Jill Freedman, MSW is a Co-Director of Evanston Family Therapy Center, as well as founding members of the Chicago Center for Family Health, an independent affiliate of the University of Chicago. Internationally recognized for her advances in narrative theory and training, she received the 2009 Award for Innovative Contribution to Family Therapy from the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), and VSNT awarded Jill their significant contribution to narrative therapy award in 2018. Along with her partner Gene Coombs MD they have co-authored more than 30 journal articles and book chapters, and written 3 books.
Michael White (29 December 1948 – 4 April 2008).
Australian social worker, family therapist and first editor of the Australia New Zealand Family Therapy Journal. Michael is the founder and creative ideological force of both the theory and practice of narrative therapy. To his credit he figured out and created the large majority of narrative therapy practice ideas that each and every narrative therapist use in their daily therapy practice. Michael is known and respected across all models and expressions of family therapy as one of his generations greatest therapists.
Rachel Hare-Mustin has published in many areas of feminist psychology, but her work continues to be driven by social issues, mostly pertaining to women and the family. She has adopted a postmodern feminist position, and has been recognized as one of the foremost experts in this branch of epistemology and critique. The Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology Division of APA (Division 24) honoured Hare-Mustin with the Distinguished Contribution award in 2003 for her scholarship in this area.
Victoria Dickerson was the President of the American Family Therapy Academy (2017-2019), from whom she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. She has been the director of two family and narrative therapy training centres, working with students/interns and hosting numerous Michael White workshops and other International speakers. Vicky was one of a small handful of therapists in North America to fist learn, then train and publish on with couples, young adults, and families. Her co-authored book with Jeff Zimmerman entitled When Problems Talk remains a must read in narrative therapy literature.
Based out of in Oslo Norway, Anja Bjoroy holds two Masters degrees and works as a narrative therapy informed family therapist. She was instrumental in helping Stephen Madigan create the deeply inspired non-individualist turn in Couple Therapy know as narrative therapy informed Relational Interviewing.
Foucault’s theories primarily address the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social thought through societal institutions. His thought has influenced academics, especially those working in communication studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, literary theory, feminism, queer theory, critical theory and of course narrative therapy.
Laurie Markham is a Los Angeles-based narrative therapist who has (and continues to do) brilliant work with children, youth, families, and schools. She is co-author of the narrative therapy book Wonderfullness. Interviewing.
Sallyann Roth was influential in early on narrative therapy practice circles often presenting at the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy international conferences during the mid/late 1990’s.
Elliot Goldner is a psychiatrist-researcher who founded and directed the Eating Disorders Program at Providence Health Care, directed Outpatient Psychiatry at the University Hospital in Vancouver and founded and has directed two research centres – one at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the other at Simon Fraser University. Elliot also founded and directed the Division of Health Policy and Services in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC. He has also undertaken substantial international work and is currently the lead investigator on a Grand Challenges Canada funded project that is helping with the development of mental health services in Viet Nam. Along with all of this . . . Elliot was very pro-narrative therapy (:
Sasha Pilkington is a therapist from Auckland New Zealand.
Vicky Dickerson was the President of the American Family Therapy Academy (2017-2019), from whom she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. She has been the director of two family and narrative therapy training centres working with students/interns. Vicky was one of a small handful of North American therapists who first began training, teaching and writing on narrative therapy. She has published on narrative therapy with couples, young adults, and families and co-authored the seminal narrative text entitled When Problems Talk with Jeff Zimmerman..
Allan Wade, Ph.D. is a family therapist and researcher based in Duncan, on Vancouver Island. Allan has presented at the VSNT Therapeutic Conversations conferences for many years. Allan works extensively with victims and perpetrators of violent crime, including wife-assault, sexual assault and abuse, workplace abuse, humiliation, racism, physical abuse and armed robbery. As researcher, Allan is interested in the nature of violence and resistance, micro-analysis of face to face interaction (e.g., therapeutic interviews), and the connection between violence and language.. As researcher, Allan is interested in the nature of violence and resistance, micro-analysis of face to face interaction (e.g., therapeutic interviews), and the connection between violence and language.
David Epston (born 30 August 1944) is a Canadian born New Zealand therapist and former co-director of the Family Therapy Centre and was influential in the early development of narrative therapy. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (DLitt) in 1996 by the Graduate School of Professional Psychology,John F. Kennedy University and the Special Award for Distinguished Contributions to Family Therapy from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy.
Alan Jenkins is a close friend of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy and has presented and keynoted at numerous Therapeutic Conversations conferences and invited individual training workshops (see his work throughout the site). He is clinical psychologist and has worked in a range of “multi-undisciplinary” teams addressing violence and abusive behaviour for 30 years. Rather than tire from this work, he has become increasingly intrigued with possibilities for the discovery of ethical and respectful ways of relating. The valuing of ethics, fairness and the importance of protest against injustice has led him to stray considerably from the path prescribed in his early training as a psychologist, towards a political analysis of abuse. Alan has developed models for therapeutic work with individuals who have both perpetrated and been subjected to abusive behaviour, in the contexts of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse and neglect.
