A Year-Long Series Exploring Contemporary and Emerging Narrative Practices 


Poh Lin Lee

Akansha Vaswani-Bye

Peggy Sax

Co-hosts Poh Lin Lee, Akansha Vaswani-Bye, Peggy Sax and MANY cherished contributors

May 19, 2024; September 15, 2024; November 17, 2024; January 19, 2025; March 16, 2025, May 18, 2025

Sundays 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST or EDT (New York time)

Beginning May 19, 2024, co-hosts Poh Lin Lee,  Akansha Vaswani-Bye, and Peggy Sax will facilitate a series of six bi-monthly 3-hour gatherings reaffirming our narrative foundations while exploring contemporary and emerging narrative practices. With a deepening understanding of intercultural considerations, differences, and accountability, our new series embraces a co-learning approach based on “creating a collaboratory,” bringing together teachers, practitioners, students, and enthusiasts to explore a narrative approach across therapeutic, creative, community, political, academic and organizational fields. As the name suggests, the NextGen Collaboratory will emphasize the emergence of contemporary narrative therapy. It gives a platform to younger voices from varied cultural backgrounds that stretch and grow Narrative Therapy in the ever-evolving ways we believe the originators hoped would be their continuing legacy.  

We hope you will sign up for the series of all six gatherings and be part of these community conversations as they unfold.  If you book the entire series, you will receive a discounted rate. Re-Authoring Teaching members get further discounts.  Depending on your financial situation, choose between Patron, Sustaining, or Subsizided rates. Now approved, you can earn 18 Alliant CE credits for the entire series, or 3 CEs for attending each of the six online gatherings.

Register for the NextGen Series
Earn 18 CEs for the Series

Next, we describe each of the six gatherings. You can register for single events if you cannot join us for the entire series.

A Series of Six 3-Hour Generative Conversations

Each gathering brings contributors from different perspectives to participate in a conversation focusing on a particular theme.  Witnesses to this conversation will then gather in small facilitated groups to reflect and inquire according to specific guiding questions into what they have heard, places of resonance, and ripple effects on their own experiences. Coming back together as a large group, we anticipate discoveries, new possibilities, and grappling with congruence.

Re-Authoring Teaching Members can register at a discount. While we encourage everyone to sign up for the entire series, it is also possible to select specific events.  You can earn 3 CE credits for each of the six gatherings.

Gathering #1: Building contemporary narrative therapy on what matters most to us.

**What is your narrative backbone?

Sunday, May 19, 2024 

4:00 pm- 7:00 pm EDT

Facilitators: Poh Lin Lee & Akansha Vaswani-Bye

Confirmed conversationalists: Maggie Carey, Gene Combs, David Epston, Jill Freedman, Sarah Beth Hughes, Charley Lang,  Gerald Monk, Marcy Rivas, Arturo Sanchez, Peggy Sax, Karen Young & Larry Zucker.

A conversation with narrative teachers exploring the luminaries that guide us, ethical considerations and other steadfast commitments, enduring practices, ideas, hopes, and special interests as we become witnesses to re-envisioning the future of narrative therapy.

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Gathering #2: Widening the Tent, Creating Bridges, Building Community

**How are you actively cross-pollinating with other fields of inquiry?

Sunday September 15, 2024

4:00 pm- 7:00 pm EDT

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 (filmmaking), Mary Clark Moschella (Pastoral counseling), Mark Mullkoff (Deleuzean philosophy), marcela polanco (decoloniality), Lynne Rosen (EMDR and somatic therapies), Navid Zamani (the affective turn).

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

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Gathering #3: Innovations in Writing, Teaching, Supervision, Co-Research, and Research Practices

**How does narrative therapy shape your adventures with writing, research, co-research, supervision and teaching practices?

Sunday, November 17, 2024, 4:00 -7:00 pm EST

Facilitators:  Poh Lin Lee & Peggy Sax

Confirmed Conversationalists include John Beckenbach, Tim Donovan, Amy Druker, Sol Durso, Sarah Beth Hughes, Sarah Kahn, Randy Nelson, Beth Prullage, Juan Carlos García Rivera, Shawn Patrick and Akansha Vaswani-Bye.

