Pre-Conference Workshops

One Day Pre-Conference workshops: 19 August 2015

Three One-Day workshops will be presented by the three overseas presenters. You can select one workshop. The workshop of Stephen Madigan is aimed at introducing new-comers to Narrative Therapy.

Workshop 1

Narrative Therapy Foundations workshop, presented by Stephen Madigan, MSW, MSc, PhD

Canadian family therapist Stephen Madigan MSW, MSc, PhD teaches participants the foundations of narrative therapy theory and practice through a close up review of his therapeutic DVDs. Workshop participants discover and discuss the historical, political and theoretical roots of foundational narrative practice skills such as re-authoring and re-remembering conversations, therapeutic letter writing, unique outcome moments, relative influence questioning and relational externalizing practices.

stephen MadiganStephen Madigan is the Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, the first Narrative Therapy training site in the Northern Hemisphere. The American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) recently honored Stephen with their Distinguished Award for Innovative Practice in Couple and Family Therapy Theory and Practice.

In 2011, the American Psychological Association published Stephen’s book Narrative Therapy – theory and practice as the primer textbook on Narrative Therapy for all APA graduate school programs. The book is now on the APA best sellers list (which could not have been predicted as Stephen’s book represents a full on critique of scientific modernist psychology!) Stephen hosts the annual Therapeutic Conversations conferences (, and currently teaches narrative therapy training workshops worldwide.

Workshop 2

The Use of Therapeutic Documents in Narrative Therapy, presented by David Nylund, LCSW, PhD

The use of therapeutic letters is a key aspect of narrative practice. This workshop explores the theory and purposes behind using therapeutic documents. Examples of the different types of documents will be presented such as narrative letters, prediction letters, circulation letters, letters of invitation, letter writing campaigns, and counter-documents. David will share some of his experiences in creating therapeutic documents. Participants will practice writing a therapeutic letter after viewing a video of David conducting a therapy session with a young person struggling grappling with ADHD. David will also conduct a live interview with a workshop participant about a preferred development in their life. Participants will respond by writing a letter to the person interviewed by David.

david nylundDavid Nylund, LCSW, PhD is a professor of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento and a faculty member of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. David is the Clinical Director of the Gender Health Center, an agency serving the needs of the LGBT community. He is the author of several articles and books on narrative therapy, gender theory, and cultural studies.

Workshop 3:

New-Ro Narrative Therapy: An Overview, with a focus on preferred Identities and new narratives, presented by Jeff Zimmerman, PhD

New-Ro Narrative Therapy is Jeff’s combination of Narrative Therapy, and practices and ideas from Interpersonal Neurobiology and Affective Neuroscience. In this workshop we will discuss the basic principles of this approach, supporting these principals with ideas from neuroscience. The first is an increased focus on affect, and the important influence emotional systems have on all of us. The second involves ideas and practices that focus on our minds and our bodies, such as mindfulness and bodily based interventions.  The third involves right brain to right brain non-verbal communication, which will lead to a discussion of how this contributes to the formation of new narratives. And the last area will explore non-conscious influences such as memories and arousal management, and the effect they have on the question of: what makes it difficult for ALL of us to hold on to preferred identities?

Hold onto your bodies, but not necessarily your identities for this one!

JeffJeff is a psychologist and was part of the original North American group trained by Michael White (mid to late 80’s). He has published extensively and given countless workshops in Narrative Therapy, recently combining these ideas with Interpersonal Neurobiology and Affective Neuroscience. Jeff lives in San Francisco, where he goes to lots of live music, restaurants, movies, and baseball games.