Rhythm of Life by Adriana Müller

G’day and welcome to our first Brazilian Friday Afternoon at Dulwich Centre. It’s a great pleasure to introduce Adriana Müller and her presentation on the Rhythm of Life. This way of working draws on narrative ideas and musical metaphors. Adrianna has created two video presentations … one in English and one in Portuguese.

We look forward to you joining the forum discussion (in either English or Portuguese).

Ritmos da Vida por Adriana Müller

Bom dia e sejam bem vindos a nossa primeira versão brasileira de Sextas à Tarde no Dulwich Centre. Temos grande prazer em lhes apresentar Adriana Müller que vai falar sobre o Ritmos da Vida. Essa forma de trabalhar vincula as ideias narrativas com metáforas relacionadas à música. A Adriana preparou dois vídeos… um em Inglês e outro em Português.

Aguardamos sua participação no fórum de discussão (tanto em Inglês quanto em Português).

Further reading (free)

The Rhythm of Life by Adriana 

Ritmos da Vida
Adriana Müller 

Stories of the Tree of Life from different parts of the world

Join the Tree of Life Facebook group

More information about the Team of Life


Denborough, D. (2008). Collective Narrative Practice: responding to individuals, groups, and communities who have experienced trauma. Adelaide, South Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.

Drewery, W. & Winsdale, J. (1997). The theoretical story of narrative therapy. In: G. MONK (Org.). Narrative therapy in practice: the archaeology of hope (pp.32-51). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Epston, D. (1998). ‘Catching up’ with David Epston: a collection of Narrative Practice-based Papers published between 1991 and 1996. Adelaide, South Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.

Freire, P. (1994). Pedagogy of hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Madigan, S. (2011). Narrative therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Monk, G. (1997). How narrative therapy works. In: G. Monk (Org.). Narrative therapy in practice: the archaeology of hope (pp.3-31). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Newman, D. (2008). Rescuing the said from the saying of it: living documentation in narrative therapy. The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (3), 24-34.

White, M. (1991). Deconstruction and therapy. In: Epston, D. & White, M., Experience, contradiction, narrative and imagination: Selected papers of David Epston and Michael White, 1989-1991 (pp. 109-151). Adelaide, South Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.

White, M. (2007). Maps of narrative practice. New York, NY: Norton.

Published on November 18, 2013

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. August

    Dear Adriana,

    Thank you for a superb and beautifully produced presentation! I appreciated how clearly you presented each component of your design, with clear instruction for its use. I’ve just read your piece, ‘The Rhythm of Life helping children to respond to their parents’ divorce’ (2013), as suggested by my tutor Kassandra of the Dulwich Centre. Thank you so very much for presenting your Rhythm of Life methodology, I appreciate its use within many contexts. Your work is indeed an asset and testimony to the creativity that resides in Narrative work! I am involved in my own project in regards to singing; your work brings food for thought. So thank you!

    Best regards,


    1. Adriana Muller

      Dear August,
      Thank you for your kind words! It feels so nice to know this idea resonates in you and can bring forward so many special ways to help people connect to their own life, their own words, and their own voices. It is so powerful when people create their own song about their responsive ways of overcoming problems and can sing it to an audience. It is as if they are singing themselves into their preferred life – and sharing it with others at the same time! This has always enchanted me… hope you’ll feel the same with your experience. Please, let me know the outcomes of your work.
      In harmony,

  2. Angel Yuen

    Hello Adriana

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and video using musical metaphors. As you spoke about the power of music while birds were singing in the background it felt like a timeless space. The Rhythm of Life is fascinating for me as someone who just a few months ago for the first time learned to read music and take piano lessons. It has opened up a whole new world as you can imagine – and now it is also signficant to have this realm brought in to narrative practice with your methodology.

    In particular I was drawn to the scaffolding you described of symptom-synchrony-symphony where you spoke of ‘moving from the sympton (and being out of tune) to playing in synchrony (the ability to play together) and thereby getting to symphony (where beautiful songs are played together). I am soon starting a young women’s group and look forward to trying the Rhythm of Life during one of the sessions. For the time being the young women are having difficulty playing in tune and hence more noise occurring rather than music. I love the thought of using the sym-syn-symp metaphor to engage rich double-storied conversations and all the while will hold onto your words ‘Everything in life can become a nice tune and above all…it can cure.’ .

