in this unit, students acquire a working knowledge of narrative relationships, conversations, and practices that make a difference. Students explore the philosophical and theoretical implications of narrative skills and learn to integrate these into their own practice. Skills are acquired for engaging with key practice maps of narrative therapy such as externalising conversations, re-authoring conversations, re-membering conversations, and the definitional ceremony. Particular attention is given to persons reclaiming their lives from trauma and honouring what is precious to them. Students are required to analyse developments in the field in relation to the implications for their own practice in their local cultural contexts.

Unit code: DZ9079S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Professional Counselling

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Stirling College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Identify and appraise narrative practices


Demonstrate understanding of the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and relationship to Postmodernism, poststructuralism, social constructivism, Christian anthropology, Positive psychology and especially Post Traumatic Growth


Apply experience-near narrative and collaborative processes for prompting change, such as problem deconstruction, co-authoring practices, subordinate story line development and definitional ceremonies


Integrate narrative responses to responding to traumatic experiences in their practice

Unit sequence

This unit is an advanced Postgraduate therapy unit with a prerequisite unit of either XP9077S or DZ3077S or any equivalent unit with the required foundational human relationship skills.


The unit is delivered in a series of seminars requiring synchronous learning in physical or non-physical space. Extensive practice and personal and group reflection on the student's own practice outside of the seminars is an essential part of the learning process.

Indicative Bibliography

Bird, J. (2004). Talk that sings: therapy in a new linguistic key. Edgepress. Auckland. NZ.

Cook, R. & Alexander, I. (2008). Interweavings: conversations between narrative therapy and christian faith. CreateSpace books, North Charleston, SC. U.S.A.

Denborough, D. (2014). Retelling the stories of our lives: everyday narrative therapy to draw inspiration and transform experience. W.W. Norton & Company, New York.

Denborough, D. (2006). Trauma: narrative responses to traumatic experience. Dulwich Centre Publications. Adelaide, Australia,

Madigan, S. (2011). Narrative therapy. American Psychological Association. Washington, USA.

McMillan, L., Penwarden, S., & Hunt, S. (2017). Stories of therapy, stories of faith. Wipe & Stock. Eugene, OR.

Morgan, A. (2000). What is narrative therapy? Dulwich Centre Publications. Adelaide.

White, M. (2007). *Maps of narrative practice. W.W.Norton & Company Inc. New York. N.Y.

Shotter, J. (2010). Social construction on the edge. Withness thinking and embodiment. Taos publications. Ohio. U.S.A.

Gergen, K. J. (2009). An invitation to social construction. Sage. London.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay - Reclaiming our lives from trauma and honouring what is precious to us

This paper requires students to explain and critically discuss the meaning of reclaiming our lives from trauma and honouring what is precious to us and to make a comparison between a narrative response to trauma and other approaches

2000 30.0
Documented Interview - a recorded interview with a 1000 word written reflection on the practice of narrative and collaborative practices

The student is to conduct, record and write up an interview demonstrating skills of narrative practice. 15 minutes and a 1000 word written reflection

2000 30.0
Critical Review - 4 x written reflections, due once a month

Throughout the teaching period students are to write written reflections on narrative practices applied and observed

4000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 29 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-10-05 17:19:21 +1100