2024 Conference of Narrative Therapy and Community Work
“Journeys and Hope”
We are delighted to announce that Johnella Bird (NewZealand) will be attending our conference next year and will be presenting a key note (plus a pre-conference workshop) and that David Denborough (Dulwich Centre, Austalia) will make a keynote presentation via Zoom. We also expect plenaries from Sabine Vermeire; Philomene Uwamaliya; Emma Highfield and Michael; Lucy Gahan and Jo Murray; as well as representatives from local and international projects.
There will a free-to-conference-participants pre-conference workshop on reconnecting with narrative ideas, as well as pre-conference workshops by Johnella Bird and Sabine Vermeire.
This conference will mark the 21st anniversary of the International Conference organised by Dulwich Centre in collaboration with the Centre for Narrative Practice that took place in Liverpool in 2003. It also coincides with the 15th anniversary of the founding of INT.
Conference fee will be £199 for fully self-funding delegates and £249 for those paid for by agencies or able to set the cost against tax, and attending the conference enables registration for the pre-conference workshops.
We are expecting to be able to offer student accommodation nearby. Details of this have still to be finalised. This accommodation will be booked direct with the University and so you can go ahead with registering for the conference now and then book this accommodation when it becomes available.
We look forward to seeing you in Liverpool in 2024 for what is sure to be a stimulating and exciting occasion. Mark the dates in your diary now!
We will be calling for workshop proposals very soon, watch this space!
The Conference Collective
(Mariangels Ferrer, Suzy MacKechnie, Emma Highfield, Donna Coleman, Anita Franklin and Hugh Fox)
Cost £130 (agency funded); £104 (self-funded)
Throughout this day-long workshop you will be introduced to recent developments in Johnella’s clinical and super-vision practice. This workshop will highlight the Relational Narrative frame and therapeutic processes Johnella developed to ‘disturb’ narratives that produce suffering. This disturbance produces a ‘crack in the truth’ status of limiting persecutory stories. Hope emerges through this crack and this hope subsequently provides the impetus for people to participate in the, sometimes, painful process of discovery and change.
Johnella will highlight, discuss, and provide practical examples for the following:
Constructing the relational requires a radical act of re-imagining
The discovery process Johnella uses produces a portal into the relational environment within which we are all immersed. This portal enables people to notice and then re-search the ongoing interaction between the environment or context and emerging experiences, sensations, thoughts and feelings. Through this process people find the heart and mind space to radically re-imagine the past, present and future.
Johnella Bird is a highly regarded family therapist, supervisor, and teacher living in Aotearoa, New Zealand. In 1988 she co-founded the Family Therapy Centre in Auckland and for the last 25 years she has acted as a consultant and workshop presenter through-out Australasia, Europe, Canada and the U.S.A.
Throughout her 40 years of practice-based clinical observation, Johnella has sought to answer these fundamental questions:
The Relational Narrative Dialogical approach is Johnella’s current response to these questions. Using the R.N.D. approach allows all participants in therapeutic and super-vision conversations to embark on a uniquely personal collaborative discovery process. Through this discovery process participants experience an opening in the closed circuit stories producing and reproducing experiences of shame, blame, guilt and fear. This opening illuminates the contextual environment shaping these experiences whilst positioning people to notice forgotten or dismissed resources, capacities, agency and strengths.
The interactional discovery process used in the R.N.D. approach enhances the capacity to navigate complex power differentials while producing life-changing experiences of hope, trust, respect, compassion, safety and connection. Johnella’s plenary and workshops will focus on introducing participants to the R.N.D. approach. She will draw on the obstacles and discoveries she has recently made through conversations with people learning this approach.
Cost £70 (agency funded); £56 (self-funded)
In contexts of trauma or painful histories during childhood, the trauma tentacles sometimes reach far. Not only the person themselves are affected but also the many relationships and even the community they belong to. These children, adolescents and adults often have fragmented, incoherent stories about their lives, their relationships, themselves and others.
During the workshop, we leave the beaten tracks and reach out to playful possibilities of speaking and doing to explore and unravel the problems and obstacles in their lives and relationships. Step by step, we weave a kaleidoscope of stories and meanings through the larger fabric of life, and the painful experiences are given a place in the multitude of relationships and contexts of their lives. We re(dis)cover a sense of coherence and continuity. In co-creating timelines of the past or future and doing life review interviews, we choose serious playfulness and playful seriousness.
During the workshop we develop different ways to:
Please bring your colour pencils. Your cuddly bear and box full of ‘memories’ are also very welcome!
Sabine Vermeire is member of the staff of the Interactie-Academie VZW, a training and therapy center in Antwerp, Belgium (www.interactie-academie.be). She works as a trainer, psychotherapist and supervisor in Systemic, Narrative and Collaborative Therapy. Her expertise is on children, youngsters and families in multi-stress contexts (attachment problems, violence, abuse, psychiatric problems and trauma) and working in creative ways when speaking becomes difficult. She is also associated trainer of The Institute of Narrative Therapy and Faculty member of Dulwich Center.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-EgBNofpu0 (lecture in Brighton)
Free to those attending the conference
Are you interested in learning more about narrative therapy?
This course offers a free introduction to narrative practice. If you are new to Narrative Therapy or if you are feeling uncertain about the basics, this workshop will provide a good grounding in the main concepts and some of the practices. It is a good refresher for those who are working with narrative ideas already. It will include relevant concepts and practices for individuals engaged in therapeutic and/or community work contexts.
We are confident that you will find something helpful, regardless of your professional background. Furthermore, it will position you to be able to take part fully in the conference.
Hugh is a director of the Institute of Narrative Therapy where he is on the teaching faculty. He is a member of the Conference Collective and has extensive teaching experience both nationally and internationally.