Our 2019 Monthly Schedule 

I can’t recommend the Collab Salon enough. This year’s lineup showcases some of the most fascinating and innovative up and coming practitioners and their practice. And you can both meet and hear about this in the most intimate of situations, almost as if your were sitting around a dinner table speaking to one another as old friends. We should all be thankful to Re-Authoring Teaching for creating such a ‘space’ for us to meet one another from all around the world.

The Collab Salon is a monthly webinar where online presenters and members from around the world meet together informally in real time. We always meet at 5pm on the third Sunday of the month (New York time). Please check to see what time this is in your local time zone. In each of these “meetings on a cloud,” we focus on a different theme relating to narrative practice as a starter dough for invigorating conversation, cross-cultural connections and learning. They also allow for members throughout the community to step into leadership and share their unique knowledge in a comfortable, informal space.

Look below to see what’s in store for 2019. Click on the toggle plus sign in the red box on the left for more information; then click on the photo, for even more details. Keep in mind only members can register. After the meeting is over, the recording is added to our Past Salon Library – available 24/7 to all Collab Salon members.

Click here to Download the schedule

“Problem stories are not equal. Some stories dirty and mar persons’ identities and these stories seem to have a particularly gripping effect in their lives. In the face of such marring and gripping problems stories, not just any story will do. We need to tell stories in our work that powerfully counter the damaging effects of gripping problem stories through practices that seek out the restorative power of beauty.” Sanni and Tom will share some of the recent developments in their work that seek to restore the beauty and dignity of persons lives through the use of poetry, art, and performance. We will seek to answer the question, “If not just any story will do, how do we learn to tell poetically well told stories that place beauty at the heart of the matter?” In addition to teaching some of the theoretical and philosophical ideas that have been inspiring of us, we will also engage participants in a live teaching interview to show what goes into preparing to tell a poetic story on behalf of the people that we work with.”  Tom & Sanni

“Eminent scholars such as Makungu Akinyela and marcela polanco have written about an anti-colonial approach to narrative therapy. While this philosophy has traveled with me for some time, I wasn’t certain how it was actually translating to practice. This was a rather distressful discovery for me. What good was a spirit that ran along side my practice but wasn’t making its way into the work? Over the last several months I have been spending much time trying to cultivate anti-colonial  narrative questions. I will share my initial attempts at an anti-colonial narrative practice by showing questions within practice stories.” Travis

“Wonderfulness Enquiries with children or Virtue Enquiries (with adults) have not only become the centerpiece of my  first sessions since David Epston introduced me to them a number of years ago, they have become the entire context for my practice. If you would like to learn how to bring the wonder of wonderfulness interviews into your work with anyone, do join us!” –  Kay Ingamells

Elena Baskina & Maria Tiunova

“Through our Re-woman project we are hoping to empower women to live in their preferred ways. In Russia the ideas are strong that ‘we are different from the West, as women had equal opportunities throughout the Soviet times’. However, stats and practices are showing this is not the case. Through our meetings and interviews with women we are deconstructing the ideas around leadership and exploring the ways to lead.” Masha & Elena

Narrative Walks is a hope-based, depathologising outdoor program that was developed to engage with populations that may not be drawn to conventional methods of therapy. This structured day program encourages participants to explore 15 narrative therapy questions, and to engage in a number of other activities during a 20 kilometre walk through the bush. The program invites different perspectives on problem stories, and offers walking as a narrative metaphor. Chris will outline his own hopes for the future development of Narrative Walks as a program transferable to many people and lands.

different species, different storiesDaniel Angus will introduce us to PetSafe, The Headspace Primary Care and Youth Early Psychosis Program in Western Sydney, which has developed an innovative interspecies mental health program that offers a narrative informed therapy partnering with a variety of dogs, cats, horses and parrots as well as with humans. “Young people registered in this program have learned how to support animals who are experiencing mental or physical health problems and in turn they learn about themselves by reflecting on their experience as an animal helper. Helping dogs experiencing anxiety or parrots who self harm have led to a variety of outcomes including the development of interspecies coping strategies, friendships among participants and reduced mental health symptoms for human helpers and animals.” Working on a forthcoming book on interspecies communication, Jenny Freeman will respond to Dan’s presentation as well as share a tale from her manuscript.

The Ummeed Team will discuss using narrative practices when working with young people experiencing developmental disabilities and their families. “Using examples from practice we will share how we are adapting the ideas with young people who have diverse ways of expressing themselves in preferred identity development, navigating various systems of power in preferred ways and in making possible family-centred care, where caregivers and children become partners in the journey of therapy.” –  Jehanzeb Baldiwala, Raviraj Shety, Daisy Daruwalla and Jill Sanghvi

Sarah and Sol will reflect on their experience co-facilitating a narrative consultation/supervision group in San Diego, CA that seeks to address social justice issues by tending to the politics of knowledge and power in supervisory experience. During this salon, they will share the guiding principles and practices that inform their work. These principles include: 1) positioning knowledge as discourse: using the skills of deconstruction and transparency; 2) co-constructed knowledges: valuing perspectives of supervisees and clients; 3) the use of questions verses directives, 4) valuing expansive conversations, and 5) promoting discursive agency. Guided through questions, Sarah and Sol will explore what resonance these principles have in participants’ own life and work experience and will invite us to consider ways to cultivate a social justice ethic in supervisory experience.

Have you seen anyone spending extraordinary hours working in isolation with the best of intentions, being fueled by expectations or a sense of obligation/responsibility even though the initial fuel was un-mistakably passion, curiosity, creativity and/or social justice? We have a suspicion that Machinalization of human beings today is never a personal problem but a globally witnessed/experienced phenomenon that could potentially have life-suffocating, or even life-threatening effects on our lives. 

The summit will start with Sumie Ishikawa’s sharing her ‘insider experiences’ and her hope-generating discoveries as to how we could possibly co-resist Machinalization, followed by Amy Druker interviewing Sumie and an outsider witness. Participants will be invited to join in a group discussion, where taken-for-granted Machinalizing discourses and practices that are woven into the capitalistic structure of modern society can be called into question. Let’s imagine together small acts of co-resistance so that the human part of us can survive and thrive in this Machinalizing time we live in today!

Over the last several months with the support of the Mental Health Services, Aalborg University Hospital, David Epston and Christoffer Haugaard have been applying the same methodology e.g. co-researching that led to Maisel, Epston and Borden (2004): Biting the Hand that Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia(New York, WWNorton).  Responding to a request to invent a narrative therapy-inspired approach to the so-called ‘chronic mentally ill’, they prefer the term ‘those who are spoken to by voices’. This approach takes up where Michael White left off in the 1990s with the ‘power to our journeys’ approach.

As part and parcel of marcela polanco’s PhD thesis in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern, she and David Epston set about the translation of Michael White’s ‘Maps’ (2007). Through many twists and turns this led them to preparing a manuscript for a book tentatively titled: “Re-Imagining Narrative Therapy in the Americas.” They will share with us some of their discoveries as they read and consider learnings from ‘translation studies’, ‘decolonizing methodologies’ (Tuawai Smith) and creative transformations at the borders of cultures/languages.

Somatic therapies and a resurgence of interest in affect are two significant trends in recent times. These movements invite narrative-oriented practitioners to pause and unpack what claims are being made and their implications. In exploring challenges and possibilities, we will consider the dialogical features, affective tones, emotional depictions and embodied expressions of re-membering practices. We will focus on a notion of relational fields in instituting new forms of everyday living. Especially we will give attention to expanding relational fields of kindness when tyrannical and devaluing voices seek to usurp a person’s voice and erase their knowing about their achievements.

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