Watch our Introduction!

Course Description

Registration for this self-paced course is open and ongoing!

Narrative Therapy: Foundations & Key Concepts (FKC) offers six lessons introducing the philosophical foundations and key concepts guiding narrative therapy in work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.  The course gives an overview of narrative therapy, reviews some important distinctions with other approaches, honors the legacy of Michael White, and situates narrative practice as a development not only within the field of family therapy but rooted in postmodern approaches, post-structuralist philosophy, literary theory, and anthropology.

After exploring the role of questions, the narrative metaphor, and intentional understandings of identity, we highlight four key ethical considerations guiding a narrative approach and look closely at dividing practices to engage with problems in ways that do not promote shame or blame of the families or children. In the final lesson, we explore how narrative practitioners create audiences, seek solidarity and build community.

Instructor

Peggy Sax, Ph.D. (Cornwall, Vermont) guides this self-paced online course. Peggy is the founder and Executive Director of Re-Authoring Teaching – the global learning community of narrative therapy practitioners, teachers, and enthusiasts represented on this website. Having apprenticed herself to narrative therapy since the early 1990s, Peggy also works in independent practice as a licensed psychologist, consultant, international teacher, and trainer. She is the author of several articles and the book Re-authoring Teaching: Creating a Collaboratory. Whether online, on-the-road or within her beautiful home state of Vermont, it gives her great joy to bring together favorite people, ideas and practices – to learn, engage, play and replenish together.

Registration always open!

Each of the six lessons, including audio, video, and text, takes about two hours. Anyone can start at any time. For an additional $25, registrants can earn 12 APA-approved CE credits through Alliant International University. For course objectives, click here.

Sliding Fee Structure 

Tuition for these courses—along with donations—is how we fund the creation and sustenance of this website and the community it aims to facilitate. While our courses provide APA Approved Alliant CEs, we’re most interested in developing Re-Authoring Teaching into a generative community that grows and sustains Narrative Therapy and each other for years to come. Our new tiered pricing structure—subsidized, regular sustaining, and patron—reflects our best efforts to realize that dream. Re-Authoring Teaching Members receive a 10 % discount. Please select the highest rate you are able to pay:

  • Sustaining (Regular) Rate will help us recover costs to produce this course and sustain our website: $120 USD
  • Sustaining Re-Authoring Teaching (RT) Member 10 % Discount: $108
  • Subsidized Rate is a reduced fee for those of us facing financial barriers that interfere with paying the regular fee: $94.00 USD.
  • Subsidized RT Member Rate 10 % Discount: $84.00 USD.
  • Patron is for anyone who can afford additional financial support to help support our community and resources: $225 USD.
  • Patron RT Member 10% Discount: $202 USD.
  • Donations are open to anyone who can afford to contribute to our Nonprofit Organization, which includes developing future courses, resources, and other offerings.

Please contact us if you would like a rate for a group of four or more, higher education, or if you require a further reduced fee due to current circumstances.

Register Now

When you purchase the course

  • You will receive an email with the link to the correct page for beginning the course.
  • When a group of 6 or more signs up, we can offer a live webinar.
If you have already registered, access the course here:

Take the Course

Earning Continuing Education?

Psychologists and other mental health professionals can earn 12 APA approved Continuing Education credits through Alliant International University. You will need to pay the extra $25 fee. Simply pass the quiz at the end of the course, and email your confirmation to [email protected]. We will send you the certificate for 12 CEs.

  • For a list of course objectives, click here.
  • For a description of Alliant International University Continuing Education, click here.
Add CE Credit $25

Building Interaction

Discovering Padlets and Flip

While building our courses, we’ve faced the challenge of creating a self-paced asynchronous course while offering added opportunities to share reflections, takeaways, and emerging questions throughout the course. Participation in any Padlet or through Flip is entirely optional. However, we fully believe that joining will enhance this course experience for us and each other.

Thank you to all who are already contributing your voices to this course!

Lesson Descriptions

Lesson One: What is Narrative Therapy?

We begin by reviewing several excellent brief descriptions of narrative therapy, and the Why Narrative Therapy? Youtube Project. After reviewing some important distinctions between narrative practice and other approaches, we honor the legacy of Michael White (Australia) and David Epston (New Zealand), the founders of Narrative therapy. Included are some special added remembrances of Michael who died in April of 2008.

Guided by: Peggy Sax, with a focus on the works of Michael White, David Epston, Maggie Carey and Shona Russell

  • Michael White
  •  David Epston
  • Maggie Carey
  • Shona Russell

Lesson Two: Who are our intellectual ancestors?

We situate narrative practice as a development not only within the field of family therapy but rooted in postmodern approaches, post-structrualist philosophy, literary theory and anthropology.

Guided by: Peggy Sax, with a focus on the works of  Tom Andersen, Harlene Anderson and Chris Beels

  • Michele Foucault
  • Jacque Derrida
  • Tom Andersen
  • Harlene Anderson
  • Chris Beels
  • Rob Hall

Lesson Three: Three Key Concepts

Here we briefly explore three key ideas influencing narrative therapy: the role of questions, the narrative metaphor, and intentional understandings of identity.

Guided by: Peggy Sax, with a focus on the works of  Shona Russell, Maggie Carey, Rachel Hare-Mustin, Jill Freedman, Gene Combs, Chimananda Adichie, and Michael White

  • Rachel Hare-Mustin
  • Chimamanda Adichie
  • Jill Freedman and Gene Combs
  • Michael White

Lesson Four: Four Key Ethical Considerations

We briefly explore four key ethics guiding a narrative approach: relational ethics, the decentered-influential therapeutic posture, staying close to people as center of their own lives, and reckoning with power and privilege.

Guided by: Peggy Sax, with a focus on the works of  Sheila McNamee, Michael White, Shona Russell, Maggie Carey, Rob Hall and the Delving into Difference and Accountability Hot Topic for a new decade.

  • Sheila McNamee