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Externalizing Conversations and Magical Realism: Novel Practices for Challenging Problems

January 29, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

$60.00 – $100.00

Externalizing conversations are a foundational practice within narrative therapy. These conversations are a movement away from an internalizing practice of locating problems within people to a relational practice of locating problems separate from people. Situated in this relational position people can question their relationship with problems and explore the effects of the problem on their lives and others lives. In doing so they can discover what they have to put up against the problem.

Nevertheless, externalizing conversations can misguidedly be understood as a process for eliciting a subordinate story to counter the dominant, problem-saturated story.  Although, this practice may reduce the effects of the problem saturated story that dominates the person’s life, it risk replacing one single storied account with another single storied account. (Polanco, 2010) This workshop will examine practices for outwitting “either/or” binaries and creating a “both/and” approach for holding both stories simultaneously. This approach offers the potential for upending power differentials and co-creating multiple possibilities with people for opening up space for movement toward a preferred sense of “self”. Through embracing the literary practice of magical realism and the use of novelty, we will examine ways to enliven externalizing conversations in order to make it possible to engage with a range of options for performing preferred identities and experience life as an open process.

Clear presentation, digitally recorded session examples of internationally recognized narrative therapist, experiential exercises, and a comprehensive handout package will contribute to a rich narrative practice training experience.

Participants will:

  • Become familiar with the practices of externalizing conversations in rich storyline development.
  • Be introduced to the literary practices of magical realism and novelty for enlivening externalizing conversations.
  • Explore how magical realism is situated within postmodernism.
  • Explore how magical realism introduces fantasy into familiar and relevant social context.
  • Be introduced to critically reflective language that is practiced within magical realism to defamiliarize and deconstruct taken-for-granted discourses.
  • Practice micro-skill development in experiential practice exercises
  • Be introduced to skills that you can take into your “real world” practice wisdom.



Certificate verifying 8 hours of participation completed will be awarded to each participant.



Saturday, Jan. 29th, 2022
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CDT)



Early Bird Fee: $85.00 (Register by Jan 7th, 2021).

Regular Fee $100.00

Student Fee: $60.00 (Must show proof of status with a student card if requested)


Full refund minus $30.00 cancellation fee until Jan. 7th, 2021.

50% refund between Jan. 8th and Jan. 28th, 2022

No refund  Jan. 29th 2022 and thereafter.

NOTE: Zoom log-in information will be provided to the email you registered with close to the workshop dates.



Jim Duvall is Co-Director of JST Institute and Editor of Journal of Systemic Therapies. His experience as a therapist, educator, consultant, speaker, editor and author spans over four decades. He has spent over 300 hours studying and collaborating with Michael White in training, writing and community projects.

Jim is internationally recognized for his practice, research and innovative development in brief and narrative practices. His work aims to integrate time-sensitive narrative practices within social justice principles.

In addition to numerous articles, book chapters and two books, Jim co-authored a policy paper (Duvall, J., Young, K., Kays-Burden, A., 2012), No more, no less; Brief mental health services for children and youth. His book, (Duvall & Béres, 2011), Innovations in Narrative Therapy: Connecting Practice, Training and Research. WW Norton & Company is the first book to integrate training and research with narrative therapy, resulting in compelling practice base evidence.

He has offered hundreds of workshops, courses and keynote presentations with organizations throughout Canada, US, Australia, Asia and Europe. He is noted for his interactive teaching style. When he is not writing or teaching, he can be found playing music with his friends or boating on the Gulf of Mexico with his partner, children, grandchildren.


January 29, 2022
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$60.00 – $100.00


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