Harjeet Badwall is an Associate Professor at York University’s School of Social Work in Toronto, Canada and training faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. Her primary areas of research focus on Race, Racism and Whiteness in Social Work, racialized and gender-based violence, the connection between narrative therapy practice and theory, interlocking analysis of violence and oppression, and post-structural theory. Harjeet worked in the anti-violence field for many years as a counselor, community organizer and activist.
Allison has an MA in Counselling Psychology and is a veteran narrative family therapist, Family Divorce Coach and Mediator. She and her longtime colleague, Dennis Dion, facilitate narrative therapeutic groups, workshops and family therapy sessions for people impacted by substance misuse and problem gambling. Alli has also competed in badminton on the international level and is a street performer playing violin on stilts!
Nina Tejs Jorring is a narrative therapy trained Danish psychiatrist who writes therapeutic letters to the families and youth she works with – after every single session! Nina has presented her thoughtful and beautiful work at many of VSNT conferences.
David Nylund MSW, PhD has been a practicing narrative therapist for 27 years. In depth study of narrative therapy theory and post-structuralism led him towards completing a PhD in Cultural Studies with an emphasis on feminist and queer theory at the University of California at Davis (whose faculty included Judith Butler). David is now a full Professor of social work at Sacramento State University and the Clinical Director of the (amazing) Gender Health Centre, a non-profit, award winning, counselling agency in Sacramento, California serving the transgender and queer community.
Bill Madsen Ph.D. is a longtime veteran narrative and family therapist with a long history of providing training and consultation internationally on how practitioners and the organizations in which they’re embedded can assist the families we serve in more respectful and responsive ways.
Ottar is a family therapist and Professor in mental health care at the University College of Southeast Norway. He is the former editor of the Nordic Family Therapy Journal, a Taos Institute Associate, a Board Member of Taos Institute Europe, and a Faculty Member of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy Norway.
Jack is the founding director of the International Trauma Studies Program at Columbia University and the refugee resource center REFUGE. He is a psychologist and family therapist and works with survivors of terrorist attacks, wars, torture, and natural disaster. He has studied the effects of collective moral trauma on relationships, families, war journalists and photographers, returning military, humanitarian workers and communities as well as the process of collective recovery and resilience. Jack has developed numerous initiatives that incorporate art and storytelling into treatment.
Elize Morkel is a psychologist in private practice in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been offering training in Narrative Therapy in five university Masters programmes and to colleagues as part of Continued Professional Development for the past twenty years. She has organized various narrative therapy conferences, was the first to bring Michael White to South Africa, and has invited many other international Narrative Therapy trainers to present. She has also travelled internationally to attend and present her work at conferences.
Over the past few years, Jonny has used post structural and narrative ideas in his up-close analysis of youth suicide. Through a collision of social artistry, narrative interviews, and outsider witness teams, Jonny has worked with peers/insiders, service providers, and policy makers to re-imagine possibilities for change in policy and practice. Jonny is interested in studying the emergence of critical suicidology as part of a doctoral program.
Jennifer is Associate Professor and Director, School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. Jennifer has worked in the human services sector for over two decades and she has practiced in the field of youth suicide prevention since 1988. Jennifer is interested in studying contemporary discourses of youth suicide prevention. Through critically informed, relational approaches to inquiry, she seeks to explore alternatives to the standardized, expert-driven, one-size-fits-all, risk factor based approach to youth suicide prevention. The idea is not to replace current approaches to prevention, but rather to expand our understandings and vocabularies and allow multiple possibilities and approaches to proliferate.
Alan Holmgren excels at understanding and explaining the theoretical ideas behind narrative therapy. He is the founder and director of DISPUK: Arguably, the largest Narrative Therapy training centre in the world located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Stephen Madigan is an award-winning narrative therapist and best-selling author of Narrative Therapy – theory and practice (2011, 2019 and – 3rd Edition published in 2023). He is the Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, content creator for VSNT.live, invented the new practice of narrative therapy-informed Relational Interviewing with couple relationships, and wrote the 1st ever doctoral dissertation on narrative therapy. He is the father of fabulous 26-year-old twin daughters and he trains, teaches, supervises, and consults on narrative therapy worldwide.
Dennis has an MA in Counselling Psychology and is a well known contributing member to Vancouver’s vibrant narrative family therapy community. He and his longtime narrative colleague, Allison Rice, facilitate narrative therapeutic groups, workshops and family therapy sessions for people impacted by substance misuse and problem gambling. Dennis has private practice offices in Vancouver and the North Shore where he offers narrative therapy counselling and supervision.
