Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice

AFT (NI) An Introduction to Narrative Therapy + AGM

AFT (NI) are pleased to invite you to an in person event (6 hours CPD)

Date: Thursday 21 March, 2024
9.30am – 4.30pm (approx)
Venue: Newry Conference Centre
Cost: £80 per person (including lunch)

Workshop Facilitator: Thérèse Hegarty began her career as a primary teacher and spent 20 years as a teacher in West Tallaght, Dublin, where she was involved in the development of the Support Teacher project, a pilot project to address the needs of children showing social and emotional distress. She was also part of the advisory group prior to the development of the National Educational Psychological Service [NEPS]. She lectured at the Froebel College of Education and later at Maynooth University, when one of her courses to second year BEd students involved an introduction to Narrative Practice.

She undertook a Masters in Family Therapy at the Mater Hospital [UCD] between 2000 and 2003 and managed a community-based Family Therapy service at the Community Addiction Response Programme (CARP) in Killinarden, West Tallaght from 2003 to 2023. She travelled to Adelaide in 2007/2008 to study with Michael White and was awarded the International Diploma in Narrative Therapy and Community Work. She now teaches Narrative Therapy to individuals and organisations throughout Ireland.

How to book your place: via Eventbrite

Venue: Newry Conference Centre, 39-41 The Mall, Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland. BT34 1AT. Google Map. Post Code: 5MF6+V7 Newry

Contacts: For any queries about the venue and how to get there, please contact Pauline at the Conference Centre Booking Office on 028 3025 5790 or email For registration or programme queries please contact Margaret Fawcett (AFT NI Chair) at

Conference Information: Narrative Therapy emerged in the 1980s as a result of a collaboration between Michael White in Adelaide and David Epston in Auckland. Both were working in paediatric hospitals at the time. Their seminal book Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends (Norton 1990) outlines the theoretical influences behind the work and some of the emerging practices. Michael White’s Maps of Narrative Practice (Norton 2007) published a year before his death, is a distillation of how his practice emerged over the years.

In this workshop we will explore what it means to use ‘Maps’ in therapy. Through case studies, demonstrations and experiential exercises we will learn about two of these maps in particular: Externalising and Reauthoring.

People often come to see us when they are struggling under the weight of negative identity conclusions. The dominant story they tell about themselves can be problem saturated.

Using the Externalising Map, we create a space for people to explore their relationship with these problems. Not all problems can be solved but people can assess the impact of problems on their lives and develop agency in addressing them.

While working with the problem story, the narrative therapist practices a kind of double listening, an awareness for those aspect of the person’s life which fall outside the problem story. Using a Reauthoring Map these events can be explored, bringing to light preferred storylines. A kind of recalibration of the person’s story may be possible then.

This workshop is suitable for family therapists, social workers, youth and community workers, psychologists or others who are working on supporting preferred identity stories with people.

There will be a chance for twelve participants to continue their study of Narrative Therapy by engaging with 8 Zoom sessions during September and October, each lasting 2½ hours. This additional training will cost €320. These twelve people will then be awarded a Level One certificate in Narrative Therapy which is equivalent to the Level One awarded by the Dulwich Centre. Those interested should contact Therese by email after the workshop (