October 28, 2017

Teaching Experience

What’s In A Name: The Politics of Externalizing and Deconstructing, Narrative Summer Intensive, 2017, Toronto, ON Presenter along with Jia Yao, 2017

Who ought to have the right to name the problem(s) that we face? Narrative therapists invite individuals/families to name the problems that they are facing for themselves. This invitation is political in intent; thus the narrative practice of externalizing is not just a technique, but a political act. In this workshop, we aim to examine how deconstruction guides externalizing practices, and how to bridge the personal to the political when working at the micro level.

  • Participants will gain a understanding of the theoretical framework that underpins narrative practices
  • Participants will be invited to explore their own relationships with ‘naming’ practices and ‘externalizing’ and the values, ethics, personal politics that underpin their own preferred ways of working
  • Participants will gain experience in deconstructing problems in the context of a therapeutic conversation
  • Participants will gain experience in externalizing through an interactive activity

Addressing Power Inequalities Through Collaborative Positioning and Narrative Therapy, Walk-In Counselling Clinic Symposium, Reach Out Centre For Kids, Oakville, ON Presenter along with Jia Yao, 2017.

Presenters will illustrate examples of documentation practices that call into question dominant ways of thinking about and taking up the task of documenting the interactions of the people we serve.  Narrative letter writing, collective documentation, follow up letters, counter-documents will be covered.  Questions such as: What tends to get included in your documentation of an interaction with a person and what gets left out? How is power used through documentation practices? In what ways are its uses oppressive? Can power be used in a generative way when we’re tasked with documenting an interaction with a person?

  • Participants will explore their own relationships with documentation practices, and the values, ethics, personal politics that guide their preferred ways of ‘doing documentation’ through an interactive activity.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of the theoretical framework that underpins these counter documentation practices
  • Participants will hear from a youth consultant about her experience of a collaborative “co-authorship” documentation practice, its effects on the young person, therapist and on the therapeutic alliance.
  • Participants will learn about narrative documentation practices and will be invited to engage in a narrative letter writing exercise.

The Politics of Documentation: Dismantling Power-Hierarchies Through Documentation Practices, Guest Lecturer at the University of Toronto MSW class on Narrative Therapy 2016 and 2017.


Introduction To Narrative Therapy a Half Day Workshop, Narrative Mornings With Skylark, Presenter along with Jia Yao and Ruth Pluznick, 2017.

The stories that we tell and the stories that are told about us contribute to conclusions about who we are. These stories are not neutral in their effects. When young people or families seek help, it is often the “problem story’ that takes precedence. A “problem story’ becomes influential in way that a young person, family or community is seen by others and experienced by self.

How can we contribute to the development of storylines that acknowledge difficulties and yet offer hope to people facing challenges in life?

Our aim is that participants will leave the workshop with:

  • An understanding of the theoretical framework that underpins narrative practices
  • An experience of exploring their own values, ethics and personal politics
  • Skills in deconstructing problems, externalizing and re-authoring

The Politics of Documentation: Addressing Power Inequalities Through Collaborative Positioning and Narrative Therapy, YouthREX Provincial Knowledge To Action Exchange, York University, Presenter with Jia Yao, 2016.


Who Gets To Name The Problems That We Face? A Narrative Approach To Naming Problems, Narrative Mornings with Oolagen, Toronto, Presenter along with Ruth Pluznick, 2014.