Meet a few of the Collab members

Our members come from all around the world – the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. We share discoveries, inquire into new learnings and seek to make connections with people doing similar work in other parts of the world.
Jehanzeb Baldiwala

Jehanzeb Baldiwala

Jehanzeb Baldiwala lives in Mumbai, India. She is a therapist, supervisor, trainer and a part of the Ummeed Child Development Center’s management team since 2004. She has aligned herself with narrative ways of working since 2006. Her work at Ummeed includes designing and supervising implementation of mental health training using narrative ideas and practices; providing therapeutic support to families and children with disabilities as well as training and supervising the mental health team at Ummeed. Her team is currently working on piloting a training program in narrative ideas and practices for community workers in Hindi. She says ” the reauthoring teaching website is a wonderful gathering place for people from different contexts and cultures, using narrative ideas in practice and teaching, to come together and explore, share and collaborate within.

Michael Giancola

Michael Giancola

Michael Giancola works in San Diego with men who experience their sexual behavior as ‘out of control,’ helping them work toward their vision of sexual health. Mike has been in community with Narrative therapy, community work and postmodern thought since 2007 when he began hisMaster’s program at San Diego State University. Mike thoroughly enjoys the way this work keeps the spirit of resiliency, hope and responsiveness alive even amidst difficult times in clients’ (and therapists’) lives. He is also fortunate to have been introduced to these ideas in the context of a community of people who practice these ideas in clinical and community contexts in San Diego.  Mike is grateful for the group called Narrative Health Initiatives San Diego, facilitated by Dr. Jan Ewing, Ron Estes and Dr. Sarah Kahn, and supported over the years by too many people to possibly name here. “Something about doing this Narrative work in community makes a great difference for me as I consider my identity as a therapist. If I were to name that difference it would be something like a place for discovery.”

SuEllen Hamkins

SuEllen Hamkins finds great inspiration and support from this online narrative community in furthering her passion of helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of challenges and difficulties. A narrative psychiatrist, her work currently centers on college student mental health and mother-daughter relationships. Her books include The Art of Narrative Psychiatry, published by Oxford University Press, and The Mother-Daughter Project: How mothers and daughters can band together, beat the odds and thrive through adolescence. She is Assistant Director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

sarahhughes2_profile 2

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes lives in British Columbia, Canada. She is especially interested in integrating mind, body and story. Sarah’s new job as a family counsellor working with a community agency brings the challenge of respectfully extending her passion for narrative practice into a new context. As she continues to develop her independent practice as a therapist in her rural community, Sarah is always eager to find others with whom to share ideas, practices and dilemmas.

Deidre Ikin

Deidre Ikin

Deidre Ikin lives in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia. She currently works in private practice providing counselling, group work, supervision and training. She has worked in rural and remote regions of Australia, largely in cross cultural contexts with Indigenous Australian peoples and more recently as a counsellor for members of the Stolen Generations and others who experienced abuse in institutions or out of home care. Narrative practices provide ways that she can attend to power relations, historical context, identity and personal agency. She has a special interest in using definitional ceremony and re-membering practices with individuals, groups and communities who have experienced trauma or marginalisation. Commencing studies with Michael White in 1999 she joined the Collab Salon in 2015 as a way to remain connected to others using narrative practices through learning, inspiration, sharing of ideas and support.

Will Sherwin

Will Sherwin

Will Sherwin works in Oakland, CA at a shelter for youth experiencing homelessness. Will has helped organize the SF Bay Area narrative therapy community through a google group, narrative salons, trainings, and most recently a narrative therapy podcast, BANTR Radio, at Will is most excited about using multimedia in creative, playful ways that uplift and circulate insider skills and knowledges to others in the community.

Akansha Vaswani

Akansha Vaswani

Akansha Vaswani grew up in Mumbai, India but now lives in Boston, USA where she is a doctoral student. She was first introduced to narrative ideas whilst working at Ummeed Child Development Center in Mumbai, and she realised very quickly that it generated multiple new possibilities for the children and families she was working with. She is fascinated with cross cultural applications of narrative therapy and loves that the Collab Salon offers a space where she can learn from creative practices being used by therapists from different parts of the world.

What some of our members have said

I love the opportunities that online meetings and discussions provide for practitioners and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Participating in the Collab Salon is a way for me to stay connected with others, to learn and be encouraged and inspired around the endless ways narrative therapy can be used. It’s great having participants from various countries and cultures sharing practice innovations and dilemmas. 
Deidre,  the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia.

I have been looking so forward to a discussion about working with couples. Often, I find it easier to structure the conversation so I am just talking to one member of the couple at a time and have the other listening and witnessing. This is usually a good thing but I would love so ideas on how to do rich story description with two people in the conversation.
– Sarah, Nelson, British Columbia

It’s a new experiences for me to take in a webinar. It was so easy to connect to the webinar yesterday. Thank you a lot for your hard work and all people who took place at that process. I used my mobile.  I learned how to send a message at the end of the meeting. I enjoyed Larry’s presentation. It was a short time. I ‘d like to be involved in talking with others.
– Valentina, Bucharest, Romania

I was very interested in hearing SuEllen’s presentation about serious and persistent problems. Obviously many problems fit that definition. Being old, ill, isolated, homebound, and with few supports can be a whole other “serious and persistent problem” that other Problems love because the person feels there’s little hope of finding other sources of support or hope. I’d love to have SuEllen and Bobbi get together for a presentation, combining the issues concerning persistent problems with healthcare and homebound/isolated issues.

One of the things I want new people to know about this group is the approach to how it was created. Together we have co-creating a group that gives us a sense that there is always something else we can discover, engaging in ideas beyond what we think therapy should be. This group offers diverse roads to explore and relate. One time we might be consultants to each other, still other times we can go to a safe place, for instance we can retreat to a room called “I need a Witness” where we can go for support and strength against others who would like to see us fail in some way, who want to take away who we are and what we have. Other times we log in for inspiration to renew the spirit of our clinical work, giving and receiving encouragement and wisdom from the voices of each member to our work with clients. In this way we can become better people and better therapists. We have become an “island” gathering from many continents of the world. We will soon have the Spanish and Portuguese rooms growing and stronger……. With all these many possibilities, we are always re-discovering new options for the kind of work we envision.
– Martha, Colombia, Latin America, now living in California, USA

Come join us!

An annual membership to The Collab Salon gives you access to a whole world of conversation.

Become a Member