Pre Conference Workshops (30 - 31 January, 2020)

Registrations: 8.30 to 9.30 am
Workshop Timings: 9.30 am to 5 pm

Venue: YMCA International House (Mumbai Central)

Narrative ideas and practices is a respectful, non-judgmental culturally relevant approach to counseling which centers people as the expert in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, beliefs, values and abilities that will allow them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives. The Narrative approach is an effective way to working with children, young people, families, groups and communities.

This Workshop will provide insight into:

  • History of narrative ideas and practices
  • Key ideas underpinning the practice
  • The narrative metaphor
  • Dominant & preferred stories
  • Deconstructing Single Stories
  • Developing rich descriptions of people’s skills & abilities
Resource Persons – Jehanzeb Baldiwala and Daisy Daruwalla

Venue: YMCA International House (Mumbai Central)

A narrative approach is an effective way of working in the school context in relation to a wide range of issues. It allows us to work with the whole school community to build spaces that are safer and more inclusive of diversity.

Dominant ideas of power hierarchies between young people, teachers and parents, and the relationships between them, exist in schools. The narrative approach helps us in deconstructing some of these dominant ideas, separating the problem from the person and creating safer spaces for alternative ways of being and responding.

This two day workshop will be a practice based exploration of narrative ways of working with young people, their families and teachers, in the school context. We will share examples of our work in both individual and group settings with different members of the school community to highlight principles of practice, as well as explore dilemmas that are commonly faced in participant’s work. There will be energetic opportunities for participants to both experience and reflect upon the key practices of the narrative approach. This workshop will be suitable for counselors, social workers, psychologists, teachers and therapists who would like to re-invigorate their work with children and young people especially in the school setting.

We will provide an overview of narrative ways of working that include:

  • Deconstructing dominant discourses prevalent in the school context.
  • Responding to problem stories that are taking up too much room in the young person’s life and that are threatening to overwhelm them.
  • Bringing curiosity and a sense of exploration to our enquiries into young people, parents’ and teachers’ know-how and skills in responding to problems.
  • Developing stories of the young person’s, parents’ and teachers’ agency in responding to difficulties.
  • Creating communities of connection
Resource Persons: Prathama Raghavan, Shahid Shaikh and Shamin Mehrotra

Venue: YMCA International House (Mumbai Central)

Rapping Poetries: A culturally democratic approach to healing.

As cultural diversity increasingly becomes the norm, therapeutic approaches must move past inclusion and towards a model of people from non-European communities speaking on behalf of their own healing in their own cultural languages. This calls for a model beyond multiculturalism toward cultural democracy. This workshop will seek to demonstrate anti-colonial practices through the use of hip-hop, poetry, and narrative therapy that help facilitate change using language and metaphors that are culturally near and draw on the knowledge of indigenous communities. This is built on the premise that when we invite a person’s preferred method of healing into our conversations it gives people the moral stamina to continue on with living. The practice story that will be used shows rap music and the hip-hop culture in which it resides being used as the primary therapeutic language with a young black man named Ray.

Shor poetry group believes that poetries are a way to make visible the unsaid. Poetries give a form of rhythm to our resistance to the oppressive ways of this world. It allows us to express ourselves in our preferred ways blurring the lines between stories and poems.

In the two day workshop Travis and Shor poetry group will explore :

  • Difference between multicultural and culturally democratic anticolonial approach.
  • Use of narrative questions to invite people to discover their own cultural traditions of healing.
  • Use of expressive arts in healing
  • Rescuing poetries hidden in every conversation, actions and our day to day life.
  • Poetries as a way to collectively heal, link lives and challenge systems of oppression.
Resource Persons – Travis Heath and The Shor Poetry Club

Venue: Ummeed Child Development Center- Training Facility (Parel)

This workshop will share some of the Narrative practices that have been found useful in working with people’s experiences of difficulty and trauma in their lives.  As well as contributing to a sense of helplessness and vulnerability, trauma can have the effect of making people feel that they are ‘stuck’ in the past events and not able to ‘do’ life.

