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Foundations Level 3:
Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
5 Day Intensive
(30 CEC's)

Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
Five Day Intensive 

30 CE credits granted by the CCPA

"Being a narrative therapist for over 15 years, I wondered what was left to learn? Your Advanced Practice course opened SO many new possibilities for new practice. Thanks to ALL of you and your beautiful work and showing me a way into the future!” - Advanced Participant, May 2021, LA, California

"It's overwhelming to consider the level of VSNT teachers skill and understanding. I've done probably 5,000 hours of narrative therapy hours and feel pretty good but watching them show their work shows me just how far we can go. Really can't thank them enough. Cheers!" - Advanced Participant, February 2023, Vancouver, BC

VSNT faculty are dramatically reshaping the ideas and practices of Narrative Therapy. Join us for a powerful 2 weekend intensive that promises to improve your application and knowledge of narrative therapy. 

See course schedule, topics, and presenters below.

Weekend One: December 1-3, 2023

Couples, Groups and Families


Weekend Two: January 20-21, 2024

Neurobiology, Trauma + Narrative Interviews with the Body

Zoom Time: 8:15am - 2:15pm PST

Location: Classes are taught live through Zoom video conferencing


$850. CAD + tax (~ $645. USD + tax )


Students/ members: 

$700.00. CAD + tax (~ $530. USD + tax)

VSNT faculty welcomes participants at all levels of practice experience and theoretical understanding to join us in these new training courses.

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Weekend One: 
Weekend One: December 1-3, 2023
8:15am - 2:15pm Pacific Time


DAY 1: Relationships are Relational: Narrative Therapy informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI) with Conflicted Couple Relationships. 

Stephen is the VSNT couple therapist who first created NIRI. The therapy practice is deeply interwoven within philosopher Todd's ideas and teachings. Together they guide participants through the relational and ideological complexities, politic, interviewing steps, questioning craft, letter writing to the relationship etc., that is at the heart of this common sense practice of couple therapy. Session demonstrations with couples from Canada, Norway, and America will show the theory in practice.. 

Stephen Madigan PhD & Todd May PhD 

DAY 2 (Morning): Interviewing the Interviewer: Narrative Therapy informed Relational Interviewing with Conflicted Couple Relationships.

Helene and David are bot very close collaborators with the ongoing developments in NIRI practice. They will act as the supervisor, interviewer, and commentators. Helene and David invite Stephen to take participants through the step-by-step process and practice of session demonstrations working with couples from Canada, Norway, and America. 

Helene Grau Kristensen MA & Stephen Madigan PhD & David Marsten MSW 

DAY 2 (Afternoon): Queer Informed Narrative Therapy with Trans Youth and Families. Rock's demonstrates his newly created narrative therapy informed 5-step relational approach with trans youth and their families (and the communities they live in). This stunning new approach brings forth parental/caregiver affirmation and community support of trans youth.

David “Rock” Nylund (USA).  

DAY 3 (Morning): 

Innovative Use of Therapeutic Letters: Inviting Clients, Groups, and Supervisors to write letters too!

 Julia and Rock show participants how they have explored the practice of therapeutic letter writing in novel and innovative ways. Their work includes inviting clients to write letters to clients, using co-created narrative documents in place of group therapy, and the use of letters in supervision. Their aim is to inspire participants to try new ways of using letters in narrative practice by sharing examples of these letters, walking you through a step-by-step outline of the process, and highlighting narrative principles/theory underpinning these innovations.  

Julia Gerlitz (Canada) & Rock Nylund (USA)

DAY 3 (Afternoon):

Narrative and the Body: Maurice Merleau-Ponty as the missing narrative theorist

Maurice Merleau-Ponty is the missing theoretical link in narrative practice. His conception of the body and how it engages the world provides a bridge from Michel Foucault’s politics to therapeutic practice. We know that we are embodied, but narrative theory has not articulated a full framework for understanding embodiment. This session will introduce participants to the thought of Merleau-Ponty and how it connects to both Michel Foucault and narrative theory.

Todd May (USA)

Image by James Wheeler
Image by Hal Gatewood
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Weekend Two:
January, 20-21, 2024
8:15am - 2:15pm Pacific Time

Neurobiology, Trauma + Narrative Interviews the Body

Rosa Elana Arteaga MS & Jeff Zimmerman PH.D

Day One: Neurobiology and Narrative Therapy: Jeff demonstrates how current understandings about the brain and the distributed nervous system in the body might contribute to dramatically enrich and evolve our narrative therapy practice. Exciting.


