November 15, 2020 Collab Salon: Collectivising Narrative Therapy: Performance, collaboration and community in the league anti-anorexia

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  • November 15, 2020
    5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Collectivising Narrative Therapy: Performance, collaboration and community in the league anti-anorexia.

Elementos para un trabajo colaborativo en la liga antianorexica

with Kitty Thatcher & Dave Villafaña (Santiago, Chile), David Epston (Auckland New Zealand) and others

Sunday, November 15, 2020: 5pm NY time

This Collab Salon will bring together people from around the world with contributions to the Archive of Resistance: Anti-anorexia/Anti-bulimia. We  hope to explore the following questions: *What are the possibilities and limitations of collectivised narrative therapy within the league of anti anorexia? *What could collective collaboration between insiders and outsiders look like?  How could it work?* What learnings can be found through the political movements that are happening around the world that serve as examples of the power of networks in seeking healing and justice? Kitty Thatcher & Dave Villafaña

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Learn about a shared foray into collectivised narrative practice in the League of Anti-anorexia;
  2. Explore the potential pitfalls and possibilities such endeavours might bring;
  3. Discuss parallels found within therapeutic practices and outside of them.

In Preparation

Please check out The Archive of Resistance: Anti-anorexia/anti-bulimia , which is housed on The Narrative Approaches website.

This is a lifesaving archive of personal stories, essays, poetry, art, scholarship, and conversations about the body, anorexia, bulimia, perfectionism, and identity. Please feel welcome to read, explore, share, contribute, and join us in the fight against negative body image. The very beginnings of an archive in Spanish (including some translations from David Epston’s league documents) are also available through the PRANAS website at:


Kitty: While studying a masters of family therapy at the Universidad de Chile in 2019 in Santiago I (Kitty) met a 17 year old who would change the course of my learning, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say, my life. Bright, funny, kind, creative, she was also battling to free herself from Anorexia. After attending a seminar by David Epston I learnt about the league of anti-anorexia. So began my earnest attempts to reach out around us and form a network. Alone, I was an inexperienced therapist, but I hoped that by bringing in others, insiders and outsiders I could make up for what was lacking in my own practice and mount a serious challenge to the anorexic culture poisoning this brilliant young woman. I reached out to Dave Villafaña in la Serena, in the North of Chile, who at the time was seeing a consultant of the same age and facing the same phantom. Then 6 months later I began the narrative apprenticeship program under the guidance of Kay Ingamells, David Epston and Tom Carlson. David Epston encouraged me to reach out to a fellow therapist who lived in England in the program in order to form an alliance and exchange a series of transcripts and letters between our consultants. He also put me into direct contact with some of his consultants that he had worked with 20 years before in New Zealand.

Dave: Five years ago I studied a Diploma in narrative systemic therapy at the Universidad de Chile, it was there that I encountered the political and human dimension of therapy. That journey transformed and continues to challenge my practices as a therapist. Two years ago I met Kitty and was surprised by her curiosity … once I’d left Santiago, moving to a small city called La Serena in the North of Chile, we continued to stay in contact with each other, conversing about how to practically and theoretically incorporate the aesthetic, poetic and corporal dimensions to psychotherapy. We soon found ourselves talking about anorexia and how to resist its hegemonies. At the time I was tasked with accompanying a young girl who had been battling anorexia to her psychiatric hospitalization in 2018. It was a very difficult time and I felt that I was betraying my narrative spirit. Suddenly the idea of forming alliances with others, both inside and outside the field took on a new significance. Holding dialogues of resistance to pathologizing procedures, and understanding different expressions of mental health and how they are taken up, rejected and transformed by dissidents that undertake to struggle against inherited and imposed identities became an urgent imperative. You find us in this adventure, in our attempts to connect our work with community, searching for freedoms that are often stripped from us and those with whom we work.

David Epston

David Epston (Auckland, New Zealand)is the co-originator with Michael White of what has come to be known as ‘narrative therapy and community work’. The collaboration between David and Michael began in the late 1970s, as continued for many years. David’s best known publications are White and Epston(1990), Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends; Freeman, Epston and Lobovits(1997), Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and their Families and Maisel, Epston and Borden(2004), Biting The Hand That Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia, Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with children’s imaginative know-how (with David Marsten & Laurie Markham) along with other collections of papers and book chapters.  David has given several Vermont workshops and masterclasses on the poetics of inquiry: What is a good question? Where do questions come from? How are good questions related to good stories? What guides inquiry in narrative therapy? David is an eagerly anticipated guest presenter on The Collab Salon.   In June 2017, he returned to Vermont to co-present (along with Tom Carlson) a  June 15th workshop on InsiderWitness Practice  and to cohost a gathering of Narrative Educators. To learn more, please visit our newly created Curated Resource Page: David Epston: Where the buses don’t run yet. and visit Educators Camp Followup.


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2019-10-05T14:54:58-05:00September 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

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