ story and it just reminded
me of what I so appreciate about my professional work as a narrative therapist to be continually a part of the ever-evolving, generative stories
that we have the privilege to engage in be a part of everyday and you know those next five
weeks were pretty hellish because it was like Groundhog Day you know just the same story over and
over and it kind of reminded me of what I think a lot of people have an experience that therapy sometimes
when it doesn’t point in the direction of
possibility and values and goals what are your hopes for your life?

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