Our Vermont Workshops & Narrative Camp take advantage of our beautiful location to create rigorous and lively learning experiences where participants can further develop skills in narrative approaches in collaboration with others, while savoring an environment offering panoramic views, good company, and outdoor splendors. We think of these gatherings as Refreshing Our Spirit in The Work. Over the years, we added Narrative Camp for those who can join us to experience shared living by the lake—taking full advantage of the restorative possibilities: kayaking, hiking, cycling, swimming, sharing meals, yoga, watching glorious sunsets and hanging out talking on lake-side verandas. We also co-present workshops in other locations in collaboration with Our Partners.
We believe in learning by doing, and in building community.
Refreshing Our Spirit in the Work
We offer small Vermont gatherings including Workshops in Addison County, Vermont and Narrative Camp on Lake Champlain. Please read about A Narrative Approach to Therapeutic Conversations at the End of Life with Sasha Pilkington, which took place October 29, 2018. And then Narrative Camp: June 14-21 2019 took place on Lake Champlain (Thompson’s Point, Charlotte Vermont) when our theme was Narrative Reverberations: Community Conversations Around the World and Across Generations.
Our Vermont Gatherings
Who comes to our workshops?
Practice, Reflection & Replenishment
Our workshops – and Narrative Camp- bring together practitioners and teachers drawn to informal opportunities for practice, reflection and replenishment. In this Narrative Educators Camp 2017 Youtube video, Walter Bera, David Epston & Akansha Vaswani build on Michael White’s analogy of Jazz musicianship to show convey the emphasis on discipline and practice that then opens opportunities for improvisation. In addition to the theme, pay attention to the backdrop of the beautiful Lake Champlain setting!
What are our workshops like?
Looking Back: Past Workshops & Gatherings
A Special Year: the 10th Anniversary of Michael White’s Passing
Narrative Gathering on Coronado Island, San Diego: March 28-30, 2018
Thank you to all who joined us as we looked back together on the rich history of Michael’s work and reflected on the ways we have carried on these past 10 years after the loss of Michael, keeping close to his work and proposing further developments. In collaboration with Narrative Initiative San Diego, we designed the Gathering with multiple formats, creating opportunities for many to speak and reflect about their continued work. Together we came together as a local community in San Diego and an international global community to consider Michael’s influence on the field and how narrative practices have been developed over the last decade to influence each of us and our respective communities in particular ways. This gathering was not a “conference” per se, in the sense of having privileged voices of experts talking and others taking notes. Rather, we strove to offer a context for community learning, for centering and de-centering practices, for layers of multigenerational, diverse conversations that reflect on a variety of topics, personal, local and global.
2017-2019 Vermont Workshops and Narrative Camp
Thank you to all who participated in our June 2017-2019 Vermont workshops and Narrative Camps. Together we shared learning experiences, replenished our spirits, made connections, and further built community. In addition to adding these events to our Past Workshops, we’ve updated What is Narrative Camp to include new photos and YouTube videos. Interested in reading a blog post by someone new to narrative training? Check out Jess’ reflections below on attending her first narrative practice workshop. Join us in reflecting on Take-aways! Add your refections. Contact us with your photos!
Hear from the participants
Attending narrative camp in Vermont this summer was my first professional experience with narrative practices. Since being introduced to the tenants of narrative therapy, I’ve been trying to identify why I felt so completely different at a narrative workshop compared to other trainings in more “conventional” modalities. Not only did it feel different professionally, but I was able to be present in an unusually authentic way, personally. As a person with ample lived experience, I am generally afraid of being “found out” by colleagues, which is a fear that has only grown as my career progresses. I felt so different at the narrative workshop. The energy was different, the people were different. Most notably, I didn’t feel like an imposter and I didn’t feel hot shame smoldering in the background. As a clinician with lived experience, I always feel I need to subordinate one identity (professional) over another (sick person) in frameworks that focus on pathology. Either health wins or illness wins, but there is often not space for a more complex and nuanced narrative. Consequently, the sense of internal fragmentation with which I always contend becomes thicker and more alienating. The energy required to present well becomes an ever increasing tax demanded to inhabit professionalism, a tax I’m terrified I won’t be able to pay on any given week.
Check out our Guest Blog to continue reading Jess’ reflections!
I especially enjoyed having lots of practice time with the permission and encouragement to stop, check in with each other, try again and play. How another training could measure up to this, I’m not sure. the place, people and format were perfect. This is just what I needed!
The gathering was wonderful, start to finish. It is especially heartening to see a bright and dedicated younger generation coming along.
A thoroughly delicious stay in the Vermont wonderland. I left the camp buzzing with new thoughts and passion for the work. Thank you for all you have given to us. A heart filled with gratitude.
Past Workshops and Narrative Camp
Thank you to all who participated in our past events! Visitors have come from India, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand as well as from across Canada and the USA. This photo brings back memories of David Epston’s Masterclass at Treleven Farm. In 2016, Maggie Carey gave two memorable workshops, Responding to Trauma & Life’s Difficulties, and Live Interviews: Finding our Way in Narrative Conversations, which have become part of our library of Past Workshops. In addition, many of us stayed for the entire week in Lake Champlain Cottages for what has become affectionately called Narrative Camp.
Hear from the participants
I was needing a catalyst to mix into my thinking to propel me forward in my ability to ask therapeutic questions. This workshop dropped the catalyst into my brain and opened new doors of thinking and language.”
This location is magnificent. I loved seeing old friends and meeting new people, being reminded that narrative practice involves a distinct set of skills (in addition to a good attitude), and that these need to be practiced.”
I appreciated how “hands on” it was – the mix between seeing questions, witnessing a live interview and getting time to discuss and breakdown the intent behind asking questions. I appreciated that we were able to slow down the process of formulating questions, in a way I’d never done before.”
I loved how the workshop challenged my thinking about my work, getting me to ask new questions of myself and planted ideas about how to strengthen my use of narrative ideas.”
I especially appreciated discussion of how narrative therapy is not only cognitive but a “celebration of the heart and mind.”
Library of Past Events
Browse workshops we’ve held or co-sponsored in the past on topics ranging from: emerging approaches to narrative practices, responding to trauma, hope and beauty, magic, ethical resistance, and of course, refreshing the spirit of the work.
Our exciting — and growing — online faculty also includes Maggie Carey, David Epston, SuEllen Hamkins, David Marsten, Laurie Markham, Lynne Rosen and Larry Zucker. Whenever possible, we professionally film our workshops as video contributions to our future online courses.
Let us know your suggestions for additional training topics, presenters and guest visitors to Vermont.