VSNT faculty Aaron Munro (and guests) begin a new series based on his book Bad Manners. The book and the series are presented through Aaron’s personal stories as a queer/trans activist working in Canadas’s poorest urban neighbourhood. The series encounters his transition from female to male, and what he has learned over 17 years of work about trauma, addiction, violence, poverty, opioid deaths, and mental health stigma – based entirely on the grace and relationships he experienced with the shelter-less people he worked with.

Excerpt of first story we will discuss:

“And so, I met Laura, and my life changed. Laura was a woman who lived in the DTES (Downtown Eastside), and she was heavily addicted to crack cocaine. She was someone who heard voices, which didn’t say very nice things to her. Her own head told her repeatedly of her failings and society managed to keep up in stride with these voices. The fact we separate what voices say and how people experience our negative relations to them feels like the definition of insanity to me. We pathologize people so much, we can’t imagine that our ways of being with them might affect them. Why is it so hard once someone has been labelled with mental health issues, addiction, race, or gender issues for society to imagine that environmental factors or how we treat them is creating the condition that is harming them?”

On Friday November 6th: Interview with Harjeet Badwall.

An excerpt for Harjeet’s paper we will be discussing:

Theoretically, my research was anchored in race theory (critical race scholarship, post-colonial studies), post-structural feminism, and critical race scholars who utilize Foucauldian concepts of discourse, power, subject-formation, and governmentality.

These theoretical entry points enabled me to examine the racial foundations upon which social work as a profession is produced (Jeffery, 2002), in addition to exploring the experiences of social workers of colour as they negotiate both a racist profession and racist environments.

My central aim was to trace the ongoing mechanisms of whiteness in social work in order to reveal the ways in which racialized bodies are regulated through discourses that re-centre whiteness within the profession. Through the use of race scholarship I examined how racism is integral to modernity and the liberal project, the formation of the state, and white dominance in social work (Goldberg, 1993, Hesse, 2004; Jeffery, 2002).

Danish Psychiatrist Nina Tejs Jørring may be the only narrative therapist we know who writes a therapeutic letter to the family after every session – and has done so for years. Her remarkable letter writing practice and her team’s work with youth in the psychiatric ward and their families will be discussed.

VSNT faculty member David Marsten discusses how people do not live ordinary lives. And the problems they encounter are not colorless. It is in the discovery of what is remarkable about the people who consult us that we are able to assertively turn our attention to otherwise confounding problems.

Interview with philosopher Todd May on the work of Gilles Deleuze and its influence on Narrative Therapy. After studying Michel Foucault, Michael White immersed himself in the thought of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, although his death prevented him from a fuller integration of Deleuze’s work. The interview will focus on unfolding the ideas and seeing how they intersect with and can help form a framework for thinking about narrative practice.

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Interview with legendary narrative therapist Jeff Zimmerman on why he believed it was important for narrative therapy to write his new book: Neuro-Narrative Therapy – New Possibilities for Emotion-Filled Conversations.

Part two interview with legendary narrative therapist Jeff Zimmerman on why he believed it was important for narrative therapy to write his new book: Neuro-Narrative Therapy – New Possibilities for Emotion-Filled Conversations.