Children are often made out as vulnerable through a “discourse of innocence” (Meyers, 2007). A resulting obligation falls onto the shoulders of caregivers and professionals to do the important thinking and decision making for young people, at least until their apprenticeship as ‘adults in the making’ is finally over. Ethicist John Wall suggests that “[c]hildren perhaps more than any other group are prone to having their ‘saying’ capabilities overshadowed by what is ‘said’ by others about them. They are the most easily marginalized segment of society” (2006). With the use of video and transcript, this workshop will challenge such a marginalizing view and call young people forward as intentional agents capable of moral deliberation and decisive action.
While a child’s imagination is known to delight, it is not readily considered pertinent to any therapeutic dialogue in which serious matters are at hand, and even less likely to be thought vital to problem redress. With the therapist’s help and the support of family, young people can be entrusted to meet problems creatively. The presenters will illustrate the benefits of linking the real with the imaginary through the use of transcript, letters, and video. Workshop participants will be assisted in considering how young people’s imaginations can be relied on to take on even the most serious problems.
LCSW, is director of Miracle Mile Community Practice, www.mmcpla.org, and on staff at Pepperdine University. He has worked with young people and their families for over 25 years, written about various aspects of narrative practice, and presented internationally. He is co-author, along with David Epston & Laurie Markham, of Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with Children’s Imaginative Know-How (WW Norton, publisher).
is fieldwork coordinator for the USC Rossier School of Education and the Medi-Cal program coordinator at Miracle Mile Community Practice. She has published in Family Process and The Journal of Feminist Family Therapy. Her fondness for young people dates to her 10 years as a public school teacher, and more recently, her work as a therapist in public mental health. She is co-author, along with David Epston & David Marsten, of Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with Children’s Imaginative Know-How (WW Norton, publisher).