Exploring how narrative ideas, practices, and ethics have spawned a range of co-research, research, supervision, teaching, writing and technological possibilities.

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Gathering #4: Considering Practices Across the Life Span and Differing Contexts

**Where do you focus your work, attending to specific contexts across the lifespan?

Sunday, January 19, 2025, 4:00-7:00 pm EST

Confirmed Conversationalists include Lodovica Guidarelli, Mona Klausing, Poh Lin Lee, Courtney Olinger, Shuo Yuan (袁硕),  Keiko Tsuzuki, Sabine Vermeire and Julia Wallace.

Facilitators: Akansha Vaswani-Bye & Peggy Sax

We build on the migration of identity metaphor and intergenerational explorations to discover innovative narrative practices with children and families, couples, death and dying, and other specific contexts.

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Gathering #5: Expressive Arts and Narrative Practice

**How do creative traditions and practices collaborate with narrative therapy in your context?

Sunday, March 16, 2025, 4:00-7:00 pm EST

Confirmed Conversationalists include Gabrielle Brady, Piper Clyborne, Ingrid Guerrieri, Jen (Kiki) Hart, Astrid Jones, Poh Lin Lee, Natalie Ivin Poole, Shoshana Simons, and Jon Tatelman.

Facilitators: Akansha Vaswani-Bye & Peggy Sax

We bring together people engaging in narrative practice with arts, music, filmmaking, and other creative contributions.

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Gathering #6: Beyond the Therapy Room

**How would you describe the places you co-create when you take narrative practices beyond the traditional therapy settings?

Sunday, May 18, 2025, 4:00 -7:00 pm EDT

Confirmed Conversationalists include Daniel Angus, Jenny Freeman, Yiannis Kafkas, Peggy Sax, Kitty Thatcher, Frankie Hanman Siegersma, Akansha Vaswani-Bye

Facilitators: Charley Lang & Poh Lin Lee

What travels with you, what is encountered, and what are ethical considerations when you engage with such innovative practices as peer support, home visiting, ecotherapy, and co-centering.

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Series Conversationalists

We are thrilled to bring together a team of colleagues contributing to this  series

Daniel Angus

Daniel Angus (Sydney, Australia) is a Psychologist and board-approved clinical supervisor who splits his time supporting early career helping professionals, seeing clients in his private practice, and fulfilling his commitments to a range of organizations, one of which is as Deputy Commissioner for the New South Wales Mental Health Commission. Daniel was formerly managing Headspace Services, a busy adolescent mental health service supporting young people in both a Primary care setting and those with first-episode psychosis in Western Sydney. More recently, Daniel held a National position with Canteen Australia providing support to Canteen’s Psychosocial Staff employed to support young people impacted by Cancer. Daniel has worked in a range of public and non-government services and continues to provide consultation to various boards and committees. Daniel has a strong interest in creative recovery, is focused on collaborative treatment approaches, and has trained specifically in Narrative therapy, and is particularly passionate about creative and engaging approaches to adolescent mental health.

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 between 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 www.mnbeaudoin.com and www.skillsforkids-SKIPS.com.

Gabrielle Brady

Gabrielle Brady is an award-winning Australian/ British Director and Screenwriter based in Berlin. Gabrielle’s debut feature film ‘Island of the Hungry Ghosts,' made in collaboration with narrative therapist Poh Lin Lee, was nominated for an Independent Spirit award, Cinema Eye Spotlight award and won the Best Documentary award at the Tribeca film festival, Mumbai International film festival and the Australian independent film awards. The film has been shown at major international film festivals as well as in cinemas worldwide and has received over 40 international prizes.

Gabrielle's work has been featured at the Museum of Moving Image NY, the Institute of Contemporary Arts London, and The Eye in Amsterdam. Her work has been selected as a ‘Critics Pick’ by the New York Times and described by the Guardian as ‘Fierce and compassionate.’ Gabrielle has recently completed two short films for gallery distribution, ‘Remain’ and ‘River Undain’ commissioned by the Art Gallery of NSW Australia and the Prototype platform. Gabrielle is in production on her next feature-length documentary project, ‘The Wolves Always Come at Night’, and is in development on her first feature fiction project, ‘Bird Colony’ (W.T). Gabrielle studied Documentary Direction for three years at La Escuela Internacional de Cine (EICTV) in Cuba. She has previously studied Theatre Performance. She is a Berlinale Doc Station and Talents Alumni.

