Leslie Purcell, drug and alcohol team leader and community counsellor at Darumbal, and Annette Dudley, community counsellor. Rachael Conaghan/ The Morning Bulletin
Leslie Purcell, drug and alcohol team leader and community counsellor at Darumbal, and Annette Dudley, community counsellor. Rachael Conaghan/ The Morning Bulletin Rachael Conaghan

Narrative therapy paves path for healing

FOR Leslie Purcell and Annette Dudley, finalising their Masters in narrative therapy and community work means they can continue counselling and healing in a way which better suits their "mob".

The two community counsellors are the only people in Central Queensland who are qualified to use the approach.

Leslie, the drug and alcohol team leader and community counsellor at Darumbal Community Youth Services, said narrative therapy was all about storytelling through a non-blaming therapy. It allowed clients to tell their story, which meant they go back in time through generations to connect to the current story.

"We get called upon for individual counselling, group counselling but also we go out to Woorabinda and assist the community with healing activities and sorry business," he said.

"When I use narrative therapy I turn counselling into an Aboriginal way of storytelling. I say come on now, spin me a yarn, let's see where it goes and they don't realise that I'm actually asking them questions."

Community counsellor Annette said she had completed previous study in narrative therapy and used it more than any other therapies in her tool bag.

"When you're working in this sector, you see everything that happens behind closed doors, you're walking beside them on their life journey and feeling their pain."