A Narrative approach offers many  possibilities  for hope in these circumstances. It picks up on the ways in which people, even young children, have responded to what has been difficult or traumatic and this can give entry points to develop stories of personal agency rather than victimhood.

Narrative ways of working also have us looking at how to bring forward story lines that serve to make sense of the on-going painful experience of trauma. The opportunity to understand this pain as being a reflection of the person valuing certain dearly held beliefs about life (that have been transgressed) will be looked at.

In exploring the affective experiences felt in the body, we can be supported by findings from neuroscience about the ways in which our neurobiology is organised to respond to threat and danger.  This can help people who have experienced trauma to be able to make sense of both their actions at the time and subsequent on-going effects of the trauma, that can often continue to be difficult and debilitating.

In this workshop we will examine memory systems and how we store difficult or traumatic memories. This will support us to think about how we can bring language and words and stories to what are initially only body memories of emotional pain and distress.


In this workshop the participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the ways in which the various micro-practices of Narrative Therapy are supported by findings from the world of neuroscience.
  • Develop appreciation of the links between neuroscience and narrative responses to working with trauma and difficulties in people’s lives.
  • Attend to the possibility of re-traumatisation and the importance of establishing places of solid ground and “islands of safety” in the context of therapy.
  • Develop skills in bringing forward stories of the ways in which people/communities have responded to trauma.
  • Gain an enhanced understanding of the impact of trauma on a person or community’s sense of identity.
  • Utilize appropriate pathways to scaffold the development of stories of personal agency.
  • Employ the practice of the ‘absent but implicit’ to encode implicit experience as explicit memories.
Resource Person – Maggie Carey, Gabriela Jauregui

Post Conference (03 - 04 February, 2020)

Registrations: 8.30 to 9.30 am
Workshop Timings: 9.30 am to 5 pm

Venue: YMCA International House (Mumbai Central)

Supervision is a safe space within which there is learning, skill development, reflection on practice and development of professional identity and new ideas. It also provides a space to look at what is proving difficult in the work and to explore preferred responses to these difficulties and discuss complex ethical dilemmas.

The 2-day training will be based on the key ideas of narrative practice that apply to supervision and include a thorough exploration of the position of the supervisor and negotiating the relationship between supervisor and supervisees. One of the key skills that will be explored includes developing skills of supervisors to support professional development of their supervisees using the ideas and practices of rich story development of skills, abilities and preferred ways of working of the supervisees.

Topics that we will explore include:

  1. Understanding the influence of discourses (Power and others) and supervisors’ values and ethics on the process of supervision
  2. Deconstructing these discourses in the context of supervision
  3. Key ideas of narrative practice that apply to supervision and the narrative metaphor
  4. Exploring the position of the supervisor and negotiating the relationship between supervisor and supervisees.
  5. Exploring the skill of rich story development of supervisees identity:
    • Supporting supervisees to richly describe preferred stories of their ways of working.
    • Making supervisees’ ‘knowledges and skills’ in addressing the problems that come up during work more visible.
Resource persons: Shona Russell and Jehanzeb Baldiwala

Venue: YMCA International House (Mumbai Central)

From a Narrative perspective to Therapy and Community Work we acknowledge that the problem is the problem, people are never the problem, people and communities have relationships with the problem, but relationships change.  If problems aren’t located within people, we can recognize that  they are located in inequalities within  the social-cultural-historical context. Documents have been used to control and categorize people, they have been used to represent and to marginalize. The archive, report cards, the DSM, and countless books and films to name a few have been complicit in reproducing very narrow understandings on what a worthwhile life looks like.

In this workshop we will explore ideas and examples of documents that subvert dominant discourses, documents that celebrate the particular, the strange, the unique, the extraordinary. Documents that expose problems and the ways in which they operate, documents that link lives together, that open up cracks in the walls of our therapy rooms, and open up space for hope. We will practice different approaches to crafting documents that use the written form in creative ways, but we will also explore ways to transcend the written word and delve into body, image and other media.