    Warm regards,

    Angel from Toronto

  3. Ítalo Latorre Gentoso

    Hi Adriana!

    I really loved your story about the foundations of the development of your methodology, it is very important for me to make visible our own ‘language of life’ and its foundations (social-historical context).

    I also liked very much the attuned metaphor you work with! It seems to be very useful to engage with Freire’s idea… unity in diversity. I found very important, and ‘Bazilian’ (you can correct me this), the development of the collective understandings of living and its possibilities.

    I have a strong conection with your methodology as I developed one calls the Band of Life, that I developed along a person who consult me and founded upon the collective narrative practices shared in Chile by David D (Tree and Team of life)

    In Brazil I presented this work in the context of ‘translation project’ I am engage in along other colleagues (Carolina Letelier, Marcela Polanco and Alfonso Diaz).

    I also related this work with scaffolding practices and the concept development process which in my understanding has to be with non-structuralist translation process.

    I worked specially with young men dealing with the effects of abuse. Was a wonderfull door to talk about what these young people hold precious in life, which they had extremely invisible for them… also this worked as a foundation for talking about the difficulties, effects of abuse or in my Band of Life: the ‘booo!!!’ part smile

    I would like to hear from you how these ideas of translation and scaffolding fits with your understanding of the Rhythm of Life?

    A big south american hug!

    1. Adriana Müller

      Saludos, Ítalo!

      Thank you for your comments on the Rhythm of Life. I am curious to know about the Band of Life – it ‘sounds’ great!

      I don’t really know if I understood your question about the translation process… so, forgive me if I bring this conversation to a very different spot. As I’ve mentioned, my family is a big cultural melting pot and I’ve learned, during my whole life, to pay attention to people’s ideas more than to the words they say. This helps me a lot every now and then. And it also made it possible for me to ‘translate’ the idea of ‘sintoma-sintonia-sinfonia’ (you can find it well explained in the Portuguese version) to the idea of ‘symptom-synchrony-symphony’. Of course, something will be missing – but the key point is to show the double-story account.

      As far as I can see (and maybe I can’t see too far…), the collective narrative practices are a flexible and informal way to access the scaffolding process, as well as the re-authoring process and the re-member conversation. Each step of the Rhythm of Life is planned to help the person to go from the known & familiar towards what is possible to know. The first step is a personal moment when the person has the chance to see the double-storied process and to foccus on a prefered story. When a safe identity territory is made, we connect the individual story to the collective (creating ‘unity in diversity’) and then, the group can share with others what they hold precious.

      Eventhough the first step is a personal moment, peole usually talk to each other and share their thoughts with one another (here in Brazil this cross-talk is very common to happen). Maybe in other countries this happens in a different way… What my Brazilian experience shows me is that this sharing moment enriches this individual approach and helps the scaffolding process to happen.

      I’d like to hear some more about the Band of Life… the ‘booo part’ made me curious…

      Abraços, Adriana

  4. Mark Gordon

    Hi Adriana

    I’ve just watched your presentation from here in Melbourne, Australia. I’m looking forward to letting a few colleagues know about your work because of their particular interest in music.

    I was taken to thinking about all the different ways I find comfort, energy, calmness, enjoyment, inspiration and review from music. I was also wondering about the use of ‘music from nature or the environments we’re a part of or have been a part of….such as the sound of the wind, an approaching storm, rain, the morning and evening sounds of a forest, people playing in a park and so forth…. and how these might be taken up with the kinds of questions you offered.

    When thinking of the conversations we’re a part of, stretching into the world of music and sounds frequently seems to be a rich source of hope and possibility.

    Many thanks and I’ll look forward to hearing more about your work.

    1. Adriana Müller

      Hi Mark,
      Thank you for sharing the Rhythm of Life with your colleagues. Hope they’ll like it!

      I fully agree with you: music is a healing aspect of life… in Japanese the ideogram of medicine is a connection of two drawings: herb and music! And music is all around us, as you’ve mentioned. We can use these examples during the methodology: what sound comes to you when you think about your childhood that brings you comfort and makes you feel secure… what music did your mom sing for you… what words were just like music to your ears (do you say it in English? Cause we have this expression here in Brazil. See, at least you’ve learned something about Japanese and Portuguese!). These “music from nature” bring up some feelings and emotions and memories that can be precious. Thank you for mentionnig this aspect.

      As soon as I have something else to share, I’ll let you know.

Leave a Reply