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Narrative Practices and Neurobiology: Intersections that refine, expand, and optimize therapeutic possibilities

May 20, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - May 21, 2022 @ 9:00 am

$115.00 – $200.00

ZOOM WORKSHOP HOURS: Friday, May 20, 1pm tp 5pm & Saturday, May 21, 9am to 1pm (US central Time)

Narrative theory proposed in the 1990s by White & Epston, offers a collection of life-changing practices to assist people in reclaiming their identities from problem experiences. Narrative therapy has become well-known for many of its respectful and non-pathologizing practices such as externalizing conversations for renegotiating relationships with problems and engaging people in value-based ways of re-authoring their lives. In the last 30years however, important discoveries have shed light on other aspects of experiences that were previously less visible to narrative practitioners operating in the knowledge and discursive context of their time.  On an international level, many fields now vastly recognize the value of better understanding the neuroplastic brain, embodied experiences, the power of mindfulness, and upholding more positive psychological views of human potential.  Such movement in the structuralist world and in dominant culture has opened the door for theoretical exchanges with post-structuralist practitioners, and exciting new territories for clinical conversations.

How can we incorporate new discoveries and expand on valuable narrative concepts, in a way that privileges peoples’ well-being and optimizes the influence of therapeutic conversations?  How can we do this while respecting important socio-political and relational premises which are key in a narrative worldview?

This workshop will introduce key concepts in neurobiology and mindfulness that can help us better understand people’s embodied experiences of problems, open new landscapes for therapeutic inquiry, and refine some narrative practices in high intensity situations.  For example, how differently might you externalize when a person is overcome with intense affect versus when one is calmly talking about the problem?  How might you adjust the re-authoring journey if a client reports a struggle arising from a trauma 30 years ago versus an ongoing conflict with their child?

In this on-line event, participants will increase and refine their repertoire of narrative conversational practices in a way that augments therapeutic possibilities of emboldening peoples’ preferred selves.  This workshop will include recorded examples, transcripts, examples, experiential exercises and a comprehensive handout to ensure that participants can apply relevant ideas in their work settings.

Participants will:

  • Explore why and how ideas from a post-structuralist approach can be combined with notions from a traditionally structuralist field.
  • The limitations of this overlap, what is helpful versus not helpful to include
  • Develop a richer understanding of key narrative therapy concepts and why they are so transformative of experience, including on a physiological and neural mode.
  • Refine some of the well-known narrative practices to enhance their usefulness with various kinds of problems.
  • Explore Storied therapy as a 3-Act Play metaphor for conceptualizing the therapeutic process from beginning to “end”.
  • Explore ways of utilizing pivotal moments and chains of association to develop preferred storylines.
  • Explore unique ways of conceptualizing time that opens possibilities for creativity and choice.
  • Learn novel ways of thickening preferred experiences of identity to ensure sustainability once people return to the context of their lives
  • Explore a collaborative therapeutic posture that contributes to a with-ness and decentered position.
  • Incorporate your leaning by practicing new skill sets through experiential exercises


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


Friday, May 20, 1pm tp 5pm & Saturday, May 21, 9am to 1pm (US central Time)



Early Bird Fee: $170.00 (Register by April 15, 2022).

Regular Fee $200.00 (April 16, 2022 and thereafter)

Student Fee: $115.00 (Must show proof of status with a student card if requested)



Full refund minus $30.00 cancellation fee until April 16, 2022.

50% refund between April 16 and May 19, 2022

No refund  May 20, 2022 and thereafter.

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



Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin is the director of Skills for Kids, Parents, & Schools (SKIPS), and has a private consultation practice in California. She has been a pioneer in combining neurobiology, mindfulness and narrative therapy, and has written several key professional articles introducing original clinical practices, in Family Process, International Journal of Narrative Therapy & Community Work, and Journal of Systemic Therapies. In addition to co-editing, Collaborative therapy and neurobiology: Evolving practices in action (Beaudoin & Duvall, 2017), she is the author of popular books, such as The SKiLL-ionaire in every child: Boosting children’s socio-emotional skills using the latest in brain research (2010), written for parents, and Mindfulness in a busy world: Lowering barriers for youth & adults to cultivate focus, emotional peace & gratefulness (2021). Her work has been featured in AAMFT’s Family Therapy magazine, and the ASP professional video, Narrative therapy & neurobiology: Making changes stick in everyday lives (2013).  Marie-Nathalie has been practicing narrative therapy since the 1990s, and received a Shine a Light research grant to conduct the largest empirical study of the effectiveness of narrative practices.

With a background in improvisational theater, MarieNathalie is an acclaimed international speaker with frequent engagements in Europe, where she is renowned for her entertaining and thought provoking presentations.  In her free time, Marie-Nathalie enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and children.



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. His work aims to integrate time-sensitive narrative practices within social justice principles.

In addition to numerous articles, book chapters, 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 co-authored book (Duvall & Béres, 2011), Innovations in narrative therapy: Connecting practice, training and research, WW Norton and Company is the first book to integrate training and research with narrative therapy resulting in compelling practice-based evidence. He is the co-editor (Beaudoin & Duvall, 2017) of Collaborative therapy and neurobiology: Evolving practices in action.

He has offered hundreds of workshops, courses, and keynote presentations with organizations throughout Canada, US, Australia, Asia and Europe. Other times Jim can be found playing music with his friends or boating on the Gulf of Mexico with his partner, family and their dog, Sailor.


May 20, 2022 @ 1:00 pm
May 21, 2022 @ 9:00 am
$115.00 – $200.00


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