Article was found at narrativeapproaches.com
Relational Co-Research in Narrative Training and Supervision.
Lobovits, M.A. and Emily C. Seidel, M.S.W.
Therapists are traditionally trained to research and
analyze persons and groups with respect to their "normal" and "pathological"
characteristics. Narrative co-research on the other hand, focuses on developing
an understanding of the culturally oppressive means and influence of a problem
on a person and the liberating influence of a person over a problem. This paper
will provide a case example of narrative training interviews about a trainee's
previous research with battered women. The individual narratives of the women
that the trainee conversed with in her research interviews are privileged over
any expert or amalgamated conclusions about the research material. These women's
unique accounts of their experiences with domestic violence then become the
focus of a collaborative inquiry by trainer and trainee. Narrative questions are
utilized to elicit what Geertz(1973) has discussed as a "thick description" of a
cultural event (the problem/person relationship) from the multiple and local
points of view available. Rich and unique accounts of the relative influences of
both the problem and the person are then gathered together to develop what
Epston(in press) has characterized as a "problem ethnography". This information
is then made available for further circulation and co-research in narrative
therapies. The first section of the paper delineates the structure of a problem
ethnography training interview. The second section describes the relational
co-research position and the qualities of fostering collaboration, valuing
emotional experiences, engaging in empowering relationships and diminishing the
effects of existing hierarchies.