Our Teaching Team

ROSA ARTEAGA, MA
Mexico and Canada

Rosa is the Clinical Director and supervisor within a multi-disciplinary team with a non-profit anti-violence women’s organization, and long time Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy faculty member. She has developed a powerfully innovative narrative therapy informed social justice/feminist inspired therapeutic practice to support girls and women of all ages, and diverse backgrounds who are experiencing complex trauma and violence. Rosa guides participants far beyond popular ideas on trauma informed therapy by situating the complexities of gender violence and trauma within cultural, racial and gender politics. She has also created novel ways to interview the body and demonstrates all her work through  session videos, story-telling and unaltered transcripts. Rosa trains and supervises world wide in both Spanish and English.

CHRISTINE DENNSTEDT, PHD
Canada

Christine has been at the forefront of the narrative therapy community in Vancouver, Canada since completing her Master's degree in 2002. For the first ten years post-Masters she trained, worked, published and innovated new forms of narrative group work at Peak House, a substance use program for street and sex trade youths that was fully steeped in narrative practices. By 2010 she had completed her PhD, working closely with the TAOS Institutes world renown director Dr. Sheila MacNamee. Christine's narrative therapy informed Doctoral dissertation articulated the interconnection between substance misuse and disordered eating in the lives of young women. Along with her private practice now in Whistler, Canada, Christine is involved in new practice developments in the field of psychedelic medicines and mental health - and their relationship with narrative practice. In 2021 she was accepted into the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

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HELENE GRAU, MA
Denmark

Helene is co-founder of Narrativ Praxsis the Centre for Narrative Therapy in Denmark. She is a long time faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, frequent guest on VSNT.live, teaches narrative therapy at the University of Copenhagen, and rigorously studied alongside Michael White for many years. Helene is known for her elegant and awe inspiring narrative practice working with persons in relationship to grief, death and loss. Her narrative therapy inspired relational couple and family therapy practice specializes in work with parent relationships who have experienced the loss of a child. She teaches, trains and supervises world wide.

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HARJEET BADWALL, PhD
 
Canada

Harjeet works from an interlocking analysis of violence and oppression and situates her practice within critical race theories, anti-colonial studies and post-structuralism. Her academic teaching is committed to deconstructing and resisting the operations of dominant discourses in our world. She is an Associate Professor at York University’s School of Social Work with a research focus on race, racism, and white dominance in social work pedagogy, curriculum and practice. Having studied with Michael White, Narrative Therapy ideas have been central to her therapeutic practices and analysis of social and political concerns.

STEPHEN MADIGAN, PHD
Canada

Stephen is an award winning narrative therapist, best selling therapy author, Training Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, content manager of VSNT.live, 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. Stephen teaches, trains, consults and supervises globally.

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DAVID MARSTEN, MA
USA

Veteran Los Angeles based narrative therapist and VSNT faculty memberDavid Marsten is the co-author of the fabulous book on working with children, youth and families entitled Narrative Therapy in Wonderland (November, 2016). David developed one of the first narrative therapy internship programs in the Los Angeles area and in 1998 and established Miracle Mile Community Practice with a mission to provide affordable counselling and advanced training in narrative therapy. He has presented his ground breaking Wonderfulness Narrative Therapy practice in India, Turkey, Spain, Norway, USA and Canada. David teaches workshops through theoretical discussion, live video taped sessions, and unaltered transcripts.

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TODD MAY, PHD
USA

Todd is the resident teaching philosopher and faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, Professor of the Humanities at Clemson University, and teaches people sentenced to life imprisonment and others coming off of years in solitary confinement. He is the author of sixteen 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 recently the primary philosophical consultant on a  fabulous new book entitled How to Be Perfect, written by Emmy Award–winning television producer and writer Mike Schur - out January 28, 2022.

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AARON MUNRO, MA
Canada

Aaron is Queer and Trans identified and for more than 18 years has worked as an advocate, activist and Agency director for the rights and dignity of unhoused people. Aaron's experience has led him to many ‘mental health firsts’ in Canada – including opening the first trans youth homeless housing project in 2017, and more recently in 2021, designed and opened the first homeless trans adult housing project staffed entirely by trans identified people. He holds a Masters degree in  Narrative Therapy from the University of Melbourne, Australia and  VSNT faculty member. He has also produced several video documentaries on stigma, mental health and the homeless and is the recent creator of a learning website for Peer support, social work and community workers.

DAVID ROCK NYLUND, PhD
USA

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 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) along with publishing 55 articles on a wide range of narrative therapy theory and practice topics. His newest book on Narrative Therapy informed practice with with families and trans youth will be out in 2022-2023. He conducts ongoing narrative therapy workshops for mental health professionals worldwide

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ROBIN WILLIS, MA, MCP
Operations Director, Canada

Robin holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology and a Masters of Arts degree in acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London England. After retiring from a successful acting career in NYC and Toronto, Robin works as a therapist in private practice. She is happy to be overseeing the meaningful work of The Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy as Director of Operations.

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Associate Faculty

ERLING FIDJESTTØL, MA
Norway

Erling is recognized around the world as a leader in narrative theory and practice understandings in Norway. He is a clinical director and family therapist at the ROBUST child and family therapy Clinic in Oslo and for the last 17 years has immersed himself entirely in the study and practice of narrative therapy. He teaches narrative therapy to Family Therapy Graduate students and works with children, youth and their families suffering with a wide range of difficulties including high conflicts, and social, cultural and mental health issues of various kinds.

ALEX FILIPPELLI, MA 
USA

Alex Filippelli is a queer and trans Social Worker and Advocate with 11 years of non-profit management and direct service experience. Five years providing Trans and LGBQ-affirming care, and another five working in violence prevention education in sexual assault centres. Alex holds an MSW from the University of Victoria, Canada and is currently a lecturer with California State University, Sacramento’s Division of Social Work. Their research interests and practice areas are LGBTQ+ affirming care, narrative therapy, anti-oppressive education, community-based and participatory research methods

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OTTAR NESS, PHD
Norway

Ottar is a Professor of Counseling at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Adjunct Professor at the Masters program of Family Therapy at VID Scientific University in Norway. He is the head of the Research Group on Relational Welfare and Well-being and his training, research, and policy interests focus on relational welfare and well-being focusing on citizenship, public value, and social justice through the use of participatory action research and citizen science methodologies. He also has a special interest in relational recovery processes in mental health and substance use and how these ideas can create inclusive communities. Narrative and relational ideas have been central to his research practices and analysis of social and political concerns.

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JEFF ZIMMERMAN, PHD
USA

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.

SHARON LEUNG, PHD
HONG KONG/ UK

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Sharon teaches, practices and supervises narrative therapy in Chinese/Cantonese and English. She first became an elite student of Michael White's in 2001. Over the two decades since Sharon (alongside Dr Angela Tsun) was the narrative therapy teaching and training leader in Hong Kong.  Up until August 2020, she taught Social Work at Hong Kong Baptist University and was the Director of the Centre for Youth Research and Practice (CYRP). At CYRP, she organized and taught the One-year intensive narrative therapy training programme, supervised graduate students, and ran numerous collaborative projects with service users, practitioners and NGOs in Hong Kong. These projects aimed at indigenizing narrative practice in local communities and included collective narrative practice with young people struggling with drug use and isolation, male prisoners experiencing the harsh conditions of in correctional institutions, and parents of children with special educational needs.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

"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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