“You have to deconstruct narrative just like narrative therapy deconstructs people’s problems”: exploring critical anticolonial narrative therapy with sexualized violence practitioners




Reed, Alina

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This qualitative study draws on intersectionality, antiracism, and anticolonialism to unpack the long history of colonial violence in the mental health and social service fields, such as counselling, victim services, social work, and child and youth care. In addition, this thesis explores and interrogates the use of narrative therapy by white and Indigenous sexualized violence practitioners who work specifically with Indigenous girls and women. Narrative therapy is a non-individualistic and non-pathologizing approach that has shown potential with Indigenous girls and women. However, while it holds promise, how sexualized violence practitioners interact with narrative therapy and critical frameworks is less known. In this study, experienced practitioners were asked how they draw on narrative therapy and critical frameworks, how they grapple with narrative therapy’s complicity in colonial violence, and how they resist, contest, and reproduce colonial violence in their own practice. Three themes emerged from the interviews: (1) narrative therapy as useful but not enough; (2) deconstructing and unsettling narrative therapy; and (3) smuggling practices and double practice. Discussion of these themes demonstrates and explores the complex and multifaceted issues practitioners are engaging with in their practice and suggests great promise for a future narrative therapy that involves critical frameworks and attends to body, ethics, accountability, and ongoing colonial violence.



sexualized violence, anticolonial, narrative therapy