Jennie and I spent the last two days at a Narrative Therapy workshop, “Catching up with Narrative Therapy: The Art of Going Slowly With Intent” with Maggie Carey. Maggie is an Australian Narrative therapist who was a close friend and associate of Michael White.
The workshop took place in the unimaginably beautiful hills above Lake Champlain. We spent much of each day watching the play of cloud and sun on the landscape, and the comings and goings of local wildlife. We also chatted together about the seemingly insatiable demands of insurance companies and others who try to rush folks through therapy. There was a consensus amongst the 50 or so Narrative therapists from around the country, Canada, and Germany, that these demands wear on therapists and clients, and generally undermine the therapeutic process.
Jennie and I spoke with Maggie about the ways hurrying runs counter to Indigenous healing. Indigenous people are often portrayed in the colonial media as idle. This is a convenient misconception that has been used as an excuse to steal Native lands and children, and to disrupt Indigenous families and communities. A more accurate representation of us would be to say we are prefer to spend time with tasks, problems, and family. Hurrying isn’t useful. One can’t really get to know places or people without lingering, or, as Maggie might say, “loitering,” and doing so with clear intention.