Course Description

The first course in our Narrative Therapy, Trauma, and the Affective Turn series builds on our deep respect for narrative therapy cofounders and mentors while envisioning new horizons in attending to affect and the body in our narrative work with people experiencing difficulties in their lives and relationships.  Please join us as we honor our narrative roots while attending to emotions and affect and possibilities for a more neurologically informed narrative therapy.

Through nine lessons, we draw from philosophy and practices associated with The Affective Turn, bringing together understandings of neurobiology, rich story development, trauma and its effects, memory theory, and emotional attunement. Reviewing where we are now, we rethink some of our narrative therapy guides as we explore what affect and embodiment in narrative therapy look like. We also explore the emergence of creative innovations that integrate such affective & somatic possibilities into narrative therapy practice as working with intense emotions, attending to physiology, mindfulness, narrative expressive arts therapies, and cross-pollinating with EMDR and somatic therapies. All of these developments guide us toward a more contemporary narrative therapy story,  featuring fresh voices across narrative generations, which takes into account the changing landscape of the 21st century.

For an additional $40, registrants can earn 18 APA-approved CE credits through Alliant International University.

We strongly recommend taking this course before the second course in the series, Em-BODY-ing Conversations: Integrating Narrative Practice with EMDR & Somatic-Oriented Therapies (with Lynne Rosen), which is also under construction. In addition, we recommend taking this course before the course Contemporary Narrative Therapy – also currently in development.

Course Contributors

We are thrilled to bring together a team of colleagues with contributions to this topic.

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.

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.

Danielle Drake

Danielle Drake, Ph.D., is Program Chair, Associate Professor, and an alum of the Counseling Psychology Expressive Arts Therapy program at CIIS. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University, where her dissertation explored the use of creativity and spirituality among African Americans. Her research led to an initial validation of the Black Spiritual Creativity Scale (BSCS) which is now used in several research projects and studies. Her post-doctoral internship at the Rafiki Coalition focused on holistic health and wellness in the Bayview/Hunters Point community of San Francisco.

Dr. Drake’s clinical work engages clients in creative writing, music, and visual arts processes. She has also worked in Human Resources as a corporate recruiter and HR administrator and in nonprofit management as a Grant Writer, Fund Developer, Program Director, and Executive Director. She is the author of Cast Iron Life: A Collection of Poems and Recipes, a spoken word artist, a former Oakland Poetry Slam Champion, and the host of a Public Programs conversation with Angela Davis.

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.

Sarah Beth Hughes

Sarah Beth Hughes works as a Couple and Family Therapist in Nelson, BC Canada. She was introduced to Narrative ideas through her work as the North American Distributor of Dulwich Publications throughout the 1990’s. She got the privilege of attending many of Michael White’s training and got inspired to do this kind of work herself. Along the way she also met many of Michael’s colleagues and friends including Peggy Sax who have helped her feed her passion for this work.

Gerald Monk
Gerald Monk PhD (San Diego, California) is the former Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at San Diego State University. He is a practicing Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AAMFT Supervisor, and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. His research and teaching interests include Affective therapy, narrative mediation & conflict resolution, constructionist & discursive theories, restorative practice, and mental health recovery.
Laure Maurin
Laure Maurin (Bordeaux, France) is specialized in education and early childhood. For more than 10 years, she worked as an educator for disabled children in a day hospital, a therapeutic and educational institute, and an emergency home for juvenile offenders. Trained in the early childhood sector, she taught for more than 7 years to childcare assistants on child development, caring education, welcoming children and having a child with a disability. Mother of four children (and grand-mother of 4), Laure shares her experience and skills for a positive and caring education.

Laure trained in narrative therapy at the Fabrique Narrative in Bordeaux, in Paris and with David Epston, David Denborough and Jill Freedman. She accompanies young people and teenagers in narrative therapy. Laure has been practicing yoga for over twenty years, trained at the French Yoga School for four years, and leads meditation and yoga workshops. She likes to accompany people with disabilities through body language and narrative practices. She hopes that each person can find, at his or her own pace, a better knowledge of his or her body, breath and being in its entirety.

Laure conducts workshops in France and Belgium to train narrative practitioners in her work.For the past three years, she has created a method of conversation based on the relationship one has with his body, linking her practice of narrative ideas, and her experience in yoga and hypnosis. She first proposes a narrative conversation about the relationship the person has with their body, following this conversation and after a protocol of re-association of the person with their body.She then interviews the body, as an outsider witness of the conversation it has just heard.At the end of the interview, the person in turn reacts to the words of the body that she has just heard.

