The Collab Salon is a monthly webinar where online presenters and members from around the world meet together informally in real time. In each of these “meetings on a cloud,” we focus on a different theme relating to narrative practice as a starter dough for invigorating conversation, cross-cultural connections and learning. They also allow for members throughout the community to step into leadership and share their unique knowledge in a comfortable, informal space. After the meeting is over, the recording is added to our Past Salon Library – available 24/7 to all Collab Salon members.

Our 2018 Monthly Schedule 

We always meet at 5pm on the third Sunday of the month (New York time). Please check to see what time this is in your local time zone. Look below to see what’s in store for 2018. Click on the toggle plus sign in the red box on the left for more information; then click on the photo, for even more details. Keep in mind only Members can register. Miss a Collab Salon? Remember members can always find the recording in our ever-growing Library of Past Salons.

Will hosted a “show and tell” discussion of books and articles that have contributed to the lives of multiple volunteer speakers.  After our usual introduction, Will spoke about the idea then each speaker had five minutes to share a piece of writing that holds a special place in their heart and has influenced their work and how they treat others.  Writings did not have to be strictly from the narrative/postmodern world.  After the presentations we discussed what was interesting about the format, and what we might try differently next time.

Mike and Diana will highlight some of the ways that ‘No’ as a spoken form of not wanting socially, physically or sexually intimate contact may be used to bring partners and partner groups closer together. This may contrast with discursive notions of ‘No’ as a sign of flat rejection, failure or distancing. How can ‘No’ be reclaimed, valued, heard and respected by both the people who give the ‘No’ as well as those who receive it?

Peggy created The Michael White Legacy project as a companion to the narrative gathering on Coronado Island, San Diego. Building on the Legacy of Michael White: A Decade of Narrative Developments (March 28-30, 2018). Our hope is that others will now send us their contributions. Whether you can come to this event or not,  this community project  gives us many opportunities to  reflect together:  Looking Back, Exploring Initiatives Honoring Michael’s Intentions, and Re-imagining the Future of Narrative Therapy.  Join us for this Collab Salon when we will share our collective efforts to create a collaboratory in honor of our mentor, Michael White.

What are some ways we can integrate Narrative and Yoga practices? What might this look like?  What are some of the questions, dilemmas that need to be considered when exploring such a combination? What are the ways in which these practices could work together to strengthen and deepen one another? Can we do this in ways that fit with an anti-oppressive approach to working with people and practices?  In this Collab Salon, Narrative practitioners and Yoga teachers Sarah Hughes and Kayla Robbins will reflect on these questions and share some of their experiences, ideas and struggles. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences and reflections, and to imagine new areas of possibility between these two practices.

As a Woman of Color and as a new private practice intern, Barbara Herring had the experience of seeing many People of Color (POC) clients. Recently, she noticed an increase in Potential POC clients specifically seeking out a POC therapist.  At first glance, this increase seemed to be coincidental; Barbara just thought that she was lucky to be receiving so much traffic from Psychology Today as well as many personal referrals.   After speaking to many of my clients in detail about their experiences, she inquired about why it was important to them to seek out a POC therapist.   Through that questioning, Barbara began to recognize that many of her clients’ reasons were similar: they felt like a non-POC therapist would not understand them, or that they had a White therapist in the past with whom they felt they couldn’t be vulnerable or honest. Many of them acknowledged that these thoughts and feelings around race and privilege have increased exponentially in the present political climate.

Stephen and Kevin  present their narrative therapy group, which acts as an ongoing laboratory to test out new and preferred identities in the social situation of the group, while discouraging group level stories. There will be ample opportunity for outsider witnessing and reflection within the group.

 What’s happening with Re-authoring Teaching? What’s going on behind the scenes?  Its become an annual tradition to set aside a Collab Salon to review new developments. We are eager to show off some new developments with our Faculty Offerings, Workshops/Narrative Camp, Community Higher Education/Educators Portal, Community and our Reauthoring Teaching Youtube Channel.  There will be lots to share, and we are very eager for your input. Please join us!

Chris Darmody ( Perth, Australia) will describe Camp Retreat – a de-patholgising 3 day program for 20 young people aged 14-17 who are engaged in a mental health service. It is run 4 times a year and it is narratively informed. Many of the participants coming into camp will come with a mental health diagnosis and the stigma associated with engaging with a mental health service and the associated feelings of identity failure. The intention of the program is to separate a person from the problem and engage in different activities without the problem being present. By having this experience it is hoped that participants can return to their lives with an understanding of how much influence the problem has over their lives, decisions about how much they want a problem to be there, and skills to reduce its influence on their lives.

Have Post Modern ideas failed effective work in partnering with our clients around the role severe depression plays in people’s lives? It is my contention it has. As someone with 43 years of lived experience with depression coming and going as an unwanted companion, Amy Gottlieb has been offered many well meaning yet unhelpful ideas from post modern practitioners. In this salon she will endeavor to generate thought about how holding a rigid post modern stance (in the name of not being rigid) may not serve our clients as they come to us for help to get distance from depression robbing them of joy. Please join us!

As someone who is interested in the intersection between psychedelics and psychotherapy, Gabriel Garcia has many questions about the changing landscape of these substances, their legality, and viability as agents of psychological change. Chris hopes to present some of the emerging models for working with stories of psychedelic experiences and fold these models into postmodern and narrative ideas. This will be a springboard for the creating a generative discussion for those who attend.

Sasha will share a practice she calls a “virtue inquiry” that she often guides her approach to end-of-life conversations. A virtue inquiry is an inquiry a counsellor undertakes with a person or persons that listens for and researches virtues that are valued by the person or persons the counsellor is meeting with.  Virtue inquires draw on ideas and practices developed by David Epston including “getting to know the person ahead of the problem”, “researching moral character” and “wonderfulness inquiries” with children (see Epston, 2004; Epston & Marsden, 2010; Marsden, Epston & Markham, 2016). They also build from a paper by Eve Lipchik (1988) called “Interviewing with a constructive ear” that had an influence on my early practice. Virtue inquiries take place with adults or young adults and so flow differently from “wonderfulness inquiries” (see chapter 2 in Marsten, Epston & Markham, 2016).

Somatic therapies and a resurgence of interest in affect are two significant trends in recent times. These movements invite narrative-oriented practitioners to pause and unpack what claims are being made and their implications. In exploring challenges and possibilities, we will consider the dialogical features, affective tones, emotional depictions and embodied expressions of re-membering practices. We will focus on a notion of relational fields in instituting new forms of everyday living. Especially we will give attention to expanding relational fields of kindness when tyrannical and devaluing voices seek to usurp a person’s voice and erase their knowing about their achievements.

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