Gathering #2: Widening the Tent

Cross-pollinating and collaborating with other cherished approaches

Facilitators:  Akansha Vaswani-Bye & Peggy Sax

Confirmed conversationalists include Tanya Barr (equitable access to mental health), Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin (Positive psychology, IPNB & mindfulness),  Lucy Cotter (the arts), Jan Ewing (physiology & training), SuEllen Hamkins (psychiatry), Chris Hoff (The Encyclopedia of Radical Helping), Poh Lin Lee (multi-storied bodies), Mark Mullkoff (Deleuzean philosophy), Mary Clark Moschella (Pastoral counseling), marcela polanco (decoloniality), Lynne Rosen (EMDR and somatic therapies), Navid Zamani (the affective turn).

A conversation about cross-pollinating with other fields of inquiry, community-building efforts, enthusiasms, cautions, emerging explorations, and grappling with congruence.

Sunday, September 15,  2024

4:00 pm- 7:00 pm EDT

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Gathering Conversationalists

We are thrilled to bring together the following team of colleagues contributing to this gathering:

Tanya Barr

Tanya Barr obtained her M.A. from Antioch Los Angeles in Clinical Psychology, where she specialized in Applied Community Psychology, where she studied the reciprocal relationship of individuals and their communities. She believes that being connected to oneself and sacred other (people, nature, ancestors, etc...) is a pathway for integrative health and empowerment. She is in private practice as an LMFT and professor specializing in narrative explorations around race, trauma, relational dynamics, structural inequities, consumerism, spirituality, and sexuality. She is sex-positive, queer, kink, and poly practicing and welcomes the opportunity to be in communication with others who are seeking voice, clarity, connection in slowing down, and a renewed sense of joyful vitality.

Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin

Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, Ph.D., deeply cherishes nature and values being a mother, wife, activist, consultant, teacher, and compassionate practitioner. She was born and raised in Canada, is French speaking, loves cross-country skiing, dancing, rock climbing, and hiking snowy mountain peaks.

Marie-Nathalie directs Skills for Kids, Parents & Schools (SKIPS), a 9-month intense narrative therapy, neurobiology and mindfulness training program in California where she works with children, adults, families, and school communities. Prior to immersing herself in narrative therapy in the early 1990s, Marie-Nathalie had trained in Human Biology and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. She now brings together fields that have influenced her life and work for the last 30 years, and as a result has pioneered narrative clinical practices to respond to distressing emotions and traumatic experiences. She has written over 50 professional articles and many books such as the popular The SKiLL-ionaire in every child: Boosting childrens socio-emotional skills using the latest in brain research (2010), written for parents, teachers and counselors (French, English, Spanish). She has also co-authored Collaborative Therapies and neurobiology: Evolving practices in action (Beaudoin & Duvall, 2017), and Mindfulness in a busy world: Lowering barriers for youth & adults to cultivate focus, emotional peace & gratefulness (Beaudoin & Maki, 2021). Her latest book, co-authored with Gerald Monk is currently in press with WW Norton and titled: Narrative practices and emotions: 40+ ways to support the emergence of flourishing identities. It combines her lifelong passion for the immense possibilities inherent to our bodies and brains, with novel narrative practices inspired by Interpersonal Neurobiology, Sensorimotor Therapy, and Positive Psychology. With a background in improvisational theater and dance, Marie-Nathalie is well-known for her thought provoking and engaging presentations. Her websites are and

Lucy Cotter

Lucy Cotter is the co-founder of Narrative Counseling Center and a narrative therapist in L.A. California. She has a passion for narrative therapy and couples counseling, individual and family therapy. With an MFA as a painter and collage artist from Otis College of Art, she brings out-of-the-box and creative thinking to her psychotherapy clients' stories. Her interests in postmodern narrative therapies, art, and critical thinking have intersected in ways that her clients and students have appreciated.

Jan Ewing

Jan Ewing, Ph.D. (San Diego, California) founded Narrative Initiative San Diego (NISD) with a focus on training Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) trainees and interns in Narrative Therapy practices in an integrated healthcare setting. With close to 30 years of clinical experience, she trained directly with Michael White. She has been the director of two university-based counseling clinics and is a full-time faculty in the MFT Graduate Program at San Diego State University. In addition to directing the clinical work at NISD, she sees clients in her private practice, Narrative Health Initiatives, where she considers the intersection of physiology and mental health.

SuEllen Hamkins

SuEllen Hamkins, MD is a psychiatrist and author. SuEllen’s passion is helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of challenges and difficulties. Her work centers on three main areas: narrative psychiatry, college student mental health and mother-daughter relationships. She is Assistant Director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. SuEllen is a co-founder of the Mother-Daughter Project, and has created a series of videos on helping mothers and daughter thrive. Her most recent book is The Art of Narrative Psychiatry, published by Oxford University Press. To read more, click here.

SuEllen gave the 2015 workshop, Working with people facing severe and persistent problems, and has presented on the Collab Salon on Working with People Who are Living with Serious and relentless problems or Mental Health Challenges.

Chris Hoff

Chris Hoff, PhD, LMFT is Founder and Executive Director of the California Family Institute (CFI) in southern California. CFI is a nonprofit organization that was established as a community counseling center that provides desperately needed low-cost counseling services for the community and for the development of research and training for those interested in post-structuralist, post-oppositional, and compositionist narrative therapy approaches.

Poh Lin Lee

Poh Lin Lee is a Chinese Malaysian Australian woman who comes to her practice through multiple experiences and relationships as a narrative therapy practitioner, social worker, co-researcher of trauma/displacement, writer, teacher, film protagonist and creative consultant.

