Please contact the author directly for a DVD that accompanies the thesis In this thesis we consider how one may use the arts in narrative practise. The use of the word narrative practise as oppose to narrative therapy extends the grounding metaphor’s reach beyond its use in therapy to facilitation and all other disciplines that adopts the use of this metaphor. The arts in a contemporary perspective include dance, drama, fine arts, music and multimedia. The choice for the arts is found in the research gap, which emphasise that most conventional psychological therapies including narrative therapy has a conversational/ verbal approach. In contrast an exploration into the arts acknowledge the importance of being physically and creatively involved in the construction of meaningful realities. The exploration of the arts in light of possible interaction with narrative practise is not confined to professional voices but is inclusive of recreational skills in the arts and crafts. The risk involved in extending the scope of the narrative metaphor beyond therapy, which may render an unmanageable amount of data, is minimized by a positioning in a pastoral perspective; pastoral in this sense, the discipline of practical theology is situated in a (one) faith community. Chapter one considers questions of positioning relating to the arts and theology. These are informed by a certain epistemology. While methodological concerns and a positioning therein is all ready found in chapter one, chapter two is reserved for method and practical methodological concerns. Our research participants will be introduced here. Everything that this study says about the arts and its consideration in narrative practise is found in chapters three and four. Chapter three refers to all exposure from conferences attended to numerous individual conversations based on the highly reflective research design found in chapter two. In chapter three all the arts that this study was confronted with are included. Chapter four focuses in on story as art. I regard the differentiation between arts as therapy as opposed to arts in therapy as the most profound consideration. A distinction is advocated, drawing on narrative social constructionist epistemology, between story as tool versus story as grounding metaphor; telling narratives versus performing narratives, human story telling versus narrative identity. It is important to notice that this thesis is not presented according to themes. It is my intention that through the way in which this thesis is presented (especially so chapter three) fragments of the story of the research process will be evident. For this reason chapter five is included, giving the reader a better understanding of the ways in which the arts were found to function. Chapter six entails a personal and critical reflection on the research; it has the purpose of sayingwell, I don’t assume that this study is at the pinnacle of academic achievement nor is it the ultimate truth. I have myself wondered about the numerous addenda and I’m not sure that it is in an explorative study something one can too easily do without. Some addenda fit its conventional use while others contain highly relevant information. Since I did not want to force these into arguments I present them in addenda. What I hope the reader finds is a truthful reflection on what has to me been a meaningful research journey on the use of the arts in narrative practise; a journey accounted for in academic yet participant informed language; language about ways of being with people that at times can transcend the boundaries of the spoken word.
Thesis (PhD (Pastoral Family Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2007.