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Narrative Therapy - Re-authoring Stories Towards Agency, Dignity & Hope: Core concepts and key skills to enrich your clinical repertoire

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Merle Conyer, M. Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy, M. Narrative Therapy & Community Work, M. Education, Dip. Somatic Psychotherapy, Dip. Energetic Healing
4 Hours 30 Minutes
Sep 13, 2023
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Digital Recording
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“The person is not the problem; the problem is the problem”. – Michael White

This formative statement 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 client may come to you in the grip of a problem-saturated story about themselves or some aspect of their life. Narrative therapy approaches invoke curiosity 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.

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 can help 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 recording includes illustrative examples, practical exercises, case study reflections, journal articles, handouts, and ample presenter-attendee dialogue.

Register today for this transformative training!



This online program is worth 4.5 hours CPD.



Merle Conyer, M. Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy, M. Narrative Therapy & Community Work, M. Education, Dip. Somatic Psychotherapy, Dip. Energetic Healing's Profile

Merle Conyer, M. Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy, M. Narrative Therapy & Community Work, M. Education, Dip. Somatic Psychotherapy, Dip. Energetic Healing 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 Resource Development), and Diplomas of Somatic Psychotherapy and Energetic Healing.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Merle Conyer maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with Blue Knot Foundation. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Merle Conyer has no relevant non-financial relationships.


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.



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Total Reviews: 10

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