Many people who came to our Vermont workshops stayed for the entire week in  cottage rentals on Lake Champlain. We helped to find cottages that soon became filled with a blend of consultation groups, individuals, couples and families from around the world. Over the years, this experience of shared living by the lake has affectionately taken on the name, Narrative Camp.

The Spirit of Vermont Narrative Camp

Sarah Hughes

Narrative Camp took advantage of our beautiful Vermont location with participants living side-by-side in cottage rentals on Thompson’s Point (Charlotte) on Lake Champlain. We strove to create rich learning experiences where participants could further develop skills in narrative approaches in collaboration with others while experiencing outdoor living, shared meals and lively conversation. Our scheduled program also allowed space for restoration:  kayaking, hiking, cycling, swimming, sharing meals, yoga by lakeside watching naps, glorious sunsets and hanging out talking on lake-side verandas.

We welcomed conversations across generations and cultures. We hope everyone benefited from these inspiring exchanges that level the playing field, bringing together teachers and students, seasoned and early career voices. Together our participants shared a commitment to sustaining the future of narrative practice, and thereby document many of our lived-in experiences, ideas, knowledges and skills.

Remembering Narrative Camp

Our workshops and Narrative Camps brought together practitioners and teachers from all over the world drawn to informal opportunities for practice, reflection and replenishment. Check out Remembering  Narrative Camp to get a taste of photos and videos, or take a look on our Past Workshops in order to know about teachers and 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.

Narrative Camp Photos

Most of all, it’s a week for building community, finding solidarity, savoring connections and deepening friendships. There are so many photos to choose! Here are favorites.

  • Jay-Bobbi-

Hear from the participants

Here are some of the reflections from our participants. You are welcome to share your experience!

“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”

“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”

“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”

Add Your Reflections!

Did you participate in Vermont Narrative Camps? What are some of your take-aways? Please add your reflections under “comments” at the bottom of this page!