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Therapeutic Conversations 22

When the World Walks Into the Therapy Room

November 7-9, 2024
(20% sold)
Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Image by Jeffrey Eisen
Rush Hour

WELCOME Participants

When the World Walks Into the Therapy Room
 

Keynote & Workshop Presenters:

Rosa Arteaga (Mexico/Canada), Christine Dennstedt (Canada), Jan Ewing (USA), Julia Gerlitz (Canada), Helene Grau Kristensen (Denmark), Sharon Leung (Hong Kong/UK), Shannon Macintosh (Canada), Stephen Madigan (Canada), David Marsten (USA),

Todd May (USA), David Nylund (USA), Karl Tomm (Canada), Jennifer White (Canada), Tamara Wilson (Canada), Angel Yuen (Canada).

 

 

There is an inherent relational interconnectivity between people coming to therapy and the political, economic, and cultural contexts they are shaped by and imbedded within. In simple terms, the conference demonstrates an ecology of new ideas shaping all our presenters latest practice work and answers the following question:

 

~ How might therapists respond differently to problems after realizing the world of culture, norms, and influence has walked into the therapy room alongside their clients? ~

**All presenter workshops are taught and demonstrated through Live interviewing, therapy session videos, and client/therapist transcripts**

Dates: November 7-9th, 2024

Location: Granville Island: Arts Umbrella - Centre for Youth and the Performing Arts & the Granville Island Hotel ~ Seating is limited

Conference Hotel Discounts:

 

 

* More accommodation options coming soon*

Early Registration Ends June 15th, 2024

3-Day Conference Pass: $600 CAD

Student and VSNT.live members: $500 CAD

**Student ID will need to be shown at registration check-in.

**Due to conference space and size limitations ~ there are no

refunds. Thanks.

Sending you a personal, heartfelt invitation to join us

Meet our Conference Presenters: 

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Rosa Arteaga, MA, RCC

Rosa is the long-time director of clinical practice with an anti-violence non-profit organization in Vancouver and has over sixteen years of experience working from her unique post-colonial, intersectional feminist trauma-informed, narrative therapy framework. She is a  clinical supervisor, trainer, and consultant for local and international organizations and VSNT faculty member. 

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Christine Dennstedt, PhD, RCC

Christine is a VSNT faculty member who has been deeply engaged in the narrative therapy Vancouver narrative community since completing her Master's degree in 2002.  By 2010 she'd completed her PhD and a narrative therapy informed Doctoral dissertation articulated the interconnection between substance misuse and disordered eating in the lives of young women. Christine's latest practice interest is linking together narrative informed practices with  psychedelic medicines and mental health.

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Jan Ewing, PhD

Jan  is the founder and co-director of Narrative Initiatives San Diego (NISD) a Narrative training center and clinic and serves as faculty at San Diego State University introducing MFT students to Narrative Therapy.  Jan also works with a multi-generational community to practice and extend Narrative principles through mentoring, teaching, supervising, and research. She is a co-author of a chapter called ‘Narrative Neurotherapy: Scaffolding Identity States’.  

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Julia Gerlitz, MA, RCC

Julia holds an intense interest in developing new and creative therapeutic letter writing practices that include inviting clients to write letters to clients, using co-created narrative documents in place of group therapy, and the use of letters in supervision. Julia has published several articles on these innovative frameworks of letter writing and has currently recruited Rock Nylund onto her developing and publishing new ideas and therapeutic letter writing practices team.

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Helene Grau Kristensen, MA

Helene is a co-founder of Praksis: The Centre for Narrative Therapy in Denmark and VSNT faculty member. She was originally supervised and trained for many years by Michael White, presents workshops internationally, and teaches narrative therapy courses at the University of Copanhagen.   Helene publishes on the issues of Grief, Death, Loss and Hope and her therapy practice specializes in working with parents who have experienced the death of a child. Helene is also a regular interview guest on VSNT.live.

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Sharon Leung, PhD

Sharon teaches, practices and supervises narrative therapy in Chinese/Cantonese and English. She first became an elite student of Michael White's in 2001 and over the two + decades since, Sharon (alongside Dr Angela Tsun) was the narrative therapy teaching and training leader in Hong Kong.  Before moving to London, UK in 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. 

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Shannon Macintosh, MSW, RSW

 Shannon Macintosh MSW, RSW is a family therapist, member of the Calgary Family Therapy Centre, and a supervisor at Woods Homes in Calgary, Alberta and sessional instructor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgar. Shannon is devoted to strengthening relationships, building resiliency, and applying advocacy, collaboration, and creativity in her systemic work. She enjoys using metaphors, expressive arts, and experiential learning to bring forth relational healing. 