Jeff Zimmerman is considered at the top of the list of veteran narrative therapist/teachers in North America. Since 2020 he and his partner D’Ann live in Denver, Colorado after living in the Mission district of San Francisco, California for 3 decades. Jeff began his apprenticeship with Michael White in 1988 and became Michael’s closest friend in North America. Jeff has over 15,000 hours of in session narrative therapy experience (that is heavily influenced by his impressive grasp of post-structuralism), and is the co-author of a tremendously helpful book entitled – ‘If Problems Talked’, along with several must read narrative therapy journal articles on a range of topics including Anorexia, Couples, and Youth. His most recent book: Neuro-Narrative Therapy: New Possibilities for Emotion-Filled Conversations (which is highlighted in Stephen Madigan’s book Narrative Therapy 2nd Edition 2019).
Chris Hoff, PhD, LMFT is based in Orange County, CA and currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Counseling and Guidance at California State University San Bernardino, and is Founder and Executive Director of the California Family Institute (CFI) in southern California. CFI is a nonprofit organization that was established as a community counseling center that provides desperately needed low-cost counseling services for the community, and for the development of research and training for those interested in post-structuralist, post-oppositional, and compositionist therapy approaches.
Justine D’Arrigo, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Cal State San Bernardino in the Counseling & Guidance program. Justine’s teaching, clinical work, and research center on post-structural, post-postmodern, post-oppositional and relational philosophies. Of specific interest to them, is how efforts of activism can potentially colonize people’s experiences in counter cultural ways, and the need to further refine our analysis of power when engaging in what gets languaged as justice work.
Tom Strong is a Professor and Director of Training with the Educational Studies in Counselling Psychology Program within the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. His primary research and writings remain focused on the critical, generative and collaborative potentials of good conversation in counselling and family therapy.
Todd May is a faculty member and resident philosopher at the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. He was (until 2022) a Professor of Philosophy and is the author of seventeen philosophy books, including books on Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. Todd continues to work as a grassroots organizer on numerous political issues, has taught philosophy in maximum security prisons, and was the philosophical advisor to the NBC television show The Good Place.
Helene Grau MA (Denmark) : Helene is co-founder of Narativ Praksis – the centre for narrative therapy in Denmark – and a faculty member with the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. She teaches narrative therapy at the University of Copenhagen and trained by Michael White for many years. Helene primarily works and writes on grief, death and hope and – a relational narrative practice specializing in work with parent relationships who experience the lost of a child.
Rosa Elana Arteaga. Rosa has thousands and thousands of therapy hours providing support to girls and women who experience gendered violence. For over fourteen years Rosa has been a clinical supervisor within a multi-disciplinary team with a nonprofit anti-violence women’s organization in Vancouver, Canada. She is a VSNT faculty member and has developed an innovative narrative therapeutic practice to support girls and women from all ages and diverse backgrounds, and who are dealing with complex trauma. Her local, national and international workshops take the learner inside the complexities of gender violence through storytelling, session videos and transcripts.
Erling Fidjestol is a narrative family therapists who (since 2003) immersed himself in the study of narrative practice at the ROBUST clinic in Oslo. ROBUST is the only all-narrative practice clinic in Norway. He will discuss his daily practice with children, young people and their families suffering a range of difficulties including high conflicts and social and mental health issues of various kinds. He writes how he is “passionately devoted to the importance of a de-centered position and the unpacking of the merits already there, rather then having a conversation on the ‘I/we need to do better’ – premise”.
Veteran Los Angeles based narrative therapist and VSNT faculty memberDavid Marsten is the co-author of the fabulous book on working with children, youth and families entitled Narrative Therapy in Wonderland (November, 2016). David developed one of the first narrative therapy internship programs in the Los Angeles area and in 1998 and established Miracle Mile Community Practice with a mission to provide affordable counselling and advanced training in narrative therapy. He has presented his ground breaking Wonderfulness Narrative Therapy practice in India, Turkey, Spain, Norway, USA and Canada. David teaches workshops through theoretical discussion, live video taped sessions, and unaltered transcripts.
Aaron Munro is Queer and Trans identified, a longtime VSNT faculty member and has a Masters degree in Narrative Therapy from the University of Melbourne, Australia. For more than 17 years he has worked with people who are unhoused and made dependant due to various forms of traumatic experience and adversity. Aaron has produced several documentaries on these topics that seek to broaden public perception of people without housing. He works and trains support workers on the frontline of Vancouver’s opioid epidemic and has recently written a book on his life and work journeys entitled “Bad Manners”.
Lorraine Hetdke has turned the entire field of grief psychology completely upside down with her new practice specializing in work with people who are dying and with families after a loved one has died. She is a Professor at California State University San Bernardino, and Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy core faculty member. Lorraine is the author numerous narrative therapy publications including her latest co-authored book The Crafting of Grief: Constructing Aesthetic Responses to Loss, Death, Dying, and Bereavement.