Narrative Walks

Chris Darmody

Session type: Regular forum session
Session duration: 60 minutes

Key words: mental health, psychology, nature, narrative therapy, power, walking

Abstract

Narrative Walks is a hope-based, depathologising outdoor program that was developed to engage with populations who may not be drawn to conventional methods of therapy. This structured day program encourages participants to explore 15 narrative therapy questions, and to engage in a number of other activities during a 20 kilometre walk through the bush. The program invites different perspectives on problem stories, and offers walking as a narrative metaphor.

The focus of the walk is to work on an issue that a participant identifies before they come to the
walk. There is a strong focus on developing a preferred story in the walk but we also develop other
skills such as externalising, mindfulness, identifying supports, emotional awareness and being
present in nature, all whilst getting exercise and completing an achievement.

Chris will highlight his consultation with traditional land owners and development of the program over the past few years and his hopes for the future development of Narrative Walks as a program transferable to many people and lands.

About the presenter/s

Chris Darmody is a Father, Husband, Psychologist, Son, Dreamer and a number of other things. He has spent a large part of the past fifteen years working with young people and currently works in private practice in Perth, Western Australia. Chris is the founder of Embark, a service which develops and runs a number of therapeutic programs held outdoors in an attempt to address issues of power, connect people to their environments and engage with populations which may not engage with indoor therapy.