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Copy of Motherhood Tree of Life

International Narrative Therapy Conference -Adelaide 2013

Viviane Oliveira

on 18 October 2017

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Transcript of Copy of Motherhood Tree of Life

Part 1
Part 2
Tree of Life
Drawing the tree
Drawing a Tree of Life
The Forest of Life
Viviane Oliveira

A collective narrative methodology created by Ncazelo Ncube and David Denborough to respond to children who have experienced trauma, or loss in ways that are not re-traumatising and that brings to light children's own skills and knowledge.

Provide children with experiences that increase connectedness with their families, values, beliefs and culture.
Tree of Life
The methodology
1. The Motherhood Tree of Life

2. The forest of life

3. The storms parents face

4. Celebration
The methodology
Roots - rich textual heritage
The roots mean where we come from
It gives people opportunity to talk about their ancestors, their origin.
Where we live, what we choose to do each day The present / landscape of action
In this part, participants can talk about their skills, abilities and values.
what people:
- value/care about
- think collectively
- through the eyes of others
- trace the histories - rich stories

Questions could include:

* What are your hopes and dreams for your children, your family, and for you as a person?
* Why are these hopes and dreams important to you?
* Have your hopes and dreams changed after having a child? If so, in what ways?
* How do you hold on to these dreams and hopes?
Branches represent the horizons
-Our hopes, dreams & wishes
- combination of big hopes and smaller
- Hopes for ourselves, family, community - hopes have a history (trace them!)
Those who are special to us
( alive or no longer living)
Legacies bequeathed to us What those special people have given to us
When the participants finish the first part they can be asked to present their tree to the group. Then each participant can put their tree on the wall to become a collective forest.

This brings a sense of collectiveness to the group. Participants may experience a sense that they are not alone when facing the challenges .
Externalising the problem - Collective disclosure - Eliciting responses
Part 3
Part Three: The storms of life - Externalising the problem - Collective
In this part, the facilitator can create a collective document using the participants' stories. This document with their skills in parenting can be shared with other parents.

Each participant can take a copy of the document home.
Partners and friends could be invited to witnesses these stories.
Part 4
3 mothers in the group had been diagnosed with postnatal depression prior to starting the group. All had been prescribed medication to deal with the problem.

All of them were diagnosed by a doctor using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The test only considered the last 7 days of the mothers' lives. Cultural and social contexts/factors were not considered.

When we explored this topic in the group, we found that all the mothers felt like the 3 diagnosed with PND at many times in their motherhood life. All of them had their own ways of responding to and surviving their experience.
Observations of the group
Symptoms of PND:

* were stronger when isolated
* were usually experienced when babies were suffering from colic, reflux, breastfeeding difficulties or other problems
* were stronger when participants compared themselves with other mothers who seemed "perfect"
Exploring the influence of PND
Calling their mothers in Brazil
Meeting with other Brazilian mothers
Believing they were doing their best
Accepting it was ok to stay in bed and leave the house in a mess when over-tired
Not listening too much to the advice of Doctors and other specialists
Knowing that their mothers survived motherhood and that they too would also surivive
Ways They Were Already Responding
* The assumption that breastfeeding is natural
* Many women find it painful; some developed complications
* Not always ok to breastfeed in public in Australia
* Fear of being criticised because of bottlefeeding
* If pain is affecting bonding between mum and baby, isn't it better to bottlefeed the baby?
Breastfeeding Problems
In Brazil...
* Each mother knows what is best for them and their baby
* Milk Mothers are common
* Milk Banks are common
* It is ok to bottlefeed the baby if it assists mothers to bond with their baby

In Australia, we need to speak out about breastfeeding in public and discuss non-sexualiasation (or de-sexualisation?) of the mother's breast for all mothers.
Reconnecting with Brazilian Ways of Breastfeeding
In many Brazilian communities it is ok to talk about sex, however this is not always the case in Australia.

Communicating with partners about sex.
some men find it hard to have sex with their partners after they have became mothers. How do we demystify or address this?

When the mother does not feel attractive, what can be done?
* turn off the lights
* talk to their partner
* give it a go!
Sex After Giving Birth
Several mothers in the group were experiencing Domestic Violence

This presents an opportunity to explain what DV is.

Give out information about services to help migrants and women.
Domestic Violence
There were assumptions that:
* women were more responsible for caring for the baby than men
* if the man provided money they did not need to looking after the baby's daily needs
* if the man changed a nappy, cleaned the house, or looked after the baby during the night, he was doing the mother a favour

We have been exploring ways mothers can invite their partners to share parental responsibilities in ways that are respectful and inclusive. For example we have been getting the fathers to have skin-to-skin time with their babies.
Gender Expectations:
What is the man's and the woman's role in parenthood?
Cultural Differences
Which Brazilian and Australian cultural beliefs or practices do parents want to pass on to their children?
How can this be negotiated with partners?
The importance of reconnecting with family back in Brazil.
Efforts to raise a bilingual children.
Brazilian events in Australia to support our culture.
Complain more about pain
Cry too much
Talk loudly
Lack boundaries
Give too much love
Talk openly about pretty much everything
"Latin American Mothers"
It is the intention to have a celebration session to invite the fathers in to be witnesses of their partners.

Practitioner could create a community of support by encouraging mothers to:
* meet up for coffee or other activities
* contact each other outside of the group
* connect on Facebook and/or create a FB Page
* celebrate children's birthdays or other milestones together
Inviting the fathers in
Key principles:
Double-listening - story of problems and stories of survival
People always respond
Brings to light the skills, values, abilities and special knowledge people have in responding to challenges
There is always a social history to these
Rich story development
Each participant is asked to draw their own tree.
Trees should have:
The Ground
Trunk: What is valued / skills - what people value/care about - think collectively - through the eyes of others - trace the histories - rich
Leaves - Re-membering lives
Postnatal Depression

Legacies bequeathed to us What those special people have given to us
Legacies we wish to leave Gifts we wish to give to others
the invention of unity in diversity’ Paulo Freire (1994, p.157)

Pedagogy of hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.
Full transcript