Online 5-Day Foundations Certificate Training

(30 CEC's)

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Foundations of Theory and Practice

30 CE credits granted by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

February 25-27th, March 4-5th 2022 + 1/2 day  March 19th
30% sold

Our intention is to share a few moments of happiness and creativity with you; A discussion and demonstration of what is possible within a practice of unsuffering the suffering people bring to therapy.


Your practice learning is guided by six world-class narrative therapists, a critical race scholar, and one highly imaginative continental philosopher. Participants receive an inspired, practice based (and always fun), interactive experience within the relational intersection between narrative therapy theory and practice. 

Online Teaching Faculty:

Rosa Arteaga, (Canada/Mexico), Harjeet Badwall (Canada), Christine Dennstedt (Canada), Helene Grau  (Denmark),

Stephen Madigan (Canada), David Marsten (USA), 

Todd May (USA), David Nylund (USA)

Dates: February 25-27th, March 4-5th 2022

1/2 Day Follow-up: March 19 2022

Time: 8:15 am - 2:15 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (Vancouver, BC)

Location: Classes will be taught live through Zoom video conferencing

Professional: $800 CAD (+ tax)

Students/ members: $600 CAD (+ tax)

Proof of student status is required upon registration

This course is designed for mental health practitioners, students, teachers, supervisors and those in the helping professions.

This course is presented live. Due to issues of confidentiality and participant consent, recordings of this training will not be made available.


Faculty and curriculum are subject to change

Foundations and Fundamentals of Narrative Therapy Practice
Stephen Madigan, PhD

Day 1 

8:15 AM – 2:15 PM (Break 11-noon)

Stephen introduces participants to the four therapeutic practices at the heart of narrative therapy interviewing. Discussed through numerous clinical video examples demonstrating: 1) Relational Externalizing, 2) Relative Influence Questions 3) Unique Outcome Moments, 4) Double Listening. Stephen interacts with participant questions through 'slow showing' a variety of his video taped sessions with individuals, families, and couples while carefully pointing out the purpose, politic, intention, direction and ideology supporting these narrative therapy interview practices.

A Philosophical Framework for Thinking About Narrative Therapy Practice
Todd May, PhD

Day 2 

8:15 AM – 11 AM 

Without an intimate understanding of philosopher Michel Foucault's post-structural ideas it would be difficult for anyone to fully understand Michael White's construction and demonstration of narrative therapy practice. Philosopher Todd May guides participants into the political and ideological complexities of Foucault's theoretical framework and offers the learner the all important coherent link between theory and the narrative practice demonstrated during the first two days of training.

Todd's discussion unravels the conceptual complexities of non-individualism, essentialism, expert knowledge, the concept of power, and the intersection of practices, values, norms and normativity. The ongoing project for participants is to continually link together these vital theoretical ideas to our daily narrative therapy practices inside the therapy room.

Therapeutic Letter Writing + Live Counter-Story Demonstration Interview
David Rock Nylund, PhD

Day 2 

12 PM –2:15 PM

Rock introduces Foundation participants to the historical roots, writing frameworks, unique practices and categories within the craft of therapeutic letter writing. He follows up the discussion with a superbly textured Live counter-story interview demonstration with a volunteer. Foundation participants are then invited into a Live practice experience of crafting narrative therapy questions and writing therapeutic letters in response to the interview they have just witnessed.

Foundations and Fundamentals of Narrative Therapy Practice
Stephen Madigan PhD

Day 3 

8:15 AM – 11AM 

 Foundation participants are now beginning to have a solid working knowledge and understanding of Michel Foucault, therapeutic letter writing, and four therapeutic practices at the heart of narrative therapy interviewing. Stephen moves Sunday morning's discussion forward towards new understandings and skills related to the next set of important narrative practice understandings: 5) Re-membering conversations, 6) Re-authoring conversations, and 7) The counter-file method for taking in-session therapy notes. 

Narrative therapy informed Anti-anorexia/bulimia practice
Christine Dennstedt PhD

Day 3 

12 noon - 2:15pm

Approximately 30 million Americans live with an eating disorder, 70 million people world wideCollectively, eating disorders have the highest death rates among all mental health issues. Consequently, a majority of therapists prefer not to work with eating disorders therapists. Christine guides participants through a non-individualist, cultural and contextual therapeutic practice  discussion. Through slides, unaltered transcripts, and video tape sessions she skillfully demonstrates the complexities involved with an Anti-anorexia/bulimia narrative therapy practice.

Narrative Therapy with Couples: Death, Grief and Loss,
Helene Grau, MA

Day 4 

8:15 AM – 11:00 AM

Participants are introduced to Helene’s ground breaking narrative therapy work with parents who have experienced the death of a child. The workshop teaches participants numerous practical skills and new relational narrative therapy understandings about working with grief, death, loss, communities of concern, and relational re-membering conversations.  Helene guides participants through transcripts and videos with grieving couples that affords her narrative practice to re-connect and enliven the dead child, as well as a means to contest, challenge and change what parents, the child, and the community experience about loss and death. Numerous therapists in the field of grief, loss and narrative therapy refer to her work as "beautiful” , "dignifying", and “relationally elegant”.

Normativity and Power Relations in the Practice of Therapy.
Harjeet Badwall PhD, and David Rock Nylund PhD 

Day 4

12:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Harjeet and Rock are both Social Work Professors, both studied under Michael White, and both hold a passionate interest in documenting, teaching and writing about structures of power, the government of persons, and normative recruitment schemes. They present a broad introduction to critical race, queer and trans theory, the work of Michel Foucault, and how their understanding of this theory translates into the practice of narrative therapy.  Through slides show, session video and interactive discussion they highlight the contemporary issues of representation, the experience of racism among racialized workers, transgender youth, masculinities, gender binaries and, more. 

Wonderfulness Interviewing with Children and Families

David Marsten, MSW

Day 5 

8:15 AM – 11:00 AM

David teaches through 28 years of direct narrative therapy practice experience with children and families. Key narrative practices from his internationally acclaimed co-authored book Narrative Therapy in Wonderland (2017) are discussed and demonstrated. David will then guide participants into his newest practice ideas involving narrative structure, darkening storied landscapes, and the idea of dramatization. His teaching involves showing multiple direct practice videos of his work with children and families that highlight the beauty, skill and complexity of this work.

Gender-Violence and Trauma

Rosa Arteaga, MA

Day 5 

12:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Through Rosa's work as the clinical supervisor within a multi-disciplinary team with a nonprofit anti-violence women’s organization, participants receive a close up intimate experience of her narrative therapy informed social justice/feminist inspired therapeutic practice. Participants learn how to support girls and women of all ages and diverse backgrounds who are experiencing complex trauma and violence. Rosa guides participants well beyond current ideas about trauma and facilitates her teaching by taking the learner inside the complexities of gender violence through storytelling, session videos and her unaltered transcripts.

1/2 Day Followup

Stephen Madigan PhD, David Rock Nylund PhD

Followup 1/2 Day

8:15 AM - 11 AM

Rock & Stephen engage participants in an interactive learning review of therapeutic ideas and practices learned over the five-day Foundations training. This is a time for participants to discuss what they learned and the specific ideas and practices that stood out - and to raise any questions regarding the foundations of narrative therapy practices.


"I loved all the information and getting it from such high quality professionals. It was amazing to be able to see them all in action. The live demonstrations were probably my favourite part, as well as all of the discussion."