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Foundations Level Three:
Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
5-day Intensive Certificate Course, 30 CEC's


Image by James Wheeler

Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
5 Day Intensive certificate course.

30 CE credits granted by CCPA

March 29-31st and April 13-14th, 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: Individuals, Couples, Groups, and Families

Weekend Two: Neurobiology, Embodiment and Narrative Therapy + Gender Violence: Narrative Interviews with violated Bodies​

See course schedule, topics, and presenters below.

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

Location: Classes are taught live through Zoom video conferencing

Full 5-Day Advanced Narrative Practice Certificate Course + 30 CE's:

(March 29-31st, & April 13-14th, 2024):

Professional: $850 CAD (+ tax)  Students/ members: $700 CAD (+ tax)


Register for Weekend One:

(March 29-31st, 2024):

Professional: $550 CAD (+ tax)  Students/ members: $450 CAD (+ tax)

Register for Weekend Two:

(April 13-14th 2024):

Professional: $400 CAD (+ tax)  Students/ members: $325 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

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

Day 1 

8:15 AM – 11 AM

Stephen first created narrative therapy informed Relational Interviewing as an ideological, political, and creative step towards a more non-individualist and relational practice of couple therapy. And to no one's surprise the worldwide response to this new framework has been astounding. The workshop guides participants through the relational and ideological complexities of NIRI and highlights: a truly unique relationship centred questioning framework, six primary interviewing steps, and the practice of therapeutic letters written directly to the relationship. There is also a full understanding of the relational ecology of ideas/theory/politic that Stephen receives conflicted couple stories into. He shows sessions working with couples from Canada, Norway, and America to clearly demonstrate this 'common sense' relational approach to couple therapy. 


Narrative Practice and the Therapeutic Use of Psychedelics
Christine Dennstedt, PhD

Day 1 

12:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Christine introduces the use of psychedelic medicines to our narrative community - for the first time. She shows how the two practice frameworks work together as a way to thicken preferred stories in a person's life. As a theoretical backdrop, Christine outlines her use of anthropologist Victor Turner's ideas on ritual process, including 1) Separation, 2) Liminal space and 3) A re-incorporation phase. She will also include the work of ethnographer Van Gennep's 'rites of passage metaphor' to explain the practice work. This innovative workshop plans to discuss the importance of set and setting, walk participants through the process of preparation, medicine work, and integration (using the above ideas) and shows the use of a narrative therapy framework and questions used in each of the three phases of the work.


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

Day 2 

8:15 AM – 11 AM 

Julia and Rock show participants how they have explored the practice of therapeutic letter writing in new and innovative ways. Their work includes inviting clients to write letters to other clients, using co-created narrative documents as a form of group therapy, and the use of letter writing in supervision. Their aim is to inspire participants to try new ways of utilizing the practice of letter writing 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 new innovations.

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.

Working with Complicated Grief: A relational remembering narrative therapy informed approach.
Helené Grau Kristensen MA

Day 3 

8:15 AM – 11AM 

Both on the policy and practice level, Helené is turning all the more traditional psychological approaches you have learned about grief, loss, and death completely upside down. Her plan is to guide participants through the intimate experience of her session transcripts where you will witness significant “relationships” being created between grieving grown up children and a dead parent. She demonstrates how these children assist their parents not only by continuing their relationship, but by helping develop significant relationships between their parent and their future grandchildren.  

Narrative and the Body: Maurice Merleau-Ponty ~ the missing philosophical theorist in narrative therapy. 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

Neurobiology and Narrative Therapy
Jeff Zimmerman, PhD

Day 1 (All Day)

8:15 AM – 2:15 PM

(Break 11 AM-Noon)

Through theoretical discussions, slides, therapy session transcripts, music, and the use of novel and practical exercises, Jeff demonstrates how current understandings about the brain and the distributed nervous system in the body can contribute to dramatically enriching and evolving our narrative therapy practice. Exciting.

Narrative Interviews with Violated Bodies
Rosa Arteaga, MS

Day 2 (All Day)

8:15 AM – 2:15 PM

(Break 11 AM-Noon)

​Participants learn through Rosa's twenty-five years of experience and thousands of practice hours engaging individually and collectively with girls and women who have experienced gender-based violence and trauma. Her original framework reaches far beyond a trauma informed approach and towards a narrative therapy informed, feminist, and justice based decolonizing practice. Rosa outlines and demonstrates her latest practice of relationally interviewing the woman's body as a means of creating contracts of compassion and reconnection. She also shares these newly created up close interviewing experiences with women through transcript. Powerful.

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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