Advanced Narrative Practice Training

Advanced Narrative Practice 

30 CE credits granted by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

MAY 2021 - 65% sold.

While adhering to Michael White's conceptual practice framework, participants interact and learn how VSNT faculty's narrative therapy practice and theoretical understandings have dramatically changed.


Inspired through the work of one critical race scholar, two trans identified community organizers, a brilliant continental philosopher, and six world class narrative therapists, the VSNT faculty come together to teach, demonstrate, and discuss how and why they are reshaping the ideas and practice of narrative therapy.

** The faculty welcomes all participants at all levels of practice experience and understanding to join us in this training.

Online Teaching Faculty: Rosa Arteaga (Mexico/Canada), Harjeet Badwell (Canada), Alex Filippelli (USA), Helene Grau (Denmark), Stephen Madigan (Canada), David Marsten (USA), Todd May (USA), Aaron Munro (Canada), David Nylund (USA), Jeff Zimmerman (USA)

Dates: May 14, 15, 16, & 29 and 30th

1/2 Day Questions & Followup: June 12th

Time: 8:15am - 2:15pm PST

Location: Classes will be taught live through Zoom video conferencing

Professional: $800 CAD (+ tax)

Students/ members: $600 CAD (+ tax)

Proof of student status is required upon registration

This course is presented live. Due to issues of confidentiality and participant consent, recordings of this training will not be made available.


Faculty and curriculum are subject to change

Narrative Therapy Informed Relational Interviewing in Couple Relationships (Part 1 of 2)

Stephen Madigan, PhD

Day 1

Friday, May 14th

8:15 AM – 11 AM (Break 11-noon)

Participants learn how new understandings about Relational Interviewing helped change how Stephen views narrative therapy practice and couple relationships. 

Participants are introduced to, a) how and why his narrative therapy interviewing structure has changed through relational couple therapy interviews; b) the focus on narrative values and relational relationship narratives; c) the culture of community expectations, norms and responsibilities couple relationships are influenced by: d) how complex couple relationship stories are received into the ecology of this new narrative therapy receiving context; e) the intricate use and meaning of relational questions ; f) and writing consultation letters directly to the couples relationship.

Stephen guides participant learning through a step-by-step study of his recent Relational Interviewing videos with conflicted couple relationships filmed in Canada, Norway and the USA. 

Narrative Therapy Informed Relational Interviewing in Couple Relationships (Part 2 of 2)

Stephen Madigan, PhD

Day 1

Friday, May 14th

12 PM –2:15 PM

Stephen continues to explore recent developments in Relational Relationship Interviewing with Conflicted Couple Relationships through discussion and videos with conflicted couple relationships filmed in Canada, Norway and the USA.

Producing Normativity: Queer, Trans and Racialized Mental Health Worker Experience

Harjeet Badwell PhD, Alex Filippelli MA & David Nylund PhD 

Day 2

Saturday, May 15th

8:15 AM – 11 AM

Participants are invited into experiential and theoretical discussions about our mental health practice and Graduate education situated within race theory (critical race scholarship, post-colonial studies), post-structural feminism, critical race scholarship, queer and trans theory.


Throughout the workshop questions about the present practice of narrative therapy are raised. Ideas on discourse, power relations, subject-formation, governmentality, intersectionality, normativity and performativity are examined.

Alex, Harjeet and Rock invite participants into this experiential practice learning through video tape sessions with clients and supervisees.

Why use Neuro in your Narrative: Possibilities and Practices in the 21 Century

Jeff Zimmerman PhD

Day 2

Saturday, May 15th

12 PM – 2:15 PM

Jeff's book Neuro-Narrative Therapy was both courageous and wonderfully controversial. Singlehandedly pointing the narrative therapy community towards the non-discursive aspects of work and the body. As one of the most respected practitioners of narrative therapy he plans to discuss the following questions:

What will it take for long time Narrative Therapists to take responsibility for evolving Michael’s original 1980s approach despite opposition from the dominant hegemony?
In what ways could attention to Neurobiology enrich/expand Narrative work?
What makes attending to affect in the stories clients tell so critical in today’s technologically dominated life?
In what ways do our bodies “understandings” of safety influence our narratives and  responses?

Jeff teaches his work through new Neuro-narrative theoretical discussions and an up close look at transcripts from his client sessions.

Narrative Practices with Grief, Loss and Keeping Dead Children Relationally Alive

Helene Grau MA

Day 3

Sunday, May 16th

8:15 AM - 11 AM

Many parents experience the loss of their child as their dead child becoming a taboo topic within the larger community of family and friends. Consequently, parents coming to therapy report feeling a sense of social isolation, discomfort in community relationships, and often left to respond to grief on their own. Helene’s workshop guides participants towards an appreciation of how the dead child can become the most significant helper, in helping their parents respond to grief. 

