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Monterey County Chapter 

Playing With Possibilities: Narrative Approaches to Generating Questions & Counter-Story Inquiries

  • 10 Sep 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Outdoors at a private residence, Monterey
  • 3


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Playing With Possibilities:
Narrative Approaches to Generating Questions & Counter-Story Inquiries

Space is limited for this intimate Salon! 

Sunday, September 10, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm 

with Chad Dispenza, MA, MS Brian Wainwright, MS, LMFT  

A Light lunch and refreshments will be included


 9:45 am Arrive, Sign-in, Mingle

10:00 - 11:45 am Workshop

11:45 am - 12:30 pm Lunch Break

12:20 - 2:00 pm Workshop


This is an introductory workshop for therapists who are interested in narrative therapy and narrative ideas who would like to enrich their practice with the power of story.  In this workshop, participants will gain a basic understanding of narrative therapy and practices which may enhance clinical skills, including: 

Identifying stories in the therapeutic context. 

Separating people from problems.

How narrative conversations open up therapeutic space and possibilities.

Additional emphasis for this specific half-day workshop will introduce:

  • Entry points for narrative inquiry, including generating questions that foster counter-story development.

  • The deconstruction of social discourses, negotiating meaning, and de-centering ‘expert knowledge.’

  • Recognizing distinctions between this approach vs. others (ex: diagnostic assessment, teaching skills, etc.)

  • Centering client knowledge as foundational to constructing possibilities.

  • Consulting with our clients on pathways forward for their lives

Learning Objectives: 

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Engage in externalizing language when discussing client-centered problem(s). Example: A shift from adjectives (ex: “depressed”, describing the client) to nouns (“depression”, naming the problem as separate from the client).
  2. Identify points of entry for narrative inquiry in clinical work (conversations with clients).
  3. Generate questions that support counter-story development in the therapeutic context.
  4. Explain at least two (2) benefits of centering ‘client knowledge’ / de-centering ‘expert knowledge.’

Presenter Bios:

Brian’s Bio:

My interest as a professional helper has always been a little unorthodox. I've been drawn to working with those who are often written off as too difficult to work with, too resistant, or painted as having no hope. As a Narrative Therapist I find myself interested in working with people and families unsure about how to move forward in their life.

Working from a Narrative frame has allowed me to sit with my clients in a way that keeps me aligned with my personal values and heart for the work. I’ve participated in over 250 hours of Narrative Therapy training, workshops, and conferences, facilitated consultation groups, and have had the honor of being mentored by David Epston and his contemporaries. I’ve spent over 14,500 hours sitting alongside people hoping against hope and reaching for hope. My clinical experience has taken me from working in the LGBTQ+ community, Outpatient Clinics, Juvenile Justice, and Homeless Veterans. In every instance, Narrative therapy has assisted me in connecting with, co-baring, and learning what's possible in the lives of those I meet with.  And in every instance, I find myself reminded of the power of the innovation people are capable of when given the opportunity to witness their personal geniuses, competencies, and self-invention.

Chad’s Bio:

Chad Dispenza, MA, MS, is new-ish to the Monterey Peninsula after residing nearly a decade in Southern California where he received his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles. A native of Upstate New York, Chad also holds a Master of