A Narrative Approach to Therapeutic Conversations

at the End of Life

with Sasha McAllum Pilkington

Monday, Oct 29, 2018
EastView at Middlebury
Middlebury, Vermont

The entire team was so moved and inspired.  We had non therapists – nurses, intern, doctor, social worker, counselors — i haven’t heard Tom who was with us speak so highly of an event EVER.  And our intern has completely shifted her coursework focus as a result of the exposure to narrative. So powerful. So complex and yet so simple. Tara Graham, Executive Director of Hospice and Palliative Care at The UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice

Gentle, well paced stories told with love and care. William Cooke, Kalowna British Columbia

Good size, clear and fluid presentation.  Jane Kast, Montpelier Vermont

Workshop Description

Are you meeting with people living with a serious illness, facing life-ending illness and/or loved ones grieving after someone has died?  What guides your approach to these conversations? Or are you interested in narrative practices and extending your skills? Through case stories, transcript and an audio recording, Sasha McAllum Pilkington shared a narrative approach to therapeutic conversations that focus on:  listening for virtue, companioning, making meaning and enhancing a person’s sense of agency. Her presentation set the stage for a lively exchange of ideas about serving people as they approach the end of their lives, and their families/friends/communities supporting them.

We  were thrilled to welcome Sasha McAllum Pilkington to Vermont for her first visit to the USA. Having been a narrative therapist for more than 30 years, Sasha has worked since 2008 as a counsellor for Hospice North Shore in Auckland, New Zealand.  As part of Sasha’s weekly practice she meets with people who are living with a life ending illness, and their families, both in the community and in the hospice inpatient unit. She also meets with family members who are grieving after someone has died.


Sasha has published several articles illustrating narrative practice with people who are dying and is currently writing a book with co-authors Arthur Frank and David Epston.

For further interest:

  •  Carlson, T., Epston, D. , Haire, A.,  Corturillo,  E., Lopez, A.,  Vedvei, S.,  Pilkington, S. (March 2017) Learning Narrative Therapy Backwards: Exemplary Tales as an Alternative Pedagogy for Learning Practice, Journal of Systemic Therapies,  Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 94-107
  • Epston, D., Heath, T., Ingamells, K., Pilkington, S. (June 2016) Exemplary Tales: Virtual Apprenticeships
Thank you to all who participated in Sasha Pilkington’s workshop! What a terrific gathering!   On November 21, 2018 Collab Salon, Sasha will present on Virtue Inquires. Please join us! You do not need to be a Collab Member to register for- and participate in – this Salon. We hope that you will decide to Become a Member (among other benefits, members have 24/7 access to our Library of Past Salons.)

Join Us!


We’d love to know your reflections on Sasha’s workshop. Any suggestions for additional training topics, presenters and guest visitors to Vermont?

Make a suggestion

Refreshing the Spirit of the Work

This one-day workshop began our new Refreshing the Spirit of the Work series of small Vermont workshops. We are eager for Sasha’s return, and for our upcoming workshops in this series.

Registration is now open for next Vermont workshop!

On All Things Counter, Original, Spare, and Strange: The Poetry and Heart of Narrative Therapy

with Tom Stone Carlson and Sanni Paljakka

March 29-30, 2019


Thank you Sasha for giving us this day and joining the community conversation(s) the following day.  Please join us in adding reflections below.