Justice in Therapy: an autoethnography
Rodwell, J. D. (2014). Justice in Therapy: an autoethnography (Thesis, Master of Counselling (MCouns)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9298
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9298
Questions of social justice are a central concern to the profession of counselling and at the same time readily overlooked perhaps because of the infusion of individualism and humanism out of which counselling emerged. This thesis is an autoenthnographic study of my history of an orientation of views and actions towards social-and- cultural justice. The intention of the study is to explain this history and show how it influences a centering of justice in my current counselling practice. This autoethnography is more than a story: any retelling is performative. The study thus tells of the shaping of my counselling practice and further shapes my practice as I elaborate the links between my lived experience and the practices of postructural therapeutic work. This elaboration begins in my early childhood in a Quaker family in New Zealand: for example, I recount children's stories that centred matters of justice. The focus then moves to the wider culture encountered in my adult life, shaped amongst other experiences by chosen alternative life-styles, the humanistic human potential movement, single parenthood, feminism, and my introduction to voluntary counselling through Youthline. The third focus traces the later development of my therapeutic practice, showing the inflluence of family therapies and the emergence of narrative therapy. Woven throughout these three life phases are accounts of efforts to live out social-and-cultural justice, with others’ voices threaded through my own. My hope in this writing is to take the reader to their own histories of justice and the practices of these in their therapeutic work, with a view to keeping this conversation alive.
University of Waikato
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