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Narrative & Collaboration Publications

Social Constructionist Perspectives on Group Work

The aim of this book is to present different forms of group work influenced by a social constructionist sensibility. The book shows how these two fields of knowledge can be connected and indicates the need for new theoretical developments. In addition to offering theoretical contributions, the emphasis of the book is on the translation of constructionist concepts to daily practice, featuring excerpts from group conversations, participants' reports, and the description of ways of working that can inspire other professionals interested in using the constructionist vocabulary in their group work.

We hope this book brings to those involved with social construction, conversations about the importance of group work connecting the voices present here with other voices, enabling a dialogue that transforms our practices and ourselves.

In this delightful and highly readable volume created by our Brazilian colleagues, we discover new and highly creative practices that emphasize the relational approach to group work, whether in the family, the school, the organization or the community. These gifts to the world allow practitioners in any context to maximize their transformative potentials working with groups. It's an exciting contribution to the literature in social construction.

Mary Gergen, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Penn State University, Brandywine, Co-Founder of the Taos Institute

A great book for everybody who is, or will be working in a group setting. It invites us to reflect, share, and co-construct multiple visions for the different contexts in which we traverse on daily basis. Please read it, enjoy it and use it to inspire, guide, and open new possibilities in your work.

M.T.F. Rocio Chaveste Gutirrez, Ph.D., Mara Luisa "Papusa" Molina, Ph.D., Instituto Kanankil

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Social Construction on the Edge: 'Withness'-Thinking and Embodiment

This is a book for practitioners, for people who, like crafts-persons or sports-people, must continually shape or fashion their conduct both within the immediate allowances or opportunities for action afforded them by their circumstances, whilst at the same time, aiming at an overall goal of 'bettering' those circumstances, and their performances within them, in some way.

The overall approach taken in this collection of essays is 'on the edge' of social constructionism in that - rather than emphasizing a "linguistic" or an "interpretative" turn - it emphasizes the spontaneous, expressive-responsiveness of our living bodies as providing the 'background glue' that holds us together in all our relationships, both with all the other people around us and with all the events also occurring in our surroundings. It thus emphasizes how our living, bodily embedding in this previously unnoticed background, and the ways in which events in it both 'call out' expressive responses from us, whilst leading us to 'resist' others, exerts much more of an influence on our actions than previous versions of social constructionism seem to allow.

“His book is a must-have for people who was already touched by his previous writings but did not have a chance to elaborate on his ideas in a detail. For the most part, the reader will find deliberately chosen essays and presentations in which we can watch the development of his ideas. The first and the two last chapters are original so as introduction parts for each chapter. In the whole text, you will find a lot of references on Shotters favourite authors as Bakhtin, Wittgenstein, Merleay-Ponty, Vygotskij, and many others."

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Social Construction: Entering the Dialogue

Social constructionist ideas now sweep across many fields of scholarship and practice in the U.S. and around the world. While many people find these ideas profoundly liberating and a major stimulus to creative reconstruction, others find them highly threatening.

The present work takes the reader quickly to the heart of the matter, providing a concise and easily readable introduction to the central ideas in social construction. Along with a discussion of important theoretical innovations and controversies, there are treatments of significant developments in organizational change, education, psychotherapy, social research and conflict resolution.

“This is the most beautiful and thought provoking book I have yet to come across in my rather not so long and not so wide scholarly world.”

Temi M. Multia, Nairobi, Kenya

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Mapping Dialogue: Essential Tools for Social Change

In a world of increasing complexity, answers have a short life-span and people have a growing desire to solve their own problems. Sustainable social change is increasingly depending on successful dialogue.

This book provides a closer look at transformative dialogue tools and processes for social change. It profiles ten dialogue methods in depth, and another fifteen more briefly. The methods covered conceptually and in case studies include Deep Democracy, Open Space Technology, Scenario Planning, World Caf, the Israeli-Palestinian School for Peace and many more. The book gives insight into the foundations of practical dialogue work, a dictionary to distinguish dialogue from other forms of conversation, and inspiration from traditional African approaches to dialogue.

Dear Authors, I appreciate the book so much. Thank you so much for collaborating on this work. It is great to have such a comprehensive guide. I now do not have to be scrambling all over my library to get a snapshot of the possible strategies I might use in my designs. Again thank you and I wish you the
very best in all that you do.

John Inman Ed.M., M.A., PHR, DDPE
Developing leaders and cultures that thrive in complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity
Sammamish, WA

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Celebrating The Other: A Dialogic Account of Human Nature

In this important book, Sampson launches a new attack - this time on Western culture's centuries-long preoccupation with a contained, individualistic, monologic Self and its fearful suppression of all that is Other - all that is experienced as different from the implicit, self-affirming white male standard.

This view, he demonstrates, focuses more on the leading protagonist and supporting cast that he has assembled to service his own interests, desires and fears, than on others as viable people in their own right. Denying the Other so as to create a world secured on behalf of the dominant groups' interests has become an obsession driving not only the larger culture but also the human sciences, in particular psychology's theories of human nature. Women, African-Americans and others not of the dominant classes have been constructed as serviceable Others, and appear in textbooks, journals and popular accounts as figures whose images and everyday realities have been created to serve the dominant groups' desires.

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Constructing Stories, Telling Tales: A Guide to Formulation in Applied Psychology

Formulation remains one of the most important activities that those using psychological approaches undertake as part of their work. Arguably, however, formulation is an activity that remains poorly understood. In a current climate demanding quick fix solutions there is a tendency, which the authors refuse, towards over-simplification. Instead this book sets out to explore the challenging complexity of psychological formulation.

By drawing on a wide range of sources from psychology and the arts the authors find ways to honour the stories clients tell yet offer key psychological insights to facilitate change. They provide a clear guide to enable the reader to think about the purpose of their work with clients, the perspectives which inform it and the process used to ensure effective outcomes.

The chapters, supported by exercises on key issues, examine key debates on the role of formulation in professional practice, a framework for developing a systematic approach to formulation and a detailed account of the purpose, perspective and process of formulation. Guest contributions are included from various fields of practice including: clinical, coaching, educational, forensic, occupational, and from the arts.
The book will enable all practitioners (whatever the stage of their career) who need to work with client stories to find new ways to enhance their practice.

A number of guest contributors - including actors Simon CallowPrunella Scales and Timothy West - have contributed valuable input into this volume and demonstrated great interest in the project and the ideas behind it. For some, it was their first experience of working with psychologists, and they showed particular willingness to engage with the main authors on this joint venture.

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