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The Therapeutic Use of Narrative and Life Review
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When: Saturday, May 11, 2019
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Where: NASW-NYC Chapter Office
305 7th Avenue
13th Floor
New York, New York  10001
United States

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This workshop will examine the meaning and value of personal narrative in the lives of our clients. Participants will learn how narrative may be used to therapeutic effect in a range of clinical and non-clinical settings, with a focus on client-worker intersubjectivity and cultural sensitivity. The bio-psycho-social effects of the trauma narrative will be considered, along with the development of skills for coping with vicarious traumatization during the listening process. The relationship between narrator and listener, and the intersection of public and private themes, will also be explored. The presenter is “bi-lingual” in social work and oral history. She will delineate where these fields converge and diverge, and then elucidate the co-construction of life-affirming narratives in both disciplines.


The course will broaden the concept of treatment by integrating narrative into a variety of clinical models. Case histories will be presented to illustrate a range of narrative techniques. Case study represents a fundamental element in the teaching of social work. It may be a simple anecdote, or a complex narrative, but it is essentially a story. The therapeutic value of narrative, while long recognized anecdotally, has shown clinical efficacy with empirical support in more recent research. But evidence-based findings often neglect the personal story. Diagnosis may offer a snapshot view of an individual, but tells us little about subjective experience, which may better be understood through the lens of narrative.


The workshop will be experiential and interactive. Students should be prepared to participate in narrative-based exercises. An environment of openness, with careful consideration of diverse perspectives, experiences, and practices, will support and guide the discussion. Self-assessments will determine the efficacy of this approach for the attendees as practitioners.



With this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the process of co-constructing narratives with clients.
  • Analyze narrative in the context of the life course.

  • Consider the importance of belief systems and cultural contexts for narrative work.

  • Learn how to enrich assessment and intervention using a narrative approach.

  • Understand the importance of public narrative in advocacy on a macro level.



NASW Member: $120 | Non-Member: $210


6 SW Contact Hours





Lauren Taylor, MA, MS, LCSW, an oral historian and psychiatric social worker, is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. Ms. Taylor has been on staff since 1994 at the Service Program for Older People, a mental health clinic for older adults in New York City, and has a private practice.


As an oral historian Ms. Taylor has extensive experience conducting life history interviews with older adults, both in the U.S. and abroad, and has lectured and been published on the therapeutic use of narrative.





NASW-NYC Certificates Policy


As per New York State Continuing Education guidelines, attendees must arrive on time and attend the ENTIRE workshop to receive their Continuing Education Contact Hours. Any attendees who arrive late or leaves early to a workshop will not receive their certificate, will not be allowed admittance into the workshop and is also not eligible for a refund in any way. Please check transportation schedules ahead of time and plan accordingly.


We are currently transitioning from providing paper certificates to electronic ones. Please ensure that your registration information is accurate (name, e-mail, license type and number) as this will impact your continuing education certificates. NASW-NYC is not responsible for the accuracy of your registration information. To receive your certificate of completion, on the workshop date, please sign-in with your time and before you leave, sign-out with your time. Please allow up to 30 calendar days after the workshop date to receive your certificate.



NASW-NYC Refund Policy


All refund requests must be submitted by e-mail to workshops.naswnyc@socialworkers.orgRefund e-mails must include the subject line "Refund Request" as well as the attendee's name, workshop date and title in the body of the e-mail. Valid requests must be received no later than five business days prior to course date. NASW-NYC reserves the right to refuse any refunds requested later than five days prior to the course date.


All refunds are subject to a $20.00 administrative processing fee.

Refund requests typically require 1-2 weeks processing time.

Refunds ONLY; credit cannot be issued toward a future program date or substituted for another workshop.


If the workshop is cancelled, you will be informed ahead of time and fully refunded.



For any questions or issues, please contact


NASW New York City Chapter is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0027 and the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists #MFT-0060.

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