Maggie Carey

In this course, Maggie Carey articulates and demonstrates narrative interviewing practices that she learned as a close associate of Michael White, co-founder of narrative therapy. Maggie was a founding member of Narrative Practices Adelaide, the center Michael started in 2008, just a few months before his untimely death. Alongside her colleagues Shona Russell and Rob Hall, she was involved in the teaching of narrative therapy and community work for many years, both in Australia and internationally. Prior to the establishment of NPA, Maggie was a cherished member of the Dulwich Centre teaching faculty. Now retired, Maggie thoroughly enjoys engaging with her home, gardens, family and community in Adelaide, S. Australia.

Piper Clyborne

Piper Clyborne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has over 20 years of experience working with diverse populations in a multitude of clinical and non-clinical contexts from a Narrative Therapy approach. Piper began her career as a social justice advocate and community worker, providing services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, women-identified, and children subjected to multiple forms of violence and trauma, and international social work with impoverished communities. Her professional career began with an undergraduate degree in human services and political science from Evergreen State College in 2004. In 2008, she completed a master’s in social work with a concentration in mental health from The University of Vermont. Piper’s career as a psychotherapist has primarily been focused on serving communities most marginalized by political injustice and trauma so they may reclaim their voices and collective power/influence. Most recently, Piper spends a great deal of time loitering in the arts to bring creative inspiration, wonderment, and new possibilities into her work.

Gene Combs

Gene Combs, MD is a Co-Director of Evanston Family Therapy Center and founding members of the Chicago Center for Family Health, an independent affiliate of the University of Chicago.along with co-director Jill Freedman, they have co-authored more than 30 journal articles and book chapters and 3 books -- Symbol, story, and ceremony: Using metaphor in individual and family therapy, Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities, and Narrative therapy with couples.... and a whole lot more!

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.

Tim Donovan

Tim Donovan is a mental health social worker in Alice Springs, Australia. While working with clients who experienced sexual abuse, he met ‘Dale’ and his fight for justice and freedom from shame. The stories Tim hears in his work often represent a political act against acts of oppression. Tim currently works as a school counselor for a secondary college and is the author of ‘Reclaiming Lives from sexual violence’ in The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work (2018) and co-authoring ‘Reclaiming Lives from Sexual Violence: Understanding Shame' with Dale Johns. Tim's passion for sharing stories beyond the four walls of therapy has culminated in his acceptance into a doctoral program, which will further give evidence to the ideas documented in Dale and his book.

Amy Druker

Amy Druker (she/her) from Toronto, Canada, first met the narrative worldview when she was working as a harm reduction outreach worker in downtown Toronto. A co-worker encouraged Amy to attend a workshop on narrative therapy because of their shared ethics and politics. At the time, Amy was not interested in pursuing the practice of therapy, as she did not yet understand how the projects of social justice and the practice of therapy were combinable. This changed when Amy attended her first workshop on collective narrative practices. Amy was particularly captivated by an approach to working with people that did not insist on the individualizing or pathologizing of people’s suffering. Amy sought out work at a public agency whose programs (serving youth and families) were guided by Narrative Therapy, where she practiced for 7.5 years. Amy describes her time at Oolagen as one of the richest learning and unlearning experiences of her life. Amy currently runs an independent practice where she consults with individuals, couples/people in relationships and engages in clinical supervision (co-learning conversations) with therapists and community workers both in her independent practice and at Breakaway Community Services, a harm reduction agency. Amy’s practice is guided by post structuralist ideas and the ethics of social justice (anti-oppression), curiosity, consent and collaboration. Amy has facilitated workshops on various topics on narrative therapy since 2014. Amy is on faculty at the Narrative Therapy Initiative, Narrative Therapy Centre and Re-Authoring Teaching. To get in touch with Amy, please email her at [email protected] or visit her website: www.amydruker.com.

