Angel Yuen MSW and Mathura Thiagarajah MSW
Narrative Therapy Centre
An online learning for those new to the ideas and practices of narrative therapy, and also to those familiar and wanting a refresher (or innoculation) to narrative ideas with a focus on responding to trauma.
May 3, 2021, 10:30 am - 3:30 pm and May 5, 2021, 10:30 am - 3:30 pm
‘I thought I was supposed to dig deep in order to resolve my abuse’
‘I just thought that in order to start feeling better that it had to get worse first. I thought because I have never talked about this [sexual abuse] with anyone before, that I needed to tell you and ‘finally get it out’. And that is was all just part of the therapy process.’
‘As they say…no pain no gain!’?
(Yuen, 2009. p. 10-11)
Do any of these statements sound familiar? It’s not uncommon for people suffering from the consequences of trauma to take on such taken-for-granted understandings of the trauma healing process. But what if we were to consider an alternative notion? How about less pain, more gain?
Narrative Therapy approaches assist people in reclaiming their lives from the effects of trauma and suggest that there is always another story. These are often subordinated stories of connection, hope, cherished values, acts of resistance, skills in living and the many unacknowledged ways in which people respond to hardship.
This online training over two days will:
provide an overview of the ideas that shape Narrative Therapy
explore the taken-for-granted understandings of trauma and PTSD
challenge the ‘no pain no gain’ trauma healing discourse
offer ways to engage in conversations about trauma that are not retraumatizing
discover people’s responses to violence and oppression
Participation and engagement will be possible through Zoom chat and breakout rooms. There will be a morning break, 40 minute lunch break and afternoon break.
About the facilitators…
Angel Yuen works as a narrative therapist in private practice in Durham region. She is also a faculty member and narrative supervisor for the NTC of Toronto, and a member of Dulwich Centre international faculty in Adelaide, Australia. Her previous work for twenty-five years was school social work at the TDSB. Many children, young people and adults Angel has worked alongside have been subjected to abuse, violence and oppression. In her faculty roles she has had the privilege of sharing double-storied accounts that honour the injustices that many of them have experienced as well as their skills, knowledges, acts of resistance and responses.
Angel is the author of the 2019 book Pathways beyond despair: Re-authoring lives of young people through narrative therapy , and she is co-editor with Cheryl White of the 2007 book Conversations about gender, culture, violence and narrative practice: Stories of hope and complexity from women of many cultures’ . Angel has also published the following papers re: narrative ideas and responding to trauma: Discovering Children’s Responses to Trauma: a response-based narrative practice (2007) and Less Pain More Gain: Explorations of responses versus effects when working with the consequences of trauma (2009).
Mathura Thiagarajah has over ten years of experience working with children, young people, adults and families in schools, community health settings and private practice. In these roles, she has been able to use narrative approaches with diverse communities. Mathura has a special interest in collective narrative practices, and has had the opportunity to co-create multiple collective documents in Toronto, Canada and Vavuniya, Sri Lanka.