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Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.


Narrative Therapy refers primarily to the ideas and practices of Michael White, David Epston, and other practitioners who have built upon this work.


Narrative therapy pays attention to how people make sense of their experiences and assists in changing their relationship with problems affecting their lives. Best known for “externalizing conversations” that separate a person from a problem, and for letter-writing practices, this approach is guided by its philosophical foundations, interviewing practices and range of playful possibilities.


In addition to guiding counselling conversations, these principles and ways of working offer tremendous possibilities in community, organizational and coaching contexts. For this reason, the term “narrative practice” is sometimes used instead of “narrative therapy.”


In essence, the narrative therapist is a collaborator in the process of discovering richer or ‘thicker’ narratives that emerge from different descriptions of experience, thus destabilizing the hold of negative or ‘thin’ narratives (White & Epston 1990).  Narrative therapy draws on social constructionist theory for many of its ideas and assumptions.


Listening Course

This is a participatory, experiential learning course that introduces individuals to  listening in the context of ministry and pastoral conversations. 


We explore the importance of stories.  How we listen?  Where we learnt to listen?  What we bring with us when we listen?  Why values are important when we listen and how assumptions and stereotypes can influence our ability to listen to another.

Reading Group

Our Narrative Reading Group is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the art of Narrative storytelling through reading of published articles and
engaging in discussions about the themes found within the reading material.


The reading group consists of a collective of narrative learners and practitioners who meet once a month on the 4th Friday of every month.


Due to the presence of Covid19 and the current state of lockdown in South Africa we have been meeting virtually.  If you would like to join us, please contact 

Reading Group Narrative Ideas  (The Institute for Creative Conversation)

Introduction to
Narrative Pastoral Training

The course is creative and practical and participants will gain first-hand experience of each idea through their own life stories, the stories of co-participants, scripture and theory.  Learning happens through group work, small group work, triads, pairs and individual reflection.  


We introduce participants to narrative ideas and practices – living multi-storied lives, socially constructed discourse and deconstruction, externalisation, working metaphorically, power & agency, alternative stories and preferred identities.  We also explore the value of listening, of roles and of working in community.  


  • Anyone who is curious about stories, about people

  • Anyone interested in discovering more about themselves

  • Anyone interested in narrative ideas and practices

  • Anyone interested in exploring a Jesus-like way of serving in ministry

  • Anyone who is involved/ would like to be involved in caring conversations with others


This course is registered with University of Pretoria’s faculties of Continuing Education and Centre for Contextual Ministry


For more info and course dates, please contact

This is a participatory, experiential learning course that scaffolds conversation with elements of theory, articles, practice & the witnessing of conversation to advance pastoral narrative ideas and practices.  We work to thicken introductory ideas and explore maps and definitional ceremonies



  • Anyone who has an understanding of narrative ideas and practices

  • Anyone who has completed a basic or introductory course in narrative ideas and practices

This course is registered with University of Pretoria’s faculties of Continuing Education and Centre for Contextual Ministry


For more info and course dates, please contact


Advanced Narrative Pastoral Training 

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