Narrative Psychiatry and Family Collaborations

Author(s) : Nina Tejs. Jorring, Author(s) : June Alexander, Author(s) : David Epston

Narrative Psychiatry and Family Collaborations

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Narrative Psychiatry and Family Collaborations is about helping families with complex psychiatric problems by seeing and meeting the families and the family members, as the best versions of themselves, before we see and address the diagnoses.

This book draws on 10 years of clinical research and contains stories about helping people, who are heavily burdened with psychiatric illnesses, to find ways to live a life as close as possible to their dreams. The chapters are organized according to ideas, values, and techniques. The book describes family-oriented practices, narrative collaborative practices, narrative psychiatric practices, and narrative agency practices. It also talks about wonderfulness-interviewing, mattering practices, public note taking on paper charts, therapeutic letter writing, diagnoses as externalized problems, narrative medicine, and family community meetings. Each chapter includes case studies that illustrate the theory, ethics and practice, told by Nina Jorring in collaboration with the families and colleagues.

The book will be of interest to child and adolescent psychiatrists and all other mental health professionals working with children and families.

Reviews and Endorsements

This book by Nina Tejs Jørring with June Alexander and David Epston is humbling in its humanity. It provides a vibrant insight into the practice of narrative therapy to work with our fellow human beings and their families in a compassionate, respectful way that can lead to very real changes for them when facing severe challenges from life. It brings together knowledge and skill from different fields including medicine, psychology, philosophy, the social sciences and synthesises these, illustrating much of the best of the art of treatment in mental health. Informed by science, it goes further, to the heart of establishing collaborative treatment, a journey with families that accompanies them while they establish their own creative solutions. It is generously threaded with stories to illustrate the approaches that the lead author and her team have developed from models originating with Michael White and David Epston. - Brian Jacobs, Emeritus Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

This is not a book written from an expert vantage point although Nina has vast backgrounds in both psychiatry and narrative family therapy. Despite her immeasurable skills there is humility and a spirit of collaboration at the heart of her practice. Terms like co-create, co-write, co-assess and co-decide are found throughout the book affirming Nina’s interest in shared knowledge. Session transcripts abound, bringing the reader into the therapy room, illuminating various aspects of narrative practice. This book offers a wealth of resources for anyone looking to enhance their skills in family therapy. - David Marsten, LCSW, co-author of Narrative Therapy in Wonderland; Director of Miracle Mile Community Practice.

Maybe you have heard about narrative therapy, but did not really know what it is? After reading this book, it is as if you have attended several sessions yourself already! Nina Jørring carefully takes you through the basic elements by referring numerous cases with access to the dialogue as if you were listening in on the session. She generously shares her own experiences, both those where she overcame a therapeutic barrier, and those, where some things could have been done differently. There is no doubt about her heartfelt engagement in each case to listen and try to understand, being curious, creative, and respectful – some of the main elements of narrative therapy. If you have any interest in human psychology and family dynamics you will read this book from page 1 to the end, before passing it on to you colleague. - Anne A. E. Thorup, Professor, PhD, specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry. The Danish High Risk and Resilience Study and VIA Family. Research Unit at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center and Research Unit at Mental Health Center Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark.

About the Author(s)

Nina Tejs Jørring, MD, founded The Family Therapy unit to combine Narrative Therapy and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Her vision is that child and adolescent psychiatry becomes more family-focused offering co-created treatments. When a child suffers from psychiatric problems, the whole family suffers, therefore the family deserves to receive help together.

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