A Narrative Approach to Therapeutic Conversations
at the End of Life
with Sasha McAllum Pilkington
Monday, Oct 29, 2018
EastView at Middlebury
The entire team was so moved and inspired. We had non therapists – nurses, intern, doctor, social worker, counselors — i haven’t heard Tom who was with us speak so highly of an event EVER. And our intern has completely shifted her coursework focus as a result of the exposure to narrative. So powerful. So complex and yet so simple. Tara Graham, Executive Director of Hospice and Palliative Care at The UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice
Gentle, well paced stories told with love and care. William Cooke, Kalowna British Columbia
Good size, clear and fluid presentation. Jane Kast, Montpelier Vermont
Are you meeting with people living with a serious illness, facing life-ending illness and/or loved ones grieving after someone has died? What guides your approach to these conversations? Or are you interested in narrative practices and extending your skills? Through case stories, transcript and an audio recording, Sasha McAllum Pilkington shared a narrative approach to therapeutic conversations that focus on: listening for virtue, companioning, making meaning and enhancing a person’s sense of agency. Her presentation set the stage for a lively exchange of ideas about serving people as they approach the end of their lives, and their families/friends/communities supporting them.
We were thrilled to welcome Sasha McAllum Pilkington to Vermont for her first visit to the USA. Having been a narrative therapist for more than 30 years, Sasha has worked since 2008 as a counsellor for Hospice North Shore in Auckland, New Zealand. As part of Sasha’s weekly practice she meets with people who are living with a life ending illness, and their families, both in the community and in the hospice inpatient unit. She also meets with family members who are grieving after someone has died.
Sasha has published several articles illustrating narrative practice with people who are dying and is currently writing a book with co-authors Arthur Frank and David Epston.
- Pilkington, S. (2017) Deconstructing Denial: Stories of Narrative Therapy with people who are dying and their families. Journal of Narrative Family Therapy. Release 1, 2017, pp. 54-75. www.journalnft.com
- Pilkington, S. (2014) Traveling on the Journey to Death: A story illustrating narrative practice for counselors. Journal of Systemic Therapies, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2014, pp. 79–93
- Pilkington, S. (2016) Insurance Policies for Miracle Cures: A story illustrating narrative counseling practice with someone approaching death. Journal of Systemic Therapies, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2016, pp. 71–87
For further interest:
- Carlson, T., Epston, D. , Haire, A., Corturillo, E., Lopez, A., Vedvei, S., Pilkington, S. (March 2017) Learning Narrative Therapy Backwards: Exemplary Tales as an Alternative Pedagogy for Learning Practice, Journal of Systemic Therapies, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 94-107
- Epston, D., Heath, T., Ingamells, K., Pilkington, S. (June 2016) Exemplary Tales: Virtual Apprenticeships
On All Things Counter, Original, Spare, and Strange: The Poetry and Heart of Narrative Therapy
March 29-30, 2019 (Friday-Saturday)
with Tom Stone Carlson and Sanni Paljakka
Over the course of our two days together, we will highlight recent developments in narrative therapy that seek to bring forth stories that have literary merit; stories that counter damaged identities, stories that sing, and stories that love and beckon us forward. We will share examples of our own work and recent collaborations with David Epston including Insider Witnessing Practices and the use of poetry, art, and performance in ways that seek to restore the beauty, honor, and dignity of persons lives. Rather than being a “how to” only, we will offer participants an inside view of these practices through the use of videos, transcripts, and performances of the work. Our hope is that this event will re-ignite your sense of curiosity and passion for what is possible in this work.
Watch this site for further details!
We’d love to know your reflections on Sasha’s workshop. Any suggestions for additional training topics, presenters and guest visitors to Vermont?
Refreshing the Spirit of the Work
This one-day workshop began our new Refreshing the Spirit of the Work series of small Vermont workshops. We are eager for Sasha’s return, and for our upcoming workshops in this series.
Registration is now open for next Vermont workshop!
with Tom Stone Carlson and Sanni Paljakka
March 29-30, 2019
Thank you Sasha for giving us this day and joining the community conversation(s) the following day. Please join us in adding reflections below.