The Past is Not a Closed Chapter – It Shapes the Whole Book of Our Lives
This was the title of a talk I presented in Adelaide on 30 November 2016 at a workshop as part of the Routes to the Past Project, co-sponsored by the University of Melbourne, CLAN and the Dulwich Centre located in Adelaide.
If you do not know of the excellent work done on narrative therapy at the Dulwich Centre I strongly recommended you have a look at its website here .
The Routes to the Past Project is exploring the potential of collaborative approaches to counter-narratives using a range of approaches including
- social work practices
- therapeutic life story work.
My paper highlighted the absence of the voice of Care Leavers in their historical personal records – and how one-sided that makes the narrative. And, in many cases how inaccurate and misleading the story is that is told in the official record.
I talked about ways in which Care Leavers can be helped to become the experts and interpreters of their own histories and life stories. In the words of David Denborough of the Dulwich Centre:
“Every one has the right to define their experiences and problems in their own words and terms.”