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NARRATIVE THERAPY - RE-AUTHORING STORIES TOWARDS AGENCY, DIGNITY & HOPE: A one-day workshop of core concepts and key skills to enrich your clinical repertoire.

Merle Conyer, Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work
One full day
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Live Webcast
Access for event date only.


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“The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem”. This formative statement by Michael White is a core principle for narrative-oriented therapists. Something becomes “a problem” when it gets in the way of a person’s life, visions and hopes. How we approach the problem shapes how we look at it, what we will find, and how we might act in response.

A person may consult with a therapist when in the grip of a problem-saturated story about themselves or some aspect of their life. A narrative-oriented therapist would be curious about the meaning of the problem to them, how this informs their thoughts and actions, and ways in which these are or are not helpful. Making use of ‘double listening' the therapist would also notice and appreciate the person’s knowledges, skills, values and commitments that can contribute to responding to the difficulties.

As an alternative to defining the person according to the problem or locating the problem within the person, a narrative-oriented therapist is guided by ‘positioning’ theory which suggests we come to know and experience ourselves through relationships located within specific histories, cultures and political systems.

Informed by this orientation, therapist and client work collaboratively to co-research, deconstruct and reauthor the problem-saturated story. This includes noticing neglected but helpful aspects of experience, witnessing actions in response to dearly held commitments and values, and paying careful attention to ways in which language is used. This can support the client to reclaim their life from the effects of a problem, and to discover or find their way back to preferred identity conclusions. This in turn can open hopeful possibilities which honour valued relationships and treasured aspects of their history and culture.

This approach invites therapists to attend to power relations in the therapy room, including by adopting a decentred yet influential stance and demonstrating respect for clients as the experts in their lives.

Illustrative examples, practical exercises, case study reflections, journal articles and other handouts, together with ample presenter-attendee dialogue, will support your learning.


Merle Conyer, Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work's Profile

Merle Conyer, Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work Related seminars and products

Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor

Merle Conyer supports individuals, teams, organisations and communities responding to interpersonal, institutional, political, cultural and environmental trauma, healing and justice. Contexts in which she contributes include mental health, legal, government, academic and community sectors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, organisations facilitating redress for institutional abuse, and those contributing to human rights, social justice and environmental justice.

Her track record includes board, management, service delivery and volunteer roles. Through her independent practice she currently offers counselling, supervision, debriefing, training, groupwork, wellbeing support and consulting services. She interweaves interdisciplinary wisdoms such as somatic psychotherapy, trauma-informed practice, narrative therapy, ecological psychotherapy, focusing and mindfulness practices, and is guided by both clinical and cultural supervision.

Merle is an Accredited Supervisor and Clinical Member with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. She holds a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy, Master of Education, Graduate Diploma of Communication Management (Human Resources Development) and Diplomas of Somatic Psychotherapy and Energetic Healing.

Registration Details

Live Interactive Webcast or Webinar Registration
Fees: $199 
Primary viewer (includes three month's access recording of the event.
           $99 Additional viewer (must watch on same device as primary viewer)
           $29 Purchase lifetime access to the recording (available to primary viewer only)

  • Your attendance certificate for 7 hours of live, interactive training can be retrieved on completion of the evaluation and quiz via your account. 
  • A soft (digital) copy of all resources will remain in your account indefinitely.
  • A recording of this event will be available in your account approximately three weeks after the live event and will remain available for a full three months.  You will receive an email notification when the recording becomes available for viewing. 
  • If for whatever reason, you are unable to join the live webcast on the day, you will be able to watch the recording, complete your evaluation and quiz and retrieve  your certificate at a later date before the end of the three month viewing period.

Reminders for all events are sent two weeks, one week, one day and one hour prior.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Have a greater appreciation of, and to be able to work more effectively with, language, discourse and power relations within the therapeutic context.
  2. Understand and work with the ‘normalising gaze’ and the significance of power relations.
  3. Work with the concept of multiple identities, identity conclusions and the externalising of problems.
  4. Develop insight into the value and application of double listening.
  5. Begin to develop the skills of deconstruction and re-authoring.
  6. Appreciate the value of eliciting clients’ ‘insider knowing’ and attending closely to hopes, visions, values and commitments.
  7. Reflect on the power dynamics of the therapeutic relationship and potential influences on both therapist and client

“This workshop introduces effective therapeutic practices for walking alongside clients as they explore what strengthens, nourishes and enlivens … a respectful way of being in relationship that can be transformative for both of us."   Merle Conyer


How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Ability to identify and challenge some taken-for-granted truths about people, problems and the practice of therapy.
  • Become keenly aware of and skilled in using language that is collaborative, non-pathologising and ultimately more helpful and productive for your clients.
  • Be able to draw on a richer repertoire of models, techniques and interventions.


Morning Session (includes a short morning tea break)

  • The narrative metaphor, how people give meaning to their lives and relationships through stories.
  • The role of language, discourse and social construction in the formation of identity, problems and approaches to problems.
  • Narrative/non-narrative distinctions.
  • The normalising gaze, attribution of meaning, positioning theory and intentional states.
  • Double listening, scaffolding questions, and the assumption of multiple storylines.


Afternoon Session (includes a short afternoon tea break)

  • Flow of deconstructing and reframing a problem-saturated story.
  • Externalising the problem, mapping the problem’s influence, ‘sparkling moment’ exceptions, reauthoring.
  • Attending to power relations, adopting a decentred and influential stance.
  • Questions and answers, reflections on the day.

Target Audience

This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Case Workers, Pastoral Care Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists.

Webcast Schedule

Morning Session
  9:00am - 12:30pm (includes 15 minute break at 10:30am)

Lunch Break
  12:30pm - 1:00pm

Afternoon Session
  1:00pm - 4:30pm (includes 15 minute break at 2:45pm)

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