Peggy-Sax 2Peggy: November 16, 2013

The “Microtraining video  “Neighborly Ways of Being: Social Healing through Therapeutic Conversations shows a conversation (28 minutes) between me and Sheila McNamee about “Neighborly Ways of Being” –  a term that I  sometimes use to describe work with people who consult with me to restore meaning and purpose while transforming painful experiences.

The DVD cover says “

[Peggy Sax] describes the approach as ‘guided by the belief that therapeutic conversations can strengthen social connectedness within the family, as well as in naturally sustaining communities.’ This video explores her work within her community and her approach to crisis.”

Microtraining has given us permission to show the video here (for more videos like this, visit,

Communal practices that build on naturally sustaining webs

In June, 2013, The Journal of Systemic therapies published a special issue on Community Approaches that includes an article by me called “Reclaiming Community out of Personal Catastrophe: Communal practices that build on naturally sustaining webs” (Vol. 32, No. 1, 2013, pp. 30–42).  Here I further develop the concept of “neighborly ways of being” to explore “communal practices” as having therapeutic value in the lives of two people—Joan and Suzanne—each of whom survived personal catastrophes, thanks to their special social nets.

As described in the abstract, “Each woman vividly describes a restored sense of meaning and purpose to her life when she is able to transform her painful experiences into being of service to others. Their stories highlight the deep—and often healing—satisfaction that can come from ally-to-ally relationships, getting involved with local/community resources, drawing from experience knowledge to give back to others and making meaningful contributions to others’ lives.

By carefully offering a range of options, therapists can open possibilities for clients to strengthen their own naturally sustaining webs of connection. The author brings together such influential ideas as the rhizome metaphor, family- centered care, posttraumatic growth, narrative therapy and relational ethics to render visible communal ways of working as legitimate therapeutic practices.”

Thank you to everyone from the Narrative Practice & Collaborative Inquiry Study Group who reviewed drafts, and contributed their support, questions and specific suggestions. I living testimony to the saying, “It take a village to publish an article.”

I’m happy to say I like how it turned out:
and I am now boldly sharing this with you here: 

Reclaiming community out of Personal Catastrophe

I would love to hear any reflections on either the video or the article.