Since 2004 Poh has been engaged in therapeutic co-research with people and communities responding to themes of experience such as family and state violence, displacement (from rights, land, home, body, identity, relationships), liminality and reclaiming practices of staying with experience and preference. Creative and therapeutic fields intersected for Poh whilst working with people seeking asylum within a film project with director Gabrielle Brady, Island of the Hungry Ghosts (2018).

Mark Mullkoff

Mark Mullkoff (he/him) is a white settler living on traditional territories of several Indigenous nations such as the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee, Erie, and Neutral - land which is colonially known as Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Mark is in his fourth year of practicing therapy independently, and is continually inspired by and engaged with narrative practice. In these years, he has also been engaged with the ideas of French poststructuralist philosopher Gilles Deleuze. While he is far from an expert on this philosophy, it has influenced his work and life in meaningful ways. Mark is developing a research paper with the Narrative Practice Research Network and The Qualitative Report, exploring some of the links between his practice and Deleuze's ideas.
Mark is also a father to a dynamic and inspiring toddler and a partner to a dedicated teacher and social justice advocate. Mark believes in prison abolition, which he tries to put into practice through transformative justice efforts in his community, through resisting carcerality in his work, and other occasional organizing. He also has a deep passion for music that he expresses through DJing, producing music, and broadcasting.

Mary Clark Moschella

Mary Clark Moschella is the Roger J. Squire Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Yale Divinity School. Before joining the YDS faculty in 2010, she taught at Wesley Theological Seminary for ten years; before that, she served as a pastor in UCC congregations in Massachusetts for thirteen years. Among her publications are Caring for Joy: Narrative, Theology, and Practice (Brill, 2016) and The Edward Wimberly Reader, co-edited with Lee H. Butler, Jr. (Baylor University Press, 2020); and the 2nd edition of Ethnography as a Pastoral Practice (Pilgrim, 2023). Her current scholarship articulates a narrative approach to pastoral and spiritual care practices. She also studies prison-based literature and teaches Inside/Out courses that bring divinity and incarcerated students together in carceral settings.

marcela polanco

marcela polanco, Ph.D was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, the land of her Muiscan ancestors. Currently an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at San Diego State University, her supervision, teaching, research and therapy are informed by the work of Latin American academic and social activist on decolonial and anti-racist Andean feminisms. She is also inspired by an ethics of solidarity. Until recently, she directed the Psychotherapy Services for Spanish Speaking Populations Certificate and the Master’s in Family, Couple and Individual Psychotherapy at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas. She is member of the international faculty team at the Dulwich Centre, Adelaide, Australia

Lynne Rosen

Lynne V. Rosen, LCSW (Pasadena, California) has been engaged in therapeutic work for over 25 years in medical, residential, inpatient, community and private practice settings. She found her therapeutic and philosophical home in the early 90’s when she traveled to New York to hear Michael White and David Epston. Most recently, she has focused her attention on integrating Narrative Therapy with EMDR, Somatic Therapies and Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) with clients who are living with the effects of Trauma, Eating Problems and other difficulties that compromise relational well-being. Her favorite proverb is an African one: “Until lions have historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” Lynne has had a long-standing interest in bringing forward lions’ tales, stories and experiences at the margins, where there is wisdom and knowledge that can transport us all. She continues to feel passionate about teaching, supervising and public conversation work and for many years, she had the privilege of working as Core Faculty and Director of the Postmodern Therapy Training Program at PGI and Co-Founder of WPLA (Women’s Project Los Angeles).

Navid Zamani

Navid Zamani: “I’m an Iranian-American man who was born and raised in Southern California. I was raised in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, until I moved to Davis, CA to continue my studies. After acquiring my BA in Psychology and minor in Music from UC Davis, I moved to San Diego to continue my studies at San Diego State University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have resided in San Diego since 2010 and have fallen in love with the cultures, geography, food and music.

There are threads in my life that have been constant, and initiatives that have developed due to opportunities at the time and/or my location. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I continue to enjoy playing the piano/keys and the drum kit. I am an avid surfer, and enjoy outdoor activities with my wife, such as camping, hiking and biking around San Diego. Reading and writing have always been a pleasure of mine, and academia became a natural fit in this way. Gardening is also one of my obsessions and I also really love my dog. All of these hobbies are situated within a framework of experiences that come along with identifying as a heterosexual male, an Iranian-American and the experiences of biculturalism that accompany that, my ability to speak Farsi and English, my education, and the values I hold.

I grew up observing the charitableness of my family, and connected with the sense of urgency and gratitude that they experienced from helping others. I watched my mom always donate her time and money to the underprivileged and underserved. I watched my aunts (who are educators in Iran) advocate and stand up for students who often didn’t have a voice. I am continuously grounded by the love and compassion my wife models in her daily life. I truly believe that my community’s health impacts my health, and I am dedicated in supporting those in need.”

Learning Objectives

This workshop will enable you to:
1. Discuss how narrative practices can be combined with other approaches to therapy and community work
2. Describe ethical considerations in bridging narrative ideas with practices and philosophical ideas from other traditions.
3. Predict ways you might extend narrative therapy in collaboration with other schools of thinking or practice.

To Prepare

Soon, we will choose three resources for review in preparation for this gathering.


Please help us build a resource list relevant to this topic by adding comments below or contacting us with your favorite articles, books, videos, and podcasts.

Breaking the Frame: Aesthetic Encounters with Narrative Practices, Part 1 by Lucy Merrill Cotter, Journal of Contemporary Narrative Therapy, 2023, Release 3,, p. 23-44.

Narrative Orthodoxy & Hegemonic Power: An evolutionary perspective by Jeff Zimmerman. Journal of Contemporary Narrative Therapy, 2023,, Release 2, p 2-19.