Talk That Sings is the eagerly awaited second book from Johnella Bird, internationally known therapist and teacher. With the publication of her first book, ‘The Heart’s Narrative’, the author introduced us to a radical new way of thinking about the actual doing of therapy.
Throughout Talk That Sings, Johnella speaks to the central questions:
* How do counsellors/mental health practitioners resist the entrapment of embalmed models of theory?
* What supports a ‘living practice’ - one in which counsellors venture moment to moment into the uniqueness of each person’s (client’s) experiences?
* How might the face of counselling be different if the Western identity chase and pursuit of individuality were replaced with relational identity and consciousness?
Enriched and expanded by 3 years of teaching The Heart’s Narrative, Talk That Sings answers the commonly asked questions of how to create relational consciousness using her Relational Linguistic Practice.
The following list of Chapter headings are just some of the topics discussed in Talk That Sings:
* Living The Practice
* How Do I Make The Relational
* Generating Metaphors Of Movement
* Common Traps
* Sustaining An Attitude Of Discovery
* Working With The Imaginative Resource
* The Power Relation and Management
* Escaping Binaries
* The Politics Of Language-Making
* Meeting Children/Young People in Their Worlds
* Story-Making With Children.
* Relationship Injuries/Couple Work
* Violence as a Relationship Injury
Talk That Sings is divided into accessible sections of theory, technical skills for applied practice and 3 specific areas representing Johnella’s counselling practice with:
* Children/Young People and their Families.
* Transcripts/interviews and guided teaching exercises are included in each section.
David Epston speaks of Johnella’s work: “Johnella has a reputation in New Zealand for the proven mastery of her craft and providing the most intellectually challenging supervision, consultation and training. In so many ways, she is a ‘rara avis’, an independent scholar with no institutional associations, no particular fidelity to theories that cannot pass her ruthless test of application and accountability to those we purportedly serve. How many are there who would dare to bracket professional knowledges so she could go it alone?”
Anyone who has seen Johnella Bird teach cannot help but be inspired by the continued enthusiasm and passion she exudes for the everyday counselling work. Talk That Sings is a significant textual window into the central concepts and technical skills which sustain this passion.
Talk That Sings speaks to therapists, counsellors, social and health practitioners who are:
* Looking for specific strategies to anchor the Heart’s Narrative practice.
* Questioning the wisdom and ethics of adhering to therapeutic models.
* Drawn to learning a new linguistic practice which privileges people’s (clients’) experiences.
* Intrigued by the constructions of Self and relational identity.
* Involved in Narrative medicine and ways of developing empathic enquiry to compliment scientific technology.
* Teachers of Narrative therapy.
* Managers with an interest in understanding why good intentions are not enough to avoid office conflict!
* Interested in extending their practice to include working with children.
* Seeking fresh ideas and tools for couple work.
Johnella Bird is a counselling practitioner and co-director of The Family Therapy Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. She consults to and facilitates teaching programmes for mental health practitioners, social workers, psychiatrists, counsellors, psychologists and nurses throughout Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The theoretical and technical development of her clinical work continues to be founded on an extensive counselling practice with individuals, couples and families. Her first book, The Heart’s Narrative is now in its second edition.