What is The Collab?

The Collab is an online, global learning community that brings together practitioners, teachers and students to explore narrative practice.  Members fold this commitment into active lives without the constraints of formal academic pressures, with the freedom to participate on their own terms.

How did The Collab start and what is the vision?

Peggy Sax started The Collab, previously called The Narrative Practice & Collaborative Inquiry Study Group, with a vision to create “an island of belonging” where those of us drawn to narrative practice and other collaborative approaches from across geographic distance can find each other and build a learning community that transcends geography, professional status, and other differences. The original Study Group began as a tribute to Michael White’s work – apprenticing to the craft of asking questions, holding ourselves accountable to our commitments in how we wish to treat others, and keep learning/growing/becoming. The Collab soon became a place to learn from others – the more and less well-known voices- who are living/applying these practices to various contexts of their/our lives – and from each other.

What do members do in the Collab?

Over the past five years, The Collab has become a meeting place for global colleagues with shared interests such as working with children and families, mental health and psychiatry, independent practice, group work, consulting with communities and organizations, educational settings, “real-world” agencies, supervision and teaching. Together, members review the foundations and key concepts of narrative practice, actively study recent developments and ideas, reflect on applications in their own work, and engage in shared projects. Participation is through discussion forums and the collective compilation of a resource library. In addition, members can soon choose from a range of courses, which they can access and complete online, and in their own time.

Who are your members?

Our members come from all around the world.  We are from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We include psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, coaches, nurses, social workers, teachers and students. In addition to individual membership, we welcome study groups, training programs and academic institutions.

For example, participation in this online community has become an integral part of the Narrative Practices Adelaide (NPA) Certificate course. You can learn more  by visiting the NPA “Online Learning” page.

What are the Collab’s guiding principles?

The Collab shares many principles with Re-Authoring Teaching. To read about these, click here.

Since the book Re-authoring Teaching: Creating a Collaboratory was published in 2008, our guiding principles continue to develop, reflecting our latest thinking. Please check out Our Guiding Principles here to see how The Collab echos the guiding principles throughout all of our Re-authoring Teaching online offerings. For Collab members, there is also a forum to continually co-create the guiding principles! Click here to view the discussion and add your voice.

Peggy, what most excites you about The Collab?

I am especially enthralled with the ways we can support each other, share discoveries, and embark on creative ventures – while simultaneously honoring personal values, respecting confidentiality, and engaging in ethical ways of being. I love the positive, respectful, curious energy, and all the new developments. We don’t pressure each other to post anymore than whatever works best. I live rurally, near a small town, and so it’s a special joy to meet, and learn together with people from all over the world.

How does The Collab interface with your Online Courses?

When Collab members piloted our first course, Narrative Therapy: Foundations and Key Concepts, we listened to the feedback. With an eye toward user friendliness and ease of navigation, we simplified everything. Keep It Simple is our new motto. No more multiple logins!

Collab members have the freedom to participate in courses in any of our online series as they become available. Additional fees – including for continuing education credit – will be announced.

How much computer knowledge is required to participate in online courses?

Many Collab members are new to distance education technology. As a learning community, we are guided by a love for learning combined with a pioneer spirit. All learning methods are user friendly, and there is plenty of technological help to get you started and comfortable with this learning approach.

Who is eligible? What does it cost?

We welcome new members who are keen to further develop their understanding of narrative practice, to hone their skills as practitioners – and to learn in the company of others. Everyone pays an annual $100 USD base fee for access to the resource library, discussion boards and Witnessing Projects. As a bonus, membership currently includes assess to our inaugural course, Narrative Therapy: Foundations & Key Concepts.  Soon members will be able to sign up for optional courses with Union University & Institute Continuing Education (CE) credit.