Sol D’Urso

Sol D’Urso, M.A., LMFT is Adjunct Faculty in the MFT program at the University of San Diego. Sol’s primary clinical work has been with refugee families, survivors of torture, at risk children and youth and transnational individuals and families in San Diego and the US-Mexico border region. Sol provides therapy and supervision in English and Spanish. In addition to her work as Adjunct Faculty at USD, she has a private practice and also co-facilitates a narrative consultation/supervision group with Dr. Sarah Kahn for therapists in the community. curriculum using a whole systems approach.

David Epston

David Epston (Auckland, New Zealand) David Epston, co-founder of narrative therapy alongside Michael white, brings a sense of wonder, adventure and innovation to his conversations and collaborations. What makes a good question? What guides inquiry in narrative therapy? What are some narrative lines of inquiry? The collaboration between David and Michael began in the late 1970s, as continued for many years. David’s best known publications are White and Epston(1990), Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends; Freeman, Epston and Lobovits(1997), Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and their Families and Maisel, Epston and Borden(2004), Biting The Hand That Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia, Narrative Therapy in Wonderland.

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.

Jenny Freeman
Jenny (Jennifer) Freeman is inspired to engage our field as we respond to calls for environmental and social healing and justice. Meeting with people of all ages in independent practice, group, and school settings, she loves collaborative creativity, interweaving Narrative and Just therapies with somatic, expressive arts, and energy therapies. She co-hosts narrativeapproaches.com, Reauthoring Teaching’s Earth’s Environmental Crisis and Opportunity. She collaborated with Dr.Akansha Vaswani-Bye on a Mad in America podcast and contributed a blog; interview for The Psychotherapy Networker, and other media interviews. Earlier work includes Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and their Families, Freeman, Epston, and Lobovits (1997); Enter the Magic Sleep Garden (2007), audio/booklet; multiple chapters in edited books. Jenny is emeritus faculty of John F. Kennedy University. As a member of a Samoan community, she has engaged in collective practice in Samoa, and contributed the essay A Living Legacy to Whispers and Vanities: Samoan Indigenous Knowledge and Religion (2014) and the AFTER THE WAVE film. She is working on a book/podcast on interspecies communication, envisioning humans in healthy, just, restorative ways of interbeing with nature.
Jill Freedman

Jill Freedman, MSW is a Co-Director of Evanston Family Therapy Center and a founding member of the Chicago Center for Family Health, an independent affiliate of the University of Chicago. Jill practices therapy in the Chicago area and consults to organizations and schools. She is on the international faculty of the Dulwich Centre and teaches in the low-residency Master's program in narrative therapy and community work offered by Dulwich Centre and the University of Melbourne.

Ingrid Guerrieri

Ingrid B Guerrieri (she/ella) is a clinician and art facilitator supporting creative explorations of identity, relational ethics, and intentional living. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Expressive Arts Therapist based in California, specifically in the southern borderland Tijuana-San Diego. Ingrid is a Colombian immigrant, identifies as a cisgender queer woman, and loves nature, cooking, eating, and dancing salsa; she is also a free-spirited visual artist who believes in the power of community, play, ritual, and imagination.

Ingrid has worked in community mental health settings for about a decade and has recently transitioned to private practice. She has a preference for working with adults, individually and in partnership; and is interested in supporting explorations of sexual diversity, partnership configurations, and intimacy. Ingrid is enthusiastic about promoting community-based art explorations.

Ingrid works in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, and has had the privilege of being trusted to work with HIV impacted communities, couples, LGBTQIA+ folx, and social service workers and therapists. Her private practice (CreArte Counseling) provides virtual clinical services in California, and facilitates community art making experiences nationally and internationally. She is also a founder member of the Art Flow Collective, a group of women of color that offer Expressive Art workshops to underserved communities in San Diego.

Ingrid is grateful for the knowledge and resilience of human and non-human ancestors and relations, and for being entrusted with the stories of those with whom she has had the privilege to work.

Lodovica Guidarelli
Lodovica Guidarelli is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Private Practice in San Diego. Before becoming a therapist, Lodovica earned a Ph.D. in Italian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and taught Italian language, literature, and culture in several universities in the US. Currently, she works with a diverse population including Italian-speaking clients who live in the US. In her practice, she brings a critical lens to the unique ways in which multilingual speakers engage in the therapeutic process.

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