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Stephen Madigan, PhD, RCC

Stephen is an award winning Couple and Family therapist and best selling author of the books Narrative Therapy in 2011 and 2019 (3rd Edition is out Fall 2024). He wrote the first doctoral dissertation on narrative therapy, is the Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, content manager for narrative's largest online interactive learning site VSNT.live, and longstanding consultant supervisor to international High Conflict Couple Therapy Teams. Stephen enjoys teaching, consulting, and supervising therapy teams ~ world wide. 

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David Marsten, MA

David is the Clinical Director of Miracle Mile Community Practice in Los Angeles, California and has practiced narrative therapy for 30 years. He is the co-author of the highly praised book: Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with Children’s Imaginative Know-how, and longtime faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. David teaches narrative therapy workshops internationally through session videos, unaltered transcripts, and live interview demonstrations. 

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Todd May, PhD

Todd May is the resident teaching philosopher and faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. Todd is the author of seventeen books of philosophy, including Michel Foucault (2006) and Gilles Deleuze (2005). He continues to be highly active in grassroots political movements in immigration rights and anti-racism campaigns and was also the philosopher advisor to the hit TV show The Good Place on NBC and philosophical consultant on the New York Times best-selling book How to Be Perfect. He has a new book coming out on 09/06/2024 entitled Shall we go extinct?

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David Nylund, PhD

David “Rock” Nylund, MSW, PhD is a Professor of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento, the Clinical Director of the Gender Health Center, and a faculty member of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. He is the author of over 50 articles and books on Narrative Therapy and Cultural Studies and gives  workshops and supervision for mental health professionals worldwide.

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Karl Tomm, MD

Karl is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary where he founded the Family Therapy Program and directed the Calgary Family Therapy Centre for 50 years. He is interested in systems theory, narrative theory, social constructionism, and his original ideas on bringforthism. He focuses on interpersonal patterns of interaction and is internationally know as a transformative thinker in developing key understandings about different kinds of therapeutic questions.

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Jennifer White, EdD

Jennifer White is a Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. Jennifer is interested in studying contemporary discourses on youth suicide prevention. Through critically informed, relational approaches to inquiry, she seeks to explore alternatives to the standardized, expert-driven, one-size-fits-all, risk factor-based approach to youth suicide prevention.

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Tamara Wilson, MSW

Tamara Wilson, MA, R.Psych., is a registered psychologist in Calgary, Alberta and currently practices as a full-time family therapist at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre, where she also provides clinical supervision and training. Tamara has a passion for Social Constructionism, Systemic Therapy, Nonviolent Resistance, and Narrative therapy. She is particularly interested in socio-cultural discourses related to parenthood, race, ethnicity, gender and the ways in which they implicitly become entangled with families and their relationships.

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Angel Yuen, MSW

Angel Yuen MSW (she/her) works as a narrative therapist, supervisor, teacher and consultant in alternative-private practice in the Greater Toronto Area and is one of the co-founders of the Narrative Therapy Centre. She is the author of the 2019 book ’Pathways Beyond Despair: Re-authoring lives of young people through narrative therapy’. 

Conference Daily Schedule

Daily Schedule: November 7-9th, 2024

(Registration 7:15am - 8:00am)

 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

8:00am - 8:45am 

 

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOPS

9:15am – 11:45am

Lunch 11:45am – 1:15pm

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOPS

1:15pm – 4:15pm

Day One

First Nation Welcome to the Land.
Conference welcome with Stephen Madigan.


 

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP A

9:15am – 11:45am

 

Internalized Other Interviewing

Karl Tomm (Canada)

 

In this workshop Karl outlines a complex and creative therapeutic interviewing framework where - when therapists come to view the psychological ‘self’ as constituted by an internalized community, it becomes coherent to interview any member of that community within the self. In so doing, a therapist potentially has access to a significantly wider range of possible therapeutic interventions to enable change.

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP B

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Therapeutic Letter Writing + Live Counter-Story Demonstration Interview 

David Rock Nylund (USA)

This workshop explores the historical roots, writing frameworks, and practices of therapeutic letter writing. As part of the workshop, Rock will conduct a live counter-story interview demonstration. Participants are then invited to craft a therapeutic letter in response to the interview they have just witnessed.

