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Narrative Therapy & Cultural Sensitivity

Fri, November 1, 2019

Narrative Therapy and Cultural Sensitivity: Responding to People Who Have Suffered Hardships and Trauma

Presenter: Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo

At The NonProfit Center
89 South Street
Boston, MA 02111

For our our 10th Annual Fall Workshop, NTI is excited to announce that our guest presenter is Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo, who is known internationally for her narrative community work. In 1996, Ncazelo co-developed the “Tree of Life” Project to assist African children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. The enthusiastic world-wide response to this narrative-informed project helped Ncazelo step even more fully into an exploration of culturally sensitive counseling services for people who have experienced severe hardships and trauma.

Ncazelo’s explorations led her to the development what she calls the Imbeleko Approach to Therapeutic Practice, which integrates narrative practice and cultural sensitivity. In her work, Ncazelo is committed to foregrounding cultural knowledges and local wisdoms about healing and recovery. For this workshop, she will introduce us to Imbeleko through a project called COURRAGE, which developed out of a partnership with six women living in informal settlements in northern Johannesburg, South Africa. These women faced significant hardships, and Ncazelo will share how collective narrative work produced stories that feature these women’s strengths, skills, and courage in the face of immense sorrow and grief. [COURRAGE draws significantly from the work of Linda Tuhiwai Smith (2012) who describes 25 indigenous projects.]

Important Imbeleko principles covered in this workshop include: 

  • Using home-grown strategies and local skills to facilitate healing and recovery
  • Harnessing cultural strengths to promote healing and recovery
  • Focusing on transformative therapeutic practices that support people to take action and become agents of change
  • Using collective and collaborative therapeutic practices
  • Adapting existing therapies to fit within local culture and context
  • Creating genuine partnerships with people affected by problems
  • Facilitating social connectedness 
  • Ensuring that we do no harm and work in ways that facilitate emotional safety
  • Inviting joy, laughter, fun, and a light-hearted approach in tackling problems
  • Celebrating Kartharsis or movement through song and dance

This workshop is designed for people who have been introduced to the Narrative Worldview, although all are welcome to attend. If you are not familiar with narrative therapy and the Narrative Worldview, we encourage you to register for our online training on Thursday, October 31, titled "What Is Narrative Therapy?" This training will orient you to the basic ideas and principles of the Narrative Worldview, in preparation for Ncazelo's presentation. If you register for both trainings, you will receive a $25 discount. 

For a follow-up and more advanced exploration of culturally sensitive narrative community practice, we are offering a second day of training with Ncazelo on Saturday, November 2, for a limited number of participants. Click here to learn more and register for that event.

Registration Fees:

  • Early Bird rate, by October 11 -- $130; $80 for students/seniors
  • Regular rate, after October 11 -- $150; $90 for students/seniors
  • NTI Member rate -- $135 regular rate; $117 Early Bird rate

Additional Information:

  • Group Rate: A discount is available for groups of four or more people from a single agency or organization; to register a group, email [email protected].
  • Food: A light breakfast and coffee service will be provided in the morning, and coffee and snacks will be provided in the afternoon. There will be a one-hour break for lunch.
  • CEUs: We are applying for 6 CEUs for LICSWs, LMFTs, and LMHCs. We are not currently a CE provider for psychologists. If you will need a CE certificate, please order one in the registration form.
  • Public Transportation: The NonProfit Center is within walking distance of Boston's South Station.
  • Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be given up to 14 days prior to the event minus a $25 cancellation processing fee; within 14 days of the event, no refunds will be provided.
  • Questions? Email NTI at [email protected].

Driving Directions 

Contact - Narrative Therapy Initiative

978-743-9684
[email protected]

Presenter Bio: 

Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo is the pioneer and co-developer of the Tree of Life Counselling Methodology. She is a psychologist, narrative therapist, and psychosocial specialist with over 15 years’ experience working in the area of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. She specializes in designing programs and interventions for various vulnerable groups and communities. Her work has largely focused on supporting children, women, and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, poverty, and conflict in East and Southern Africa. Ncazelo has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe, and Australia, providing training in responding to hardships and trauma and sharing her experiences with mental health practitioners. Over the years, Ncazelo’s work has focused on developing culturally sensitive therapies to respond to the hardships and trauma experienced by children, women, and communities.Learn more about Ncazelo at www.phola.org.

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