The workshop outlines her unique understandings of: a) intentional identity; b) the art of re-authoring conversations with the dead; c) how relationships to a dead loved one can transgress the prison of the static past by moving the past into the present and then - help shape the future; and d) how a relationally informed narrative therapy can become central to saving and restoring the relationship to the child from the physical death.  Helene discusses case examples with the use of transcripts from her work with parents who have experienced the death of a child.

The 2-Minute Session: Narrative Practices in Community

Aaron Munro MA

Day 3

Sunday, May 16th

12 PM - 2:15 PM

Aaron leads participants through an exploration of what a post-structurally informed narrative therapy practice can look like outside of the 60-minute practice session.


The counselling work he is most passionate about takes place with shelter-less people receiving community based services where a typical interaction can take place in a doctor's waiting room, a shelter, an SRO, or on the street where sessions of 2-10 minutes take place when walking, running into people by chance, or during an emergency call.


Aaron demonstrates a wide range of narrative practices he has created in the fast paced and under resourced community social service sector, and how he developed support from the sector for narrative informed approaches.  Throughout the workshop he will address the common counsellor experiences who work for Agencies that haven't adopted narrative ideas, and subsequently find themselves isolated and alone in their preferred practice ideas.

Merleau-Ponty:  Narrative Therapy's Missing Theorist?

Todd May, PhD

Day 4

Saturday, May 29th

8:15 AM - 11 AM

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a teacher of Michel Foucault's, is a crucial theoretical reference for narrative thinking and practice.  His work on our corporeal existence offers a framework for thinking about narrative that has not been discussed in reflections on narrative practice.  From Merleau-Ponty's perspective, central concepts such as the absent but implicit begin to look different and even richer.  This workshop will offer an overview of Merleau-Ponty's conception of the body, its place in narrative thinking, and how it influences such concepts as the absent but implicit and non-individualism.

Narrative Practice with Individuals and Families: Novelty, Intrigue and Dramatization - A Case for Compelling Characterization

David Marsten, MSW 

Day 4

Saturday, May 29th

12 PM - 2:15 PM

There is a diagnostic vernacular in place (e.g., mood disorder, anxiety disorder, attentional problem, addictive tendency) that acts to close the borders, and shut out unique representations of persons and relationships. Offering up only a slight and partial story. Where people featured in these representations are often left utterly recognizable. 

David’s workshop highlights how, much like the characters we encounter in favourite books and films, the people who seek us out for help in therapy deserve to be seen and experienced by narrative therapists as compelling figures in unfolding relational dramas. With the use of video and live interview he guides participants through the interview structure, the discipline it takes to remain with developing the emerging story, the questions asked, how stories are received, and the relational ideology behind this work. Participants come away with narrative practice skills that reinvigorate the relational and conversational space to make room for novelty and intrigue.

Attending to the Ecology of the Receiving Context: Relational Supervision & Narrative Therapy

Stephen Madigan PhD and David Nylund PhD + Guests

Day 5

Sunday, May 30th

8:15 AM - 11 AM

The focus of David & Stephen's supervisory method concentrates on the ecology of the receiving context client stories are received into. For the advanced narrative therapist this may include: Non-individualism, Relational Externalizing, Relative influence questions, Double listening, Post-structuralism, Critical race theory, Resisting neoliberalism, Identity as fluid, relational, and performative etc. etc.  . . . and on it goes. What is performed through an interwoven piecing together of the therapists relational receiving context reflects a single question - to be critically reflected on and supervised.

Participants interact and discuss examples of supervision and teaching narrative therapy through the use of unaltered session transcripts, live supervision, discovery learning, and relational letter writing practices. David demonstrates his unique supervision practice of writing letters as a supervisor to the supervisee and client relationship. Stephen demonstrates couple therapy supervision with a Norwegian High Conflict Couple Therapy Team and a Live interview with these therapists.

Narrative Conversations about Trauma & Violence: Re-establishing Relationships with the Body

Rosa Arteaga MA 

Day 5

Sunday, May 30th

12 PM - 2:15 PM

The workshop introduces the learner to Rosa’s new narrative approach on how to respond, address, and transform the long lasting impacts of complex trauma, sexualized and gender violence. More specifically, she takes participants inside the complexities of her unique approach on how she therapeutically collaborates with girls and women survivors through a relational, political and contextual reconnection and interview of the body and mind.


Rosa demonstrates her approach through video and unaltered transcripts that highlight narrative questions to the body that relationally rework reputations of the body experience and the meaning making knowledge this holds.


"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."

Telephone: 604 688 786O

2025 West 16th Ave Vancouver BC Canada V6J 2M6

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