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP C

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Narrative 101:

Christine Dennstedt (Canada) + Guests

 

In this dynamic and interactive workshop environment Christine and guests encourage participants to collectively decide what narrative therapy practice topics they would most like to discuss. Topics covered may include, note taking practices, how to begin interviews and how to proceed, developing narrative questions, types of narrative therapy questions, letter writing, and best learning resources.

LUNCH: 11:45-1:15

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP A

1:15 pm – 4:15 pm
 

Couple Therapy: Narrative Therapy Informed Relational interviewing (NIRI) with Conflicted Couple Relationships

Stephen Madigan (Canada) 

Todd May (USA)

Presenters outline a non-individualist couple therapy practice where conflicted couple relationships are viewed as relational and must not be divided off from the surrounding cultural context the couple relationship is both relationally shaped by, and deeply imbedded within. A series of couple therapy video sessions and transcripts are demonstrated.

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP B

1:15 pm – 4:15 pm
 

The Darkening of the Landscape and the Preservation of Dignity

David Marsten (USA)

 

 

 

Unless the circumstances people find themselves in are demanding and even impossible there is no call for ethical consideration or origination. There is no need for a protagonist. There is no story. This workshop will consider how darkening the landscape can contribute to rich story development and shore up a person’s sense of dignity and agency.

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP C

1:15 pm – 4:15 pm
 

Knowing despair: How Parents of Children Struggling with Drug Use Issues Sustain Hope.

Sharon Leung (Hong Kong/UK)

 

This workshop explores how a narrative therapy approach can support parents of drug users to remain hopeful despite facing health, financial, legal and other challenges. The presenter shares collective work she has done together with parents in a self-help community in Hong Kong.

Day One
AFTERNOON PLENARY
Angel Yuen (Canada)

 

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 Co-discovering Skills and Knowledges of Navigating the Loss of a Loved One to Violence

The loss of a loved one to violence has been referred to as ‘when the unthinkable happens.’ This plenary address will share how narrative therapy approaches can support people to live beyond violent loss. Videos outlining the skills and knowledges of persons navigating the loss of their loved ones - will be shared.

Day Two
MORNING PLENARY
Jennifer White (Canada)

 

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Sustaining Our Collective Co-existence: Exploring Communal, Creative and Political

Responses to Suicidality

Suicidal thoughts and behaviours are inescapably social and relational phenomena. By recognizing our deep inter-dependence and co-existence with all living things, expressions of suicidality can be a provocation to mutually consider other possible worlds and futures, leading to more communal, creative and political forms of engagement that are aimed at sustaining our collective life.

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP A

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Narrative Approaches to Sexualized Violence

Angel Yuen (Canada)

 

Narrative Therapy approaches assist people in reclaiming their lives from the effects of sexualized violence and suggest that there is always another story. These are often subordinated stories of responses, skills in living, and resistance. What might seem an ever-so-small form of resistance to sexualized violence may not only be significant, but also can elevate personal agency. 

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP B

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Questions about Questions 

Stephen Madigan (Canada)

David Nylund (USA)

 

This unique Live-interview supervision workshop is designed to create more meaningful therapeutic questions through understanding the purpose, direction, politic, intention, context, history, and relational meaning of narrative therapy questions. Participants engage with presenters live counter-story interviewing, close up supervision, discussion, and focused support of their questions and therapeutic letter writing. 

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP C

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Understanding Client Stories through the Lens of the ‘IPscope’

Tamara Wilson (Canada) 

Shannon McIntosh (Canada)

 

The workshop demonstrate our systemic and narrative work with families through the lens of the ‘IPscope’ framework. We’ll reveal how we de-centre the problem from the person from an interpersonal lens, and we’ll review our process of deliberately looking and listening for the ways in which larger socio-cultural influences are showing up in our therapeutic work with families.

LUNCH: 11:45-1:15

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP A

1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Including Physiology in Narrative Conversations: Supporting Preferred Identity States

Jan Ewing (USA)

Narrative informed work is often concerned with supporting person’s changing identities. This workshop will explore how including client’s physiology in our Narrative conversations can support sustained change from one experience of identity to another. Using a concept of “Identity States” an intentional set of practices are proposed whereby we notice, include, name, thicken and depend on physiology to guide and support change.

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP B

1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

 

Live Clinical Supervision. A Narrative Approach Discussing Gender-Based Violence 

Rosa Arteaga (Mexico/Canada)

 

Rosa invites a team of women counsellors from diverse backgrounds to the workshop whose work involves counselling and supporting survivors of gender-based violence in their work. She demonstrates a live supervision with these workers, while also inviting a response team to respond back to the counselling team being supervised. The workshop is a beautifully designed live supervision demonstration where the audience is engaged to participate.

