Using a Narrative Framework to Receive Testimonies of Trauma by Viviane Oliveira / Usando o Questionário para se receber testemunhos de trauma por Viviane Oliveira

In this video, Viviane describes how she has been using a narrative framework to receive and document testimonies of trauma to support people to reclaim their lives from the effects of abuse and violence. She also shares a story of a person she has worked with who has moved away from the effects of trauma and towards a meaningful and happy life after using this framework. The video is presented in English and Portuguese.

Viviane Oliveira is a Brazilian narrative therapist who has been leaving and working in Australia for the last 9 years. She is passionate about social justice and has worked extensively with Aboriginal people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Here is the link with a copy of the framework for receiving and documenting testimonies of trauma by David Denborough

Below, I have also attached a handout in Portuguese with some considerations about the Narrative aproach to trauma and with the translation of the three parts of the framework. This handout was prepared by me, edited by Lucia Halen Abdala and used during a course provided by Recycling Minds.



Neste vídeo, Viviane descreve como ela vem usando o Questionário estruturado para se receber e documentar testemunhos de trauma  durante muitos anos, para ajudar pessoas a recuperarem suas vidas dos efeitos de abuso e violência. Viviane também divide a história de uma pessoa com quem trabalhou, que se afastou dos efeitos de uma vida traumática,  passando a viver uma vida feliz e significativa, depois do uso deste questionário. O vídeo é apresentado em português e inglês.

Viviane é uma terapeuta narrativa brasileira que mora e vive na Austrália há 9 anos. Ela é apaixonada por justiça social e tem grande experiência em trabalhar com populações aborígenes e com pessoas de culturas e línguas diferentes.

Esta é a copia de um documento com algumas considerações sobre a abordagem narrativa no trabalho com trauma. O documento foi preparado por Viviane Oliveira e editado pela equipe do Projeto Reciclando Mentes. O mesmo foi usado durante um curso sobre práticas narrativas oferecido pelo Reciclando Mentes: Abordagem Narrativa do Trauma

References/ Referências

Denborough, D. (2006). A framework for receiving and documenting testimonies of trauma. In David Denborough (ed), Trauma: Narrative responses to traumatic experience (pp.115-131). Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.

Denborough, D. (2008). Collective Narrative Practices: Responding to individuals, groups and communities who have experienced trauma (pp.25-49). Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.

White, M. (2006). Working with people   who are suffering the consequences of multiple trauma : A narrative perspective. In David Denborough (ed), Trauma: Narrative responses to traumatic experience (pp.25-85). Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.

Published on October 30, 2015

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Fathieh

    Dear Elephant Woman, thank you for sharing your story. I was inspired by it and I know that many women I work with will feel reinvigorated by it.

    Viviane, thank you for the framework, I found it very helpful.

  2. Pooja Raina

    Dear Elephant Woman,
    Immensely grateful to you for sharing your story of resistance and courage. I am going to share your story with my sister who is currently going through a difficult marriage. Your story has helped me to understand how can I support her better. I hope to be able to discover these stories of resistance with the people I work with.

    Dear Viviane,
    Thankyou for sharing Elephant Woman’s story. Your work is very inspiring.

    Warm Regards,

  3. andria

    Dear Elephant woman,
    I just want to thank you for sharing your story, the hurt you have gone through and the resistance you have put up. I’m inspired by your resistance to choose to live a life free from abuse. As you share your story, I found myself having the hope that one day, one of my clients, who had also been subjected to abuse, will be able to gain strength and walk out of the relationship and experience the freedom to live a life that is without constant fear. She could also live a life where she is free to choose where she wants to go, what time she wants to go at, and who she wants to invite in her adventure. Thank you for stepping forward to share your story.

  4. Rene Askanazi

    Thank you for sharing your testimony.You have shown great courage and personal strength.I will use it to encourage women I work with who are also trying to move beyond the effects of trauma in their lives as they embrace their strengths.

  5. annie

    Dear Elephant Woman
    Thank you so much for sharing your story of how you overcame your obstacles to become the beautiful and brave person you always were inside. It is an honour to hear your words and also inspiring. By sharing what helped you, you are helping many other people. I work with young people who have experienced much trauma and abuse and what you shared will help me in my work with them. You are so right when you say that the shame belongs with the abuser and not the person being abused. To find the self confidence and the beauty inside takes a lot of courage and perseverance – just to keep going and grow and become more than you ever thought possible. This is a lesson for all of us, and especially those who have had to overcome such big obstacles. I loved your connection with the elephant – a strong and wise being and can’t help thinking that this is who you are too. It is a strange coincidence that last week, a young girl I was working with talked about how much she loves elephants and sees them as an animal of wisdom, strength and protection. Thank you again for sharing your story.

  6. Judith

    I am particularly inspired by your describing how you will tell the person with whom you work, that their narrative will be useful to you; you also gain experience from them.

  7. Barbara

    Dear Elephant Woman,

    Thank you for allowing your testimony to be shared so widely with others through this video. I felt tearful at many points, touched by the courage, bravery and inspiring resistance you demonstrated throughout your life. As I listened it reminded me of the young women I work with and I wondered what it would be like for them to hear your testimony and your continued actions that are a testimony in themselves. I will message again to share their response. Warm wishes

  8. Melissa Potter

    Dear Elephant Woman,

    Your story touched my heart, today. I heard it when listening to a video that your counselor, Viviane, made. I am studying Narrative Therapy in my college in New Hampshire, in the United States. When I heard your story, I found myself feeling so grateful for the flood of love and healing power that moved through your life, and through you. I am so happy that you have your own Elephant House now!

    Sending a hug across the sea to you,

    Melissa Potter
    NH, USA

  9. Viviane Oliveira

    Dear Laurel,

    I happy you found the presentation helpful. I will pass your beautiful message to the Elephant Women. I am sure she will appreciate it and be happy to learn that her story has travelled all the way from Australia to Canada! She will also be very happy to know that her story has made a contribution towards your life as a person and as a professional.

    Warm regrads,

  10. Laura

    Thank you Viviane for sharing your experiences with this framework from David Denborough. It was a helpful presentation for me. I especially want to thank your client, the elephant woman for the courage and openness to be willing to create her document and then share it here. I am touched by her wisdom and creativity to find strength in herself through the strength of an elephant in response to such painful experiences. Please tell her that she has helped me as both a person and a counsellor who works in Canada with clients who have been or are in abusive situations. I am left feeling hopeful and with renewed confidence in the process of healing from and resisting violence.
    Kindest wishes to you both,

  11. Diana

    Dear Elephant women,
    What a beautiful name for a beautiful story 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you all the best continuing your life in a safe and happier place.

    All the best,

    1. Viviane Oliveira

      Dear Diana,

      Thank you so much for this lovely message. I will pass it to the Elephant Woman.

      Kind regards,

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