David Pare

David Paré, Ph.D., is a Counselling Psychologist and director of the Glebe Institute, a Centre for Constructive and Collaborative Practice in Ottawa. He is a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, where he taught counselling and psychotherapy. David has written widely and presented internationally on the subject of narrative and postmodern therapies, as well as offering training and supervision in these areas. He is the author of The Practice of Collaborative Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013, Sage), and co-editor of two books about collaborative practices in counselling and therapy. He is in the final phases of completing an edited book with Cristelle Audet on Social Justice and Counseling.

David has maintained a mindfulness practice for the past 30 years. Along with Ian Percy, he co-presented a Collab Salon on Narrative & Mindfulness Practice, which is now available to Collab members in our library of Past Salons. We are thrilled to welcome David & Ian as co-presenters for a June 13, 2017 workshop in Shelburne Vermont: Integrating Mindfulness & Narrative Practice.

Ian Percy

Ian Percy Ph.D. (Perth, Western Australia) is a family therapist, supervisor, trainer and published author in narrative and mindfulness approaches. Inspired by the writings of Michael White, David Epston and Alan Jenkins, he took a social constructionist and narrative turn in his practice some 25 years ago, intrigued by the power of cultural discourses and language to shape our lives and relationships. Ian has also studied and practiced various forms of meditation for four decades. The intersection of these influences led him to pursue an integration of mindfulness and Narrative Therapy, which includes attending to gestures and postures as expressions of distress, as statements of position, and as openings to preferred storylines. He is interested in notions of attentional capture and attentional choice, and the politics and ethics of mindful attention in therapy. Ian co-presented with David Paré the May, 2016 Collab Salon on Narrative & Mindfulness Practice and the June 2017 workshop, Creating Spaces for Emerging Practices.

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).

Peggy Sax

Peggy Sax, Ph.D. (Cornwall, Vermont), is the founder and Executive Director of Re-authoring Teaching – the global learning community of narrative therapy practitioners, teachers, and enthusiasts that is represented on this website. Peggy carries a steadfast commitment to preserving, developing, and extending the legacy of narrative therapy. She loves to collaborate with colleagues across narrative generations, co-creating quality training materials and together building a narrative learning community. Having apprenticed herself to narrative therapy since the early 1990s, Peggy also works in independent practice as a Licensed Psychologist, consultant, international teacher, and international trainer. She is the author of several articles and the book Re-authoring Teaching: Creating a Collaboratory. Creating this online series is a dream come true for Peggy: working with people she profoundly respects, persevering to develop excellent courses together, and thereby contributing to a field she deeply values.

Shoshana Simons

Shoshana Simons, (she/her/femme) PhD, RDT (Registered Drama Therapist) is a Professor and former Program Chair of CIIS’s MA in Counseling Psychology, Expressive Arts Concentration, and Interim Chair of the Community Mental Health Concentration where she teaches Family & Couple Dynamics, Multicultural Counseling & the Therapeutic Relationship & Narrative Expressive Arts Family Therapy, a voice actor and arts-based coach & consultant with Key of Life Academy. She is also adjunct faculty at the Northwest Creative & Expressive Arts Institute, Seattle, WA, where she offers a Certificate in NarrARTive Expressive Arts in Coaching. Shoshana has 35+ years of experience working in multicultural settings with children and adults in the fields of play, education, antiracism, counseling psychology, organizational development, and community work.

Originally from London, UK, Shoshana came to the USA in 1990 to complete a clinical traineeship at The Stone Center, Wellesley College, MA. She returned to the Stone Center in 1998 as Training Director for The Open Circle Program, training elementary school teachers to implement a ground-breaking SEL curriculum using a whole systems approach.

Shoshana has worked as a therapist in the UK and USA and has taught in the fields of counseling psychology and intercultural relations at Goddard College, VT, University of Vermont, and Lesley University, MA.

Shoshana’s interests include narrative and systemic expressive arts practices, indigenous healing traditions, Jewish mysticism and Jewish shamanic healing, the role of expressive arts in leadership, and arts-based research methods.

Shoshana holds a MA degree in Sociology & Social Policy from London Metropolitan University, a MA degree in Human Development, and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from The Fielding Graduate Institute, CA. She graduated from the Omega Transpersonal Drama Therapy Program in Boston, MA and Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy.

