I dreamed of a group around a campfire – at least I woke to this image. The title for this post comes from the Australian writer, Henry Lawson, but the imagery was from my subconscious. I was visualising a group around a campfire. It could have been a group from a hundred years ago, or ten thousand years ago. I realised this was a common thread in our heritage – coming together in the darkness for protection, companionship, warmth and community. So many images and connections to ourselves as communal beings, ending our day with each other and taking sustenance together.
I realised as I woke that this was not only an image of human community which covered eons of our existence, but it was also an image of Narrative Therapy with groups. There was so much richness – Michael White might have referred to this as a potentially “thick” narrative. I have been trying to conceptualise Narrative group work and I awoke realising that this image would be part of that conceptualisation.
Anyone can walk away from the fire and into the darkness, people are allowed to remain around the fire when they are a part of community (or welcomed guests), individuals are allowed speak (telling stories) while others listen – there is so much to do with the metaphor of the group counselling session and the group/tribe around the campfire and this concept could grow to an analogy between group work and those around the campfire for companionship, protection and nourishment.
As I write down these ideas, I realise the connection between the work of the therapist and his or her own evolving narratives. Not only does this metaphor become a possible vehicle for therapeutic work, but it evolves as part of my own narratives.
That your evolving narratives will bring you strength and joy!