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Foundations Level Three:
Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
5 day intensive, 30 CEC's


Image by James Wheeler

Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
5 Day Intensive

30 CE credits granted by CCPA

December 1-3, 2023, January 20-21st, 2024

"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.


Weekend One: Couples, Groups and Families


Weekend Two: Neurobiology, Trauma + Narrative Interviews with the Body

See course schedule, topics, and presenters below.

VSNT Teaching Faculty:

Rosa Arteaga (Canada/Mexico), Julia Gerlitz (Canada), Helene Grau Kristensen (Denmark), Stephen Madigan (Canada), David Marsten (USA),Todd May (USA), David 'Rock' Nylund (USA)

Dates: December 1-3rd, 2023 and January 20-21st, 2024

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

Location: Classes are taught live through Zoom video conferencing

Professional: $850 CAD (+ tax)

Students/ members: $700 CAD (+ tax)

Proof of student status is required upon registration

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


Due to issues of confidentiality and participant consent, recordings of this training will not be made available.

Training Schedule

Faculty and curriculum are subject to change

Weekend One, December 1-3rd, 2023

Relationships are Relational: Narrativ
e Therapy informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI) with Conflicted Couple Relationships
Stephen Madigan, PhD, Todd May, PhD

Day 1 - All Day

8:15 AM – 2:15 PM (Break 11 AM-Noon)

Stephen is the VSNT couple therapist who first created NIRI. The therapy practice is deeply interwoven within philosopher Todd May'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.

Interviewing the Interviewer: Narrative Therapy Informed Relational Interviewing with Conflicted Couple Relationships
Helene Grau Kristensen MA, Stephen Madigan PhD & David Marsten MSW

Day 2 

8:15 AM – 11 AM 

Helene and David are both 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.

Queer Informed Narrative Therapy with Trans Youth and Families
David “Rock” Nylund PhD

Day 2 

12 PM –2:15 PM

Rock 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.

Innovative Use of Therapeutic Letters: Inviting Clients, Groups and Supervisors to write letters too!
Julia Gerlitz MA & Rock Nylund PhD

Day 3 

8:15 AM – 11AM 

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.

Narrative and the Body: Maurice Merleau-Ponty as the missing narrative theorist
Todd May, PhD

Day 3 

12 noon - 2:30pm

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.

Weekend Two, January 20-21st, 2024

Neurobiology and Narrative Therapy
Jeff Zimmerman, PhD

Day 1 (All Day)

8:15 AM – 2:15 PM

(Break 11 AM-Noon)

Jeff demonstrates how current understandings about the brain and the distributed nervous system in the body might contribute to dramatically enriching and evolving our narrative therapy practice. Exciting.

Narrative Interviews Violated Bodies
Rosa Arteaga, MS

Day 2 (All Day)

8:15 AM – 2:15 PM

(Break 11 AM-Noon)

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.

Foundations and Fundamentals of Narrative Therapy Practice Stephen Madigan PhD

Day 5 

12:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Foundation participants are now beginning to have a solid working knowledge and understanding of theoretical frameworks, and therapeutic practices at the heart of narrative therapy interviewing. Stephen moves Sunday afternoon'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. 

He ends the training with participant reflections and questions.

Anchor 1


"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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