Friday, September 29, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT
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Narrative Therapy Initiative 
Narrative Therapy Initiative 

Working with People Facing Despair, Unworthiness and/or Suicidal Thoughts: Moving Beyond Risk Assessment Towards Stories of Resistance and Hope

Date: Friday, September 29th, 2023; 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern
Location: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Amy Druker, MSW
Maximum Participants:  60

Working with people who are facing Despair and/or Suicidal Thoughts can sometimes invite Worry and even Panic for helpers; and at times can take us away from our preferred ways of being with people. This workshop will focus on how we can bring social justice into our work with people who are  facing the difficult problems of Despair, and/or Suicidal Thoughts through Narrative Therapy practices and principles. 

The workshop is for people who have a solid understanding of the Narrative worldview and for those who have heard of narrative therapy but haven’t been introduced to its collaborative, respectful and socially just ways of understanding people and problems. By refusing to locate problems inside of  people, and by always seeing problems in the broader cultural context in which these problems were produced, narrative therapy stands against the individualizing and pathologizing of people’s suffering.  

The workshop will cover: 

  • The theoretical framework that underpin a narrative worldview.  Dominant discourses or common cultural understandings & responses to ‘suicide’ will be  explored and deconstructed. 
  • Deconstructing ‘totalizing’ identity conclusions (eg. “I’m a Failure” or “I’m a Trouble Maker”).  
  • Therapeutic Letter Writing Campaigns as a response to working with people who are facing Despair. 
  • Generating response-based questions which can highlight a person’s agency by inviting the small acts of resistance a person took in the face of trauma, injustice and/or when contending with Suicidal Thoughts. 
  • Allternatives to checklists meant to evaluate ‘safety’ to support staying connected to preferred ethics in working with people facing Despair/Suicidal Thoughts.

This training will be a live, interactive event using the Zoom web conferencing platform.  This training will be live streamed and recorded for NTI archives. By registering, you agree to be a participant in a live-streaming event that will be recorded for archive purposes only.  No segments of this training will be made available via video or audio.  If NTI utilizes this recording in the future, all participant activity will be deleted and/or explicit permission will be obtained before any such segments are released.

Registration Fees:

  • Early Bird Registration Rate until July 1st -- $130.00
  • Regular Registration Rate after July 1st  -- $140.00
  • Student/Senior Registration Rate -- $75.00 

Additional Information:

  • Group Rate: We offer discounts for groups of four or more people from a single agency or organization; to register a group, email narrativetherapyinitiative@gmail.com.
  • CEUs:  We are approved for 5.5 CEUs for LMFTs with NEAFAST and LICSWs/LCSWs with NASW-MA. Please note it is the participant's responsibility to check with the respective licensing board to determine if these approvals meet the requirements for licensure renewal.  If you need LMHC or Psychologist CEUs, we will assist you with the application process by providing you documentation of attendance and workshop information at no charge.  If you are a LMFT or LCSW/LICSW and will need a CE certificate, please order one in the registration form and let us know your professional license number. CE Certificates are $25.00.
  • Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be given up to 14 days prior to the training minus a $25.00 cancellation fee. Within 14 days of the training, no refunds will be provided.
  • Questions? Email NTI at narrativetherapyinitiative@gmail.com.

About the presenter: Amy Druker (she/her) first met narrative ideas a decade ago when she was working as a harm reduction outreach worker with pregnant people in downtown Toronto. At the time, the idea of working as a therapist wasn’t on Amy’s radar. In 2011, at her first narrative therapy workshop on collective narrative practice, Amy felt she had finally found a language for the work she had already been doing in community. Amy recognized a strong alignment between the politics and ethics of a harm reduction approach and Narrative Therapy. Both worldviews take into account the social and political context that can give rise to problems (like the opioid crisis). Harm reduction recognizes that our drug laws, which deny people access to a safe drug supply (and criminalize people who use drugs), are largely responsible for the harms caused to people who use illicit drugs. In this way, harm reduction, like narrative therapy, refuses to locate problems inside of people, recognizes people as the experts of their own lives and stands against the individualizing and pathologizing of people’s suffering. Amy’s practice is guided by a commitment to social justice, anti-oppressive practice, to the questioning of taken-for-granted ways of thinking about things (including the practice of therapy and clinical ‘supervision’, and the imposition of expert knowledge). Amy sees narrative therapy, not as a technique, but as a worldview which helps her to live out her social justice values. For over 7 years Amy worked as an individual and family therapist at a youth mental health agency where narrative therapy was the guiding framework/worldview of all oft he therapists and the clinical director. She now runs her own independent practice, where she offers therapy and clinical supervision, and consults at a harm reduction agency in so called Toronto, Canada.  Amy is on Faculty at the Narrative Therapy Initiative and The Narrative Therapy Centre, in Ajax, ON. To be in touch with Amy please reach out to her at therapy@amydruker.com.