Akansha Bye-Vaswani

Akansha Bye-Vaswani Ph.D., was introduced to narrative practices in Mumbai when she began working at Ummeed Child Development Center in Mumbai in 2010. Here she was also introduced to principles of family-centered care, early intervention, and community-based advocacy. Her interest in systemic change took her to San Diego State University where her studies in marriage and family therapy strengthened her commitment to developing clinical practice through the lens of de-colonizing, feminist, and postmodern practice. Her doctoral work at UMass Boston, focused on drivers of institutional corruption in psychiatry and solutions for reform, particularly the practice of deprescribing and rational prescribing grounded in informed consent. She is currently an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine where she works on the implementation of family-to-family support programs for families of persons managing psychosis.

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.”

Jeffrey Zimmerman

Jeffrey Zimmerman PhD (Denver, Colorado) was one of the original North American group of narrative therapists, hosting Michael White both as a workshop presenter at the agency he co-founded (Bay Area Family Therapy Training Associates) and in his home. He later introduced the idea of combining neurobiology and narrative therapy, and trained a number of the current trainers of both narrative therapy and “neuro-narrative” therapy. He has written and taught extensively on these subjects. Jeff is an avid fan of live music, movies, and enjoys a really good meal.

To Register

Registration gives unlimited access to all course materials for personal use for an unlimited time.  You can start this course at anytime: all course materials are available on-demand, and adaptable to personal schedules.

For an additional $40, registrants can earn 18 APA approved CE credits through Alliant International University.

Sliding Fee Structure 

Tuition for these courses—along with donations—is how we fund the creation and sustenance of this website and community it aims to facilitate. While our courses provide APA Approved Alliant CEs, we’re most interested in developing Re-Authoring Teaching into a generative community that grows and sustains Narrative Therapy and each other for years to come. Our new tiered pricing structure—subsidized, regular sustaining, and patron—reflects our best efforts to realize that dream. Re-Authoring Teaching Members receive a 10 % discount. Please select the highest rate you are able to pay:

  • Sustaining Rate will help us recover costs to produce this course and sustain our website: $240 USD.
  • Sustaining Re-Authoring Teaching (RT) Member 10 % Discount: $216 USD.
  • Subsidized Rate is a reduced fee for those of us facing financial barriers that interfere with paying the regular fee: $120 USD.
  • Subsidized RT Member Rate 10 % Discount: $108 USD.
  • Patron is for anyone who can afford additional financial support to help support our community and resources: $350 USD
  • Patron RT Member 10% Discount: $315 USD.
  • Donations is for anyone who can afford to contribute to our Nonprofit Organization, including the development of future courses, resources and other RT offerings.
  • 18 CE Credit: $40 extra

Please contact us if you would like a rate for a group of four or more, higher education, or if you require a further reduced fee due to current circumstances.

Register Now!
Earn 18 CEs

Building Interaction

Discovering Padlets and Flip

While building this course, we’ve heard from many people that they wish to know others taking this course, sharing interests, and who might be available to take the course together as study buddies. So we asked ourselves, how can we feature collaborators’ contributions while also creating interactive spaces that include YOUR voices? We soon discovered educational technology has come a long way since the discussion forums at the turn of the 21st century!

Thank you to all who are already contributing your voices to this course!

Padlet: Share Ideas and Images on Virtual Boards

Collaborate on digital boards with fellow learners, similar to a classroom notice board.

Registrants Can Post On Board Inside the Course

Flip: Share Interactive Video, Audio, Animation

Expand beyond text and share your video/audio and animations with peers using Flip.

Registrants Can Contribute Video and Audio Reflections and Questions

Discover Board Contributions

Here are a few reflections and questions posted by course registrants. Thank you!

Course Objectives

This program will enable participants to

  1. Gain an understanding of several ways to bring together The Affective Turn and Narrative Therapy.
  2. Find unifying connections between many of the contemporary narrative therapy practices and contributions of the affective–discursive turn that have been rarely discussed in the NT literature.
  3.  Develop skills in relational listening to the habits and expressions of the body.
  4. Consider the relationship between politics, culture, memory and embodiment in the context of decolonizing practices
  5. Reflect on Michael White’s legacy to understand that emotion and affect are part of our embodied experiences of life.
  6. Strengthen understanding of the interplay between memory theory, neuroplasticity, resonance, and rich story development.
  7. Articulate several different possibilities for a more neurologically informed narrative therapy
  8. Identify at least two ways to move beyond the discursive turn and incorporate emotional attunement in our work.
  9. Explore several approaches that integrate affective and somatic approaches with narrative practice.
  10. Link these developments with the emergent movement in Contemporary Narrative Therapy.

Lesson Descriptions