Narrative Practitioner

~ Healing through Stories ~

Dr Marlene Winberg


Narrative Therapy Practitioner Certificate (Dulwich Centre Australia)

Hypnotherapy Practitioner Dip (AMAP United Kingdom)

When our life story is invoked by illness, loss, depression, divorce, grief, addiction or stress, we are summoned to wrestle with the purpose of life. The storytelling approach to healing acknowledges that we make meaning of our lives through the stories we tell, believe and construct.

My work focusses on helping people re-story their narratives by skilfully re-visiting and re-working their problem saturated, or broken stories. We can tell many stories about the same event by carefully tracing the multiple threads of our stories. When our personal plots thicken and become multi-layered, we become more aware of our capacity to make choices and transform our lived stories. During this journey we may re-author our stories into preferred, useful narratives that support our well-being.

Narrative practice offers us an aesthetic response to well-being, because our brains are programmed for the symbolic and interpretive nature of storytelling. We may also draw on non-verbal forms of storytelling, including art-making or music, depending on the needs of the people involved.

An introductory session will familiarise you with the structured practice of narrative therapy. You will gain insight into your storyline and apply the narrative medicine to the threads of your story that needs healing. The course that follows consists of 8 sessions and will enable you to re-author your problem story into a strong narrative that draws on your achievements, skills and values. As a registered hypnotherapist, I may draw on the natural techniques of hypnosis to assist you in accessing, or re-enforcing, your preferred stories.

Schedule an introductory appointment at info@manyeka.co.za or call 083 392 5153.

I would like to acknowledge the San healers and storytellers who are the traditional custodians of many of the stories and concepts I work with. I would also like to pay my respect to the !xun Council of Traditional Elders whose teachings over the past 25 years has informed my research in indigenous narrative practice and therapeutic storytelling in the Science Faculty at the University of Cape Town (www.manyeka.co.za).


My Elands Heart

This is a collection of the art and stories of 17 !Xun and Khwe artists and storytellers who lived and worked in South Africa. Members of two San communities that were displaced by decades of war in Angola and Namibia and resettled in the semi-desert of the Northern Cape, these men and women belonged to the !Xun and Khwe Art and Culture Project (1991-2005), whose work became well known and appreciated in Africa, Europe and Scandinavia.


Google Books

!Nannis Sketchbook

!nanni’s Sketchbook - annotations of loss and abundance, celebrates a 19th century collection of children’s drawings and paintings made by the Namibian !kun child, !nanni and his three friends, Tamme, |uma and Da. This book illuminates their work, tells the story of where they came from, how they were abducted and ended up in the Cape colonial home of linguist Lucy Lloyd - where they made the collection. The !kun children’s archive is part of the larger Bleek and Lloyd Collection – entered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Manyeka Books info@manyeka.co.za

Kapilolo's Kulimatji

In this remarkable book, Kapilolo’s Kulimatji – a !xun San storyteller’s memoir, Kapilolo Mario Mahongo recounts for the first time from an indigenous perspective, the heart-rending results for his family and San compatriots of their involvement in the independence wars against Portugal and South Africa in Angola and Namibia. Mahongo is one of the unsung heroes amongst indigenous San in southern Africa as they continue the struggle to survive and retain their identity, culture and languages far from the place of their birth.

Kapilolo’s Kulimatji – a !xun San storyteller’s memoir, dictated to editor Marlene Sullivan Winberg between 1994 and 2017 and accompanied by her own account of the circumstances that led to her 23-year friendship with Mahongo, is an emotionally charged book and a welcome new genre for southern African indigenous literature.

Manyeka Books info@manyeka.co.za

Children's Books

A series of 6 children's books with traditional San stories and illustrations by !xun artists.

Manyeka Books info@manyeka.co.za

Back To The Land

Text by Marlene Winberg

Photographs by Paul Weinberg

With an introductory essay by Achmat Dangor

In 1994, people began to return to land in rural South Africa they had lost under apartheid. This book chronicles that process and other related aspects of the South African government’s land reform programme between 1994 and 1996.

Paul Weinberg

The Storyteller

The Storyteller is a collection of folktales from the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango River villages in Botswana. It was made when groups of young storytellers gathered in D’Kar and Shakawe to perform and record their family stories. Twenty-three tales were written in Naro, Khwedam, ||Anikhwedam, Ju|’hoansi, Thimbukushu, Otjiherero, ShiYei and English.

This collection is a reflection of a changing oral tradition where cultures meet and integrate; where computer technology exists alongside traditional healing, where people work in their small offices and libraries in the desert, quietly creating their own educational futures. It testifies to a younger generation’s capacity to record, write and translate their elders’ oral traditions.

This little book, enhanced by the work of the San artists at the Kuru Art Project in the Kalahari, honours the Botswana tradition of storytelling and the diversity of its language heritage.

Audio Stories

The Mud Baby

A fertility story narrated by traditional !xun healer Meneputo Manunga Manyeka. Translated by Marlene Winberg. Accompanied by !xun music.


The Water Woman

This story narrates the birth of a traditional San healer. Translated by Marlene Winberg. Accompanied by !xun music..


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Narrative Therapist & Storyteller