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Foundations Level Three: Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
30 CEC's

Training with Integrity, Creativity, Politic and Purpose

5-day Intensive Certificate Course

Image by James Wheeler

Advanced Skills of Narrative Practice
5-Day Intensive Certificate Course

30 CE credits granted by CCPA

New Dates Coming Soon!!

"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

Join VSNT faculty and international colleagues for a powerful 2 weekend Advanced Practice certificate intensive. The teaching team demonstrates how they are dramatically reshaping our understanding and practices of Narrative Therapy.

Live practice demonstrations + client session videos and transcripts 

Online Teaching Faculty:

Rosa Elena Arteaga (Canada/Mexico), Christine Dennstedt (Canada),

Julia Gerlitz (Canada), Helené Grau Kristensen (Denmark), Sharon Leung (Hong Kong/ London, UK), Stephen Madigan (Canada)Todd May (USA), David Nylund (USA), Jeff Zimmerman (USA)

Weekend One - Practice: New narrative therapy practice developments with Individuals, Couples, Groups, and Families

Weekend Two - Trauma: Philosophy of the body, Narrative informed Psychedelic MedicinesNeurobiology informed narrative therapy and trauma, + Gender Violence: Narrative interviewing the body

View 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 22-24, & April 13-14, 2024):

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


Register for Weekend One:

(March 22-24, 2024):

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

Register for Weekend Two:

(April 13-14, 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

Narrative Therapy informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI) with Conflicted Couple Relationships
Stephen Madigan, PhD

Day 1 

8:15 AM – 11 AM

The ecology of the receiving context Stephen receives conflicted couple relationship stories into feels couple relationships cannot be divided off from the cultural beliefs they are imbedded within. Stephen first created this 'common sense' narrative therapy informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI) practice as an ideological, political, and emotionally compassionate creative step forward practice of couple therapy. And to no one's surprise the worldwide therapist and couples response to this non-individualist post-structural framework has been welcomed with open arms.


 Training demonstrates various interlocking NIRI practice scaffoldings, narrative informed relational and contextual questions, and therapeutic letters throughout the workshop.

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

Day 1 

12:00 PM- 2:15 PM 

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.

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

Day 2 

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 Therapy: It may not quite be what we always thought it was 
Stephen Madigan, PhD & Todd May, PhD

Day 2 

12:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Stephen and Todd guide participants through a puzzling, thought provoking, and always enjoyable wild afternoon of discussion regarding common mis-readings and mis-interpretations about narrative theory and practice. They present a fascinating ecology of ideas that helps therapists receive client experience into a different relational context. Raising questions about if persons are actually multi-storied or are we simply narratable? Do therapists discover new client stories that are already there or are we instead creating something else?  Are we externalizing or contextualizing? And what does the narrative therapist think about relational memory, norms, values, valuing, and more?

Hikikomori: A Unique Narrative Therapy Project

Sharon Leung, PhD

Day 3

8:15 AM – 11:00 AM

There is serious new mental health phenomenon affecting millions of youth worldwide known as “Hikikomori” where they remain cutoff inside their bedrooms - for years. Sharon views Hikikomori as ‘proclamation of response’ from young people who want to maintain a close relationship with their values, commitments, and purposes of life. Sharon demonstrates a highly creative narrative practice response to a problem VSNT considers the 'new anorexia'.

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

Day 3

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 interviewing framework brings forth parental/caregiver affirmation and community support of trans youth.

Weekend Two


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

Todd May, PhD

Day 1 

8:15 AM - 11 AM

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 therapy practice.

Narrative Interviews with Violated Bodies
Rosa Arteaga, MS

Day 1 

12:00 - 2:15

​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.

Neurobiology and Narrative Therapy
Jeff Zimmerman, PhD

Day 2

8:15 AM – 11:00 AM

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 Practice and the Therapeutic Use of Psychedelics
Christine Dennstedt, PhD

Day 2

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.


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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