Brief Guide for Choosing Workshops

Therapeutic Conversations 14: Day One

1) A Few Questions that Matter
The workshops intention is to guide participants through narrative therapy’s key theoretical understandings and practice positions that inform every question the presenters ask – and don’t ask. Through tapes, transcripts and personal interviews they demonstrate the foundational vocabulary needed to relationally understand narrative therapy questions and complex problem practices. Jill, Vicky and Stephen have a collective 80 + years of narrative therapy practice experience to help transport these narrative ideas/questions back to your work and client conversations.
Presented by: Victoria Dickerson (Aptos), Jill Freedman (Chicago), Stephen Madigan (Vancouver)
Commentary: Mariah Romei (Vancouver), Adrian Montesano (Barcelona), Anne Saxtorph (Copenhagen)

2) Narrative Therapy Questions for Trauma and Violence Affecting Vulnerable Communities
The workshop presents Rosa’s narrative work with girls and women who have experienced sexual violence and David’s discussions on how narrative therapy questions are crucial in addressing the traumatic effects of transgender oppression, heterosexual dominance, and the violence of dominant gender norms through heteronormativity. Participants learn various forms of engaged narrative questioning practices through the personal practice stories, videos and intimate experience David and Rosa have witnessed from thousands of intimate therapeutic conversations.
Presented by: Rosa Arteaga (Vancouver), David Nylund (Sacramento)
Commentary: marcela polanco (San Antonio)

3) Transforming Narrative Therapy Questions From Craft to Art
Engaged Supervision is ‘the’ vital and necessary structure for apprenticeship learning in the art of crafting questions in narrative therapy. Transcriptions of sessions provide the (very) best surface upon which to see a reflection of our narrative practice by observing/commenting on the practice ‘frame by frame’. This remarkable team of narrative therapists involving Kay, Sasha, David and Tom will demonstrate the practice of ‘amending’ questions in transcripts ‘live’ and – highlight how practitioners transform the craft of questioning into artistry.
Presented by: Tom Carlson (Fargo), David Epston, (Auckland), Kay Ingamells (Auckland), Sasha Pilkington (Auckland)
Commentary: Arthur Frank (Calgary)   

Day Two

1) Unbearable Weight: Encounters with a Deadly (and seriously tricky) Cultural Problem
The workshop outlines the drama, cultural understandings and therapeutic skill needed when working on the fine edge of life and death. Narrative therapy practices of externalizing questions, therapeutic letter writing and creating communities of concern are highlighted as the holy trinity of an Anti-anorexia/bulimia practice. Through videos and text, David, Sheila and Stephen discuss the evolution of therapeutic letters, Leagues, Peer Solidarity Groups and how counter-story questions were invented to circumvent our pro-anorexic cultural beliefs.
Presented by: David Epston (Auckland), Sheila Izu (Barcelona), Stephen Madigan (Vancouver)

2) Narrative Therapy Questions Designed for Grief, Loss and the Restoration of Relationships
The team of Helene and Lorraine demonstrate their complete deconstruction (demolition!) of contemporary therapeutic practices with grief, loss and dying. They invite participants to experience the therapeutic intimacy involved when stepping into delicate relational spaces through narrative therapy questioning that requires specific skills and finesse – when there is no easy externalization or quick fix map to guide bereavement conversations.
Presented by: Lorraine Hedtke (Los Angeles), Helene Grau Kristensen (Copenhagen)
Commentary: Arthur Frank (Calgary)

3) Narrative Case Stories as Virtual Apprenticeships: Bringing the Artistry of Narrative Questioning to Life
While there is a particular architecture to narrative therapy questions that is important to master, what brings narrative questions to life is a meticulous attention to the moment-to-moment relational interaction between therapists and – the people they work with. The ‘dream team’ of Sasha, Kay, Trevor, and Tom show participants a new way of learning the how, when, where, and why of asking the needed question at the precise moment that requires a therapist to go far beyond the available maps of narrative questioning.
Presented by: Tom Carlson (Fargo) Kay Ingamells (Auckland), Travis Heath, (Denver) Sasha Pilkington (Auckland) 

Day Three

1) Crafting Questions That Bring Children “Into the Know”
Jill and David present the wonderful history of narrative therapy theory and practice working with children, youth and families. Challenging traditional theories of “childhood” as a discursive category, this workshop creates space for fresh conceptions that free us as practitioners to turn to children’s know how when the going gets tough. With the use of video, transcript, and letters, they demonstrate numerous ways on how to engage children effectively in extended therapeutic conversations.
Presented by: Jill Freedman (Chicago), David Marsten (Los Angeles)
Commentary: Victoria Dickerson (Aptos)

2) Theory, Questions and Practices Designed for Conflicted Couple Relationships
The presentation team involves a post-structural theorist (John), a relationship therapist (Stephen), and a family lawyer/mediator (Jean-Luc). A narrative therapy informed Relational Interviewing practice is highlighted that has turned traditional narrative couple therapy practice upside down. Using conflicted couple video session examples from four different countries participants are taught: relational forms of therapeutic questioning; ways to deconstruct conflict supporting ideas of individualism and neoliberalism; emotionally preparing couple relationships before discussing separation, conflict etc.; writing relational letters to the relationship; imagining conflict-free future relationship possibilities through ethical documents/documents of values; a therapeutic/legal practice known as Relational Mediation . . . and more.
Presented by: Jean-Luc Forest (Vancouver), Stephen Madigan (Vancouver), John Winslade (Los Angeles)
Commentary: Helene Grau Kristensen (Copenhagen) and Ottar Ness (Trondheim) 

3) Aren’t Therapeutic Letters Actually Stories?
The early ‘informal’ research of Michael White and David Epston still stands: clients who receive therapeutic letters estimate their value to be the equivalent worth of five sessions.  The workshop presentation team has collectively written tens of thousands of narrative therapeutic letters and – invite you to come and find out why. They outline their ‘letter writing’ practices through various ‘genres’ and discuss with you how they go about writing letters as a daily practice. Because this daylong teaching is ‘text heavy’ – those intending to attend will be forwarded examples of therapeutic letters to be read ahead of time.  
Presented by: David Epston (Auckland), Kay Ingamells (Auckland), David Nylund (Sacramento), Sanni Paljakka (Calgary), Sasha Pilkington (Auckland)

Following each Friday, Saturday and Sunday workshops – informal drinks and discussion take place at the Granville Island Hotel Bar and – there is no time limit placed on when these might end (:

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