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3-Day 'Responding to Trauma' Spring 2018 Intensive


Faculty: Lindsay Williams & Angel Yuen

Date: May 3-5, 2018 9am-4pm daily

Location: Central YMCA , 20 Grosvenor St., Toronto ON M4Y 1C2

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Space is limited to 50 seats. As of January 10th 2018 there are 24 seats remaining

Over three days participants will have an opportunity to immerse in narrative practices in relation to working in areas of trauma, violence and oppression with a focus on practice via experiential exercises, role play and viewing of videos.


Stories of trauma can contribute to a sense of hopelessness for persons of all ages, as well as the service providers they are consulting with.  Narrative Therapy approaches to traumatic experience assist people to redevelop/develop a sense of personal agency and suggest that there is always another story. These are often subordinated stories of connection, hope, cherished values, and unacknowledged ways in which people respond to hardship.

In this workshop we will illustrate the practices of narrative therapy that can assist people in reclaiming their lives from the effects of trauma..  Many insider knowledges will be shared of how those who have experienced the consequences of trauma sustain what is important in life despite difficulties. As well their many skills, and acts of resistance will offer hope to practitioners working with persons living with and facing ongoing hardships.

 In this practice-based intensive together we will:

- focus on rich subordinate story development

- explore the taken-for-granted understandings of trauma and PTSD

- strengthen double-listening skills while viewing video interviews

- learn how to move from individual to Collective Narrative Practice

- engage in a Collective Timeline exercise

- explore what is 'Absent But Implicit' in people's expressions of distress, hopelessness and/or rage

- discover people’s responses, skills in living and acts of resistance to violence and oppression

- build skills in asking re-membering questions to thicken preferred identity stories

- examine the broader power relations and small ‘p’ (political) practices that can be brought into the counselling room and community work

Two and a half days will be facilitated by Angel Yuen along with the following half-day workshop:

"Narrative Therapy with women who use drugs: Exploring new approaches and possibilities" facilitated by Lindsay Williams

 This half-day workshop will illustrate the many similarities between practices of Harm Reduction and Narrative Therapy. Together we will explore and deconstruct some of the dominant language and approaches used to discuss, describe and intervene in the lives of women who use drugs. Lindsay will review and discuss how, without intention, practitioners might be complicit in the social control of women who use drugs. There are many events that might influence women seeing themselves in particular ways, including the meaning that others have attributed to them. This workshop will offer ways of deconstructing negative stories and perceptions surrounding women who consume substances. 

This intensive will be well suited to counsellors, community workers, child protection workers and mental health practitioners working in settings such as private practice, hospitals, women’s shelters, sexual assault centers, schools, Violence Against Women (VAW) organizations, and other community-based and social service agencies.

This training is designed for those who have an existing knowledge of Narrative Therapy and the avid beginner. If you are a newcomer to narrative ideas before registering we ask that you read the following paper from the Dulwich Centre websiteWhat is Narrative Therapy? An Easy to read introduction by Alice Morgan and / or take the first three modules (Welcome, The Narrative Metaphor and Externalizing) of the free online course at the Dulwich Centre 'What is Narrative Practice?'

About the facilitators...

Angel Yuen M.S.W., R.S.W. is a private therapist in Durham region and a part-time school social worker for the Toronto District School Board.  Many children, young people and adults she has worked alongside have been subjected to abuse, violence and oppression. She has a particular interest in co-discovering and seeking out hopeful and effective ways of responding to trauma and hardship.

Angel has 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) As one of the founding members and faculty of the NTC of Toronto, she has been teaching narrative ideas locally and in several different countries for the past decade.  Angel is a member of the Dulwich Centre international faculty team in Adelaide, Australia and is co-editor with Cheryl White of the 2007 book “ 5 46 Conversations about gender, culture, violence & narrative practice:  Stories of hope and complexity from women of many cultures”.

ruthAs a member of the Toronto Opiate Support Team of Breakaway Addictions Services,     Lindsay Williams provides harm reduction services specifically to women who use opiates or have a history of using opiates. Lindsay completed both her BSW and MSW at Ryerson University and has been a community-based outreach worker since 2005; she cites this work as being a catalyst for her passion for harm reduction activism. These professional and academic experiences have aided in the further development of her Feminist, Trauma Informed, Harm Reduction, Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness and Anti-Oppressive approaches. With over a decade doing passionate harm reduction activism, she continues her commitment to advocacy for accessible services. Lindsay is also currently enjoying working as a member of the Toronto Drug Strategy and the Stigma & Discrimination working group for the last 5 years. 

Early rate of $395 available until March 5th -  Regular rate of $445 thereafter

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Attendee Type
Regular $395.00 CAD
Student or Group $355.50 CAD (less 10%)
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Additional Information

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will be accepted if requested in writing at least 14 days prior to the event date. A 10% administration fee will be deducted from the amounts refunded.

We regret that a refund cannot be offered after the cancellation deadline, but a colleague may be subsituted for attendance.

Certificates of Participation

Certificates of Participation will be available upon completion of the workshop and will state 18 hours of training. Certificates may be used to qualify for elifibility for continuing education credits from professional colleges and licensing boards. Please contact your own college or association to confirm its requirements.

Student and group discount available 

Students and groups of 3 or more receive a 10% discount!



















































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