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP C

1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Responding to Trauma through Innovative Letter Writing

Practices

Julia Gerlitz (Canada)

Sometimes what’s happened to people is unspeakable and deemed not safe enough to say aloud in a group. With diagnoses of PTSD on the rise, viewing trauma through a structuralist/medicalized lens can create problem-saturated identities, which keep people silent and disconnected. Julia responds to these challenges by building communities of concern through the use of therapeutic letters and co-created narrative documents in place of traditional group therapy.

Day Two
AFTERNOON PLENARY
Helene Grau Kristensen (Denmark)

 

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Reclaiming our Grief, Reclaiming our Loved Ones

In1995 Michael White published the paper Reclaiming our stories, reclaiming our lives. In this paper he demonstrates how narrative ideas can be applied outside the limited context of the therapy room and embedded directly into the communities that form people’s lives. In this keynote I will expand on the possibilities for narrative informed community work related to grief. 

Day Three
MORNING PLENARY
Karl Tomm (Canada)

An Invitation to Bringforthist Therapy

Bringforthist therapy is a version of systemic therapy that has been inspired by Humberto Maturana’s theory of knowledge (which is grounded in both biology and culture). The basic phenomenon of ‘loving interaction’ is regarded as foundational and serves as a major guide in the therapeutic process. 

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP A

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Don’t Let Go: Let the Relationship

Guide you 

 Helene Grau Kristensen (Denmark)

 

 

Helene describes a relational practice where the deceased become the guide to helping those left behind navigate the complexities of grief. By retelling stories about the deceased the relationship with the dead person is rendered visible to what they give value to, and how those values can help those left behind. The workshop demonstrates these narrative informed practices, sharing case transcript examples.

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP B

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Narrative Therapy and Psychedelic Medicines

Christine Dennstedt (Canada)

 

The workshop highlights Christine's work with psychedelics and narrative therapy. She demonstrates how the two practice frameworks work together as a way to externalize problems and thicken preferred stories in a person's life. This innovative workshop walks participants through the process of preparation, the psychedelic-assisted therapy session and integration, and shows the use of a narrative therapy framework and questions used in each of the three phases of the work.

MORNING TRAINING WORKSHOP C

9:15am – 11:45am
 

Narrative Therapy: It May Not Quite be What we Always Thought it Was

Stephen Madigan (Canada) 

Todd May (USA)

This workshop guides participants through puzzling, thought provoking, and always enjoyable discussions regarding common mis-readings, mis-conceptions, and mis-interpretations about narrative therapy informed theory and practice.  

LUNCH: 11:45-1:15

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP A

1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

 

Narrative Family Therapy: Working with Children and Families.

David Marsten (USA)

 

The workshop demonstrates narrative therapy informed work with children in the context of family therapy. Key narrative therapy questions and skills are demonstrated ~ with an emphasis placed on narrative interviewing structures, and his co-creation of 'wonderfulness interviewing'. Lecture, discussion, slides, exercises, and and  direct practice videos will support participant learning.

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP B

1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Gilles Deleuze:  What was Michael White Thinking? 

Todd May (USA)

 

Near the end of his life, Michael White started referring to the ideas of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze as a touchstone for his own work.  He never offered a full articulation of the influence of Deleuze, either in writing or in lectures. This workshop picks up that thread, clarifying Deleuze's elusive philosophical framework and showing why the ideas are relevant for narrative practice.

AFTERNOON TRAINING WORKSHOP C

1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

 

Surprise Guest!



Day Three

AFTERNOON PLENARY

Rosa Arteaga (Canada/Mexico) 

 

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Conversations about Trauma and Violence: Re-establishing Relationships with the Body through Re-writing Agreements with Survival Strategies

What do we do as narrative therapists when we witness our consultants' past intruding their present lives while it holds them back from being the person they desire to become? Rosa’s plenary shares a narrative therapy informed approach that supports our consultants to investigate how the past impacts of violence, trauma, and abuse in their present and the possibilities on how to re-negotiate with their survival strategies.

 

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Image by Lucija Ros

The Gunnar Martinsen Scholarship

VSNT faculty lost their very close friend and narrative colleague Gunnar Martinsen of Bergen Norway who died on July 1st, 2022. To celebrate and remember his wonderfully full-hearted and passionate spirit, we are happy to offer five scholarships to our October 27-29 conference.

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