In this two days, Alfonso and Raviraj will lead you into an exploration to discover:

  • Ideas and inspirations to craft documents that contribute to rich story development.
  • Co-create collective documents as way to bring people together.
  • Develop strategies to be clear on what the purpose of a document is, and what is the best format to honour that purpose.
  • Explore the medium of cards, letters, songs, poems, murals, images and bodies as documents.
Resource Persons – Alfonso Diaz and Raviraj Shetty

Venue: YMCA International House (Mumbai Central)

A narrative approach is an effective way of working with children in responding to a wide range of issues. The ideas and practices make it possible to engage with children who experience neurodevelopmental diversity in a way that allows them and others to see the skills and knowledge they have already. It allows clinicians to respond to the struggles the children experience in a way that acknowledges and respects these skills.  Using narrative practices and ideas of family centered care also makes it possible to collaborate with young people and their families to make them partners in this journey of therapy.

This two day workshop will be a practice based exploration of narrative ways of working with children experiencing neurodevelopmental diversity and their families. We will share examples of our work with children to highlight principles of practice, as well explore dilemmas that are commonly faced in the work. There will be opportunities for participants to both experience and reflect upon the key practices of the narrative approach.

This workshop will be suitable for counselors, social workers, psychologists, teachers and therapists, community workers and workers who would like to explore using narrative ideas in their work with neurodiversity.

Key areas that the workshop will focus on include:

  • Developing and Understanding the thinking and communication differences associated with autism and sensory motor diversity
  • Exploring various neurobehavioral and engagement strategies to support individuals with neurodevelopmental differences to best benefit from counseling
  • Exploring activities to support preferred identity developments, including ways to support individuals with language and communication challenges
  • Working with families and family centred care using narrative ideas
Resource Persons: Courtney Olinger and Dr. Vibha Krishnamurthy

Venue: Ummeed Child Development Center- Training Facility (Parel)

The circumstances, in which people are born, grow up and live are determinant in their health and wellbeing. The lack of equity, food or housing, the practices and policies that exclude or discriminate have a profound impact in our ability to keep our physical, mental social and spiritual wellbeing. In our daily work, we hear our youth and adults talking about their problems, diseases and concerns. We help and support them with therapeutic practices, social services, educational programs and more. Very often, we are left unsatisfied and frustrated because we know that what we are doing is not enough. We know that the kid, the woman, the grandfather, the former prisoner, the victim of domestic violence, the transgender person will have many difficulties navigating a world that lack equity, opportunities and justice.

In this workshop:

  • Participants will have the space to engage in a conversation about these topics from our different positions and identities in life.
  • Through dialogue and a variety of dynamics, participants will examine opportunities to do something to change the circumstances and create better and safer communities as we involve and accompany those same impacted communities   in the process.
  • Participants will have opportunities to reflect on their own practice as they hear concrete examples from the field on how to engage and join communities that will be shared by America and Rakesh.
  • This will be a space to reflect, learn, unlearn, share, remember and refuel with energy and ideas to support our communities to become stronger, healthier, safer and prosperous.
Resource Persons – America Bracho and Rakesh Ghone

Venue: Ummeed Child Development Center- Training Facility (Parel)

Qualitative research is a process of inquiry that seeks in-depth understanding of the “why’s” and “how’s” of social phenomena within their natural setting. As such, qualitative researchers are interested in ascertaining the direct experiences of human beings; recognizing that all humans are meaning-making agents in their everyday lives. The aim of this workshop is to explore the resonance between the principles of narrative practice, storying, and qualitative research as a gateway to new understandings.

This workshop emphasizes an interactive and participatory approach. By the end, participants will have a foundation from which to commence their qualitative research journey. Specifically participants will have:

  1. An understanding of the principles of qualitative research
  2. The beginnings of a research proposal including a formulated research question, identified recruitment and sampling techniques and chosen methods for data collection
  3. A plan for implementing their research proposal in practice

In preparation for this workshop participants are requested to bring an identified topic/area which can be used to build the research proposal

Resource Person – Shoba Nayar