Day Two: Narrative Interviews Violated Bodies. Rosa transports participants beyond current trauma informed practice trends and highlights her twenty years of direct practice as acting Clinical Supervisor of an experienced, all woman, narrative therapy inspired gender violence team in Vancouver, Canada. Profound.


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Rosa Arteaga, MA

Rosa developed the innovative narrative therapy/social justice/feminist inspired therapeutic practice to support girls and women of all ages and diverse backgrounds who are experiencing complex trauma and violence. Her work takes the learner inside the vast complexities of gender violence through theoretical discussions, storytelling, and unaltered transcripts. Rosa trains internationally and for the past 12 years has been known simply as "the brilliant Clinical Director and Supervisor " - who guides the multi-disciplinary team with a nonprofit anti-violence women’s organization in Vancouver, Canada. Rosa is a longtime Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy faculty member. 

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Christine Dennstedt PhD

For the first ten years post-Masters degree

Christine trained, published, and worked,  at a ground-breaking narrative therapy inspired substance use program for street and sex trade youths. By 2010 she had completed her PhD after writing a narrative therapy informed Doctoral Dissertation on the interconnection between substance misuse and disordered eating in the lives of young women. Along with her private practice in Whistler, Canada, Christine is centrally involved with new developments in the field of psychedelic medicines and mental health - and their relationship with narrative practice. Look for her teaching on narrative therapy with psychedelic medicines and mental health at VSNT - in the coming future.


Helene Grau, MA

Helene is a co-founder of Praksis: The Centre for Narrative Therapy in Denmark. She was originally supervised and trained for many years by Michael White, effects family policy on death and grieving within Denmark, presents workshops internationally, teaches narrative therapy at the University of Copenhagen, and is a senior faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. Helene's individual, couple, and multiple family group therapy practice work is described as "outrageously original". She specializes in Grief, Death, Loss and Hope - and working with parents who have experienced the death of a child. Helene is a regular interview consultant and guest on

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Stephen Madigan, PhD

Stephen is an award winning narrative therapist, best selling therapy author, Training Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, content manager of, long time supervisor to Norway’s High Couple Conflict Teams, and, he wrote the first ever doctoral dissertation on narrative therapy. His therapy work is studied in Graduate University programs across the world through various media forms such as the American Psychological Associations production of a set of six professional learning videos filming his live narrative practice, and the 1st and 2nd Edition of his book Narrative Therapy, published in 2011 & 2019 (3rd Edition out in 2024). Stephen teaches, trains, consults and supervises globally.

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Todd May, PhD

Todd is the resident teaching Philosopher and faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, and a former Professor of the Humanities at Clemson University. He is the author of seventeen books of philosophy, including Michel Foucault (2006) and Gilles Deleuze (2005).  For decades he has been active in grassroots political movements and most recently in immigration rights and anti-racism campaigns. He was the philosopher advisor to the hit TV show The Good Place on NBC and the primary philosophical consultant on the book: How to Be Perfect, written by Emmy Award–winning television producer and writer Mike Schur (2022). Todd recently completed a new book on The Philosophy of Care. Todd is a regular interview consultant and guest on

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David 'Rock' Nylund, PhD

Rock began practicing narrative therapy in 1990. He is a Professor of Social Work at California State University Sacramento, Clinical Director/Supervisor of the award winning Gender Health Centre, and longtime Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy faculty member. He has written 55 articles on a wide range of cultural studies and narrative therapy practice topics and three books on Narrative Therapy: Narrative Therapies with Children and Adolescents (1997); Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach to Working with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD (2000); and Therapeutic Conversations with Queer Youth: Transcending Homonormativity and Constructing Preferred Identities (2013). Rock teaches narrative therapy workshops  worldwide

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Jeff Zimmerman, PhD

Jeff Zimmerman is at the top of the list of veteran narrative therapist/teachers world wide. Jeff first began his apprenticeship with Michael White in 1988 where he became Michael’s closest friend in North America. Jeff has over 15,000 + hours of in session narrative therapy experience, and is the co-author of a tremendously astute and helpful book entitled ‘If Problems Talked’ (a wonderful primer of old school narrative therapy!). His latest book ‘Neuro-Narrative Therapy – new possibilities for emotion-filled conversations’ is considered a must read book written well ahead of its time.


"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."

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