Second Course in Series

Em-BODY-ing Conversations:
Narrative Therapy, Trauma & the Affective Turn

Course Description

Narrative practices have evolved in many ways over the decades in response to changing professional, social and cultural contexts. The founders of the Narrative Therapy approach, Michael White and David Epston, gave voice to the hope and intention that we would continue to try out different modes of inquiry, come up with new practices, and integrate these cherished ways of being with people that fit with our own local experiences and socio-political contexts. Now the Affective Turn in psychotherapy invites us to explore the relationship between politics, culture, memory and embodiment in the context of decolonizing practices. Many therapists especially the younger generation of narrative therapists are asking for integrative therapeutic resources and practices that engage narrative meaning-making while  building on non-verbal embodied healing experiences.

This course builds on our deep respect for the evolution of Narrative Therapy  while creating spaces for an interplay with other treasured approaches to working with people experiencing serious difficulties in their lives and relationships. Severe and early trauma seems to rob clients of memories and cast sensations, images and memories as the enemy, and can disconnect people from what has shaped moral virtues, intentions, and a sense of “myself” across time. We explore how integrating alternative approaches can make visible the complexities of lived experiences, allowing for the discovery of different metaphors, new associations and a shift in a felt sense of bodily experiences. These discoveries help reinvigorate a re-connection with moral virtues, a language for inner life, and new possibilities for action and movement in accordance with cherished intentions, values, hopes, dreams, beliefs, purposes and commitments. When the language of sensations, images, and memories are engaged in this way, people—with child-like creativity—connect with real and imagined allies, responsibility for abuse is assigned where it belongs, and preferred solutions and subordinate stories emerge. This sense of “aliveness” and agency creates new possibilities for relating.

Please join Lynne Rosen (Pasadena, California), Maggie Carey (Adelaide S. Australia), SuEllen Hamkins, (Northampton, Massachusetts)  Laure Maurin (Bordeaux France) David Pare (Ottawa Canada), Ian Percy (Perth Australia), Navid Zamani (San Diego California) as they honor their narrative roots while bringing forward specific therapeutic practices that engage narrative meaning-making while cultivating healing embodied experiences. Integrative work opens up possibilities for responding to habits of body, re-contextualizing dilemmas, engaging moral imagination, and re-populating lives in ways that support agency and movement toward preferences for living and relating. Through eight lessons, we draw from philosophy and practices associated with The Affective Turn, bringing together understandings of rich story development, a person’s response to trauma, memory theory, attunement practices and applications of mindfulness, EMDR and somatic therapies.

Course Objectives

ADD MORE and REFINE: Participants will be able to:

  1. Construct language and practices around integrating EMDR and somatic practices with a Narrative Approach both philosophically and practically, while escaping recruitment into interiority ideas and binaries of body/mind, inside/outside, thinking/feeling and resources/deficits.
  2. Synthesize an understanding of and engagement with rich story development.
  3. Identify the process of rich story development through witnessing the visual mapping of conversations
  4. Describe how to ethically and collaboratively experiment with alternative integrative practices, considering both potential benefits and possible contraindications
  5. Cultivate attunement practices and narratives of resilience as foundational in narrative interviewing practices.

Course Structure & Participation

Narrative therapy rests on the belief that we become who we are through relationship and meaning-making through interactions with each other. Having constructed this course during the pandemic, we are also sensitive to many therapists, coaches, teachers and students expressing being “zoomed out.”  Rather than scheduling additional online meetings, we made the entire course self-paced. Each of the three interview-based lessons ends with an exercise with questions to ponder. We strongly recommend finding at least one other person with whom to take the course and share your responses. Ideally, take this course as part of a local study group or use it as a way to bring together a new group. Alternatively, please Contact us if you would like help finding a Study-Buddy; keep in mind it will easier for us to do so if you have registered at a time when others are also registering such as during the Early Bird period.

Registration gives unlimited access to all course materials for personal use for an unlimited time.  You can start this course at anytime: all course materials are available on-demand, and adaptable to personal schedules. For an additional $25, registrants can earn 10 APA approved CE credits through Alliant International University.

We believe this course will make excellent teaching materials for graduate training programs  Please contact us for an institutional rate if you wish to use these materials for other than personal use.

Course Contributors

Lynne Rosen
Lynne V. Rosen, LCSW (Pasadena, California) has been engaged in therapeutic work for over 25 years in medical, residential, inpatient, community and private practice settings. She found her therapeutic and philosophical home in the early 90’s when she traveled to New York to hear Michael White and David Epston. Most recently, she has focused her attention on integrating Narrative Therapy with EMDR, Somatic Therapies and Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) with clients who are living with the effects of Trauma, Eating Problems and other difficulties that compromise relational well-being. Her favorite proverb is an African one: “Until lions have historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” Lynne has had a long-standing interest in bringing forward lions’ tales, stories and experiences at the margins, where there is wisdom and knowledge that can transport us all. She continues to feel passionate about teaching, supervising and public conversation work and for many years, she had the privilege of working as Core Faculty and Director of the Postmodern Therapy Training Program at PGI and Co-Founder of WPLA (Women’s Project Los Angeles).
Maggie Carey
In this course, Maggie Carey demonstrates narrative interviewing practices that she learned as a close associate of Michael White, co-founder of narrative therapy. Maggie was a founding member of Narrative Practices Adelaide, the center Michael started in 2008, just a few months before his untimely death. Alongside her colleagues Shona Russell and Rob Hall, she was involved in the teaching of narrative therapy and community work for many years, both in Australia and internationally. Prior to the establishment of NPA, Maggie was a cherished member of the Dulwich Centre teaching faculty. Now retired, Maggie thoroughly enjoys engaging with her home, gardens, family and community in Adelaide, S. Australia.
SuEllen Hamkins
SuEllen Hamkins, MD is a psychiatrist and author. SuEllen’s passion is helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of challenges and difficulties. Her work centers on three main areas: narrative psychiatry, college student mental health and mother-daughter relationships. She is Assistant Director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. SuEllen is a co-founder of the Mother-Daughter Project, and has created a series of videos on helping mothers and daughter thrive. Her most recent book is The Art of Narrative Psychiatry, published by Oxford University Press. To read more, click here.

SuEllen gave the 2015 workshop, Working with people facing severe and persistent problems, and has presented on the Collab Salon on Working with People Who are Living with Serious and relentless problems or Mental Health Challenges.

Gerald Monk
Gerald Monk PhD (San Diego, California) is the former Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at San Diego State University. He is a practicing Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AAMFT Supervisor, and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. His research and teaching interests include Affective therapy, narrative mediation & conflict resolution, constructionist & discursive theories, restorative practice, and mental health recovery.
Laure Maurin
Laure Maurin (Bordeaux, France) is specialized in education and early childhood. For more than 10 years, she worked as an educator for disabled children in a day hospital, a therapeutic and educational institute, and an emergency home for juvenile offenders. Trained in the early childhood sector, she taught for more than 7 years to childcare assistants on child development, caring education, welcoming children and having a child with a disability. Mother of four children (and grand-mother of 4), Laure shares her experience and skills for a positive and caring education.

Laure trained in narrative therapy at the Fabrique Narrative in Bordeaux, in Paris and with David Epston, David Denborough and Jill Freedman. She accompanies young people and teenagers in narrative therapy. Laure has been practicing yoga for over twenty years, trained at the French Yoga School for four years, and leads meditation and yoga workshops. She likes to accompany people with disabilities through body language and narrative practices. She hopes that each person can find, at his or her own pace, a better knowledge of his or her body, breath and being in its entirety.

Laure conducts workshops in France and Belgium to train narrative practitioners in her work.For the past three years, she has created a method of conversation based on the relationship one has with his body, linking her practice of narrative ideas, and her experience in yoga and hypnosis. She first proposes a narrative conversation about the relationship the person has with their body, following this conversation and after a protocol of re-association of the person with their body.She then interviews the body, as an outsider witness of the conversation it has just heard.At the end of the interview, the person in turn reacts to the words of the body that she has just heard.

David Pare
David Paré, Ph.D., is a Counselling Psychologist and director of the Glebe Institute, a Centre for Constructive and Collaborative Practice in Ottawa. He is a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, where he taught counselling and psychotherapy. David has written widely and presented internationally on the subject of narrative and postmodern therapies, as well as offering training and supervision in these areas. He is the author of The Practice of Collaborative Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013, Sage), and co-editor of two books about collaborative practices in counselling and therapy. He is in the final phases of completing an edited book with Cristelle Audet on Social Justice and Counseling.

David has maintained a mindfulness practice for the past 30 years. Along with Ian Percy, he co-presented a Collab Salon on Narrative & Mindfulness Practice, which is now available to Collab members in our library of Past Salons. We are thrilled to welcome David & Ian as co-presenters for a June 13, 2017 workshop in Shelburne Vermont: Integrating Mindfulness & Narrative Practice.

Ian Percy
Ian Percy (Perth, Western Australia) is a family therapist, supervisor, trainer and published author in narrative and mindfulness approaches. Inspired by the writings of Michael White, David Epston and Alan Jenkins, he took a social constructionist and narrative turn in his practice some 25 years ago, intrigued by the power of cultural discourses and language to shape our lives and relationships. Ian has also studied and practiced various forms of meditation for four decades. The intersection of these influences led him to pursue an integration of mindfulness and Narrative Therapy, which includes attending to gestures and postures as expressions of distress, as statements of position, and as openings to preferred storylines. He is interested in notions of attentional capture and attentional choice, and the politics and ethics of mindful attention in therapy. Ian co-presented with David Paré the May, 2016 Collab Salon on Narrative & Mindfulness Practice and the June 2017 workshop, Creating Spaces for Emerging Practices.
Navid Zamani
Navid Zamani: “I’m an Iranian-American man who was born and raised in Southern California. I was raised in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, until I moved to Davis, CA to continue my studies. After acquiring my BA in Psychology and minor in Music from UC Davis, I moved to San Diego to continue my studies at San Diego State University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have resided in San Diego since 2010 and have fallen in love with the cultures, geography, food and music.

There are threads in my life that have been constant, and initiatives that have developed due to opportunities at the time and/or my location. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I continue to enjoy playing the piano/keys and the drum kit. I am an avid surfer, and enjoy outdoor activities with my wife, such as camping, hiking and biking around San Diego. Reading and writing have always been a pleasure of mine, and academia became a natural fit in this way. Gardening is also one of my obsessions and I also really love my dog. All of these hobbies are situated within a framework of experiences that come along with identifying as a heterosexual male, an Iranian-American and the experiences of biculturalism that accompany that, my ability to speak Farsi and English, my education, and the values I hold.

I grew up observing the charitableness of my family, and connected with the sense of urgency and gratitude that they experienced from helping others. I watched my mom always donate her time and money to the underprivileged and underserved. I watched my aunts (who are educators in Iran) advocate and stand up for students who often didn’t have a voice. I am continuously grounded by the love and compassion my wife models in her daily life. I truly believe that my community’s health impacts my health, and I am dedicated in supporting those in need.”

Registration for this Self-Paced Course

Please note: we have added discounted rates for international registrants, and groups of 5 or more.

  • Regular: $150 USD
  • Student or Fixed income: $125 USD
  • Group Rate (5 or more): $85 USD
  • International Regular Rate: $120 USD
  • International Student or Fixed Income Rate: $100 USD
  • International Group Rate (5 or more): $75
  • Alliant CE Credit: $25 extra
Register Now
Add CE Credit $25

When you purchase the course

  • You will receive an email with the link to the correct page for beginning the course.
  • Each lesson and topic has space at the bottom for comments.
  • Please contact us to inquire about a group rate, or a scholarship reduced fee
If you have already registered, access course here:
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Lesson Descriptions

Lesson One: Getting Situated

Welcoming you to the course, we introduce Lynne and her team of contributors,  describe Narrative Therapy & The Affective Turn,  grapple with philosophical congruence, consider bringing the Affective Turn into Narrative pedagogy, address the Cultural Somatic and give a glossary of theoretical concepts.

Lesson Two: “Trauma & Its Effects”

The second lesson begins by remembering Michael White’s Contributions to thinking about trauma and its consequences.  Maggie Carey helps us explore bridges between neurobiology, memory theory and rich story development, while SuEllen Hamkins renders visible attuning practices that guide narrative practice.

Lesson Three: Rich Story Development & the Affective Turn

We explore assumptions guiding trauma work and practices guiding narrative ways of working. We review four pathways to Rich Story Development, scaffolding    Resonance, Metaphors, Visuals and Poetry.

Lesson Four: Integrative Approaches

In the fourth lesson, we explore clinical applications of The Affective Turn. What does Affective work beyond talk therapy look like? With a focus on attending to lived experience in the here and now, David Pare and Ian Percy explore some of the  creative possibilities  that mindfulness practices  offer for enriching Narrative Therapy. Lynne Rosen introduces EMDR and Somatic therapies that engage the language of sensations, images, and memories to help reinvigorate a re-connection with moral virtues, a language for inner life, and new possibilities for action and movement in accordance with cherished intentions, values, hopes, dreams, beliefs, purposes and commitments. We build on Lynne’s description of her approach  to integrating EMDR and somatic-oriented approaches with narrative therapy, as captured by the 2018 Radical Therapist interview with Chris Hoff below.

“Em-Body-Ing Conversation: Integrating EMDR, Somatic-Oriented Approaches with Narrative Therapy w/ Lynne Rosen” from The Radical Therapist by Chris Hoff, Episode #50, October, 2018.

Lesson Five: Norm

We devote an entire lesson to Lynne’s EMDR and somatic work with Norm – a cis-gender 60 year old man with a deep passion for music, an enormous heart, and an incredible wit. Referred to Lynne by her colleague Larry Zucker, Norm challenged so-called facts and “NORM-alizing” judgment shaped by traumatic early experiences, opening space for alternative ways of understanding the effects of history, moral judgment, and a sense of agency. We explore  audio recordings and transcripts alongside  Lynne and Larry’s reflections on their collaboration, teachable moments and learnings from this experience. TEMPORARY VIDEO

Lesson Six: Integrating EMDR and Narrative Practice with PJ

Lynne shares her work with P.J. to illustrate creative possibilities integrating narrative practices with EMDR, holding complexity and outsider witness practices.

Lesson Seven: Additional Somatic & EMDR Illustrations



Lesson Eight: Bringing it all together



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