Jill Freedman

Jill Freedman

Shortly after the tragic Sandy Hook  Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, USA, Jill was interviewed by PNS journalists Lark Corbeil and Mike Cliff to discuss ways of responding to the school shootings (December 16, 2013).   In no way wishing to diminish the importance of  focusing on the days immediately following a traumatic event, Jill skillfully asks additional questions that demonstrate what a narrative worldview looks like in action.   The complex narrative that emerges  goes beyond a thin description of trauma, and sheds light on how trauma can have multiple effects such as rededicating ourselves to helping others,  finding a sense of purpose, connecting with others.

Click here to listen to Why “Why” Isn’t Enough: Special Feature on Sandy Hook. 

Some of the questions Jill asks include:

  • What else was going on? How else do people respond?
  • What are some of the small responses that might otherwise go unnoticed?
  • What’s going on in our culture that we are having more of these crises?
  • As a culture, are we creating a smaller and smaller idea of how to be a successful person or young man?

eftcJill Freedman & Gene Combs are co-directors of The Evanston Family Therapy Center where they offer consultation and workshops. EFTC is a nonprofit organization that offers workshops, consultations, and supervision in narrative ideas and practices. Jill and Gene have co-authored more than 30 journal articles and book chapters and 3 books including Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities, Narrative Therapy with couples…and a whole lot more!; Symbol, Story, and Ceremony: Using Metaphor in Individual and Family Therapy.

Dedicated to teaching narrative therapy, Jill and Gene have mentored many aspiring narrative practitioners in the USA and beyond. Jill currently offers a lot of out-of-town teaching in places such as China, Mexico, Austria, Australia and New Zealand. Gene is currently an associate professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at NorthShore University HealthSystem, where he is Director of Behavioral Science for the University of Chicago affiliated Family Medicine Residency Program. They especially love when they can teach together including the Evanston Family Therapy Center Yearlong Narrative Training Program and an Advanced Intensive in Tuscany, Italy.

For further study

Michael White

Michael White

Jill Freedman’s questions reflect Michael White’s approach to addressing the consequences to trauma. For further interest, please consult the following by Michael White: International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work Responding to Trauma Part 2 -2005 Nos. 3 & 4 (Click here for a short online review by Ruth Pluznick)

Attending to the consequences of trauma in Michael White’s Workshop notes.

Please note: the forthcoming Honoring Our Legacy online course includes a recording of Michael White’s 2005 workshop at The Evolution of Psychotherapy on “Attending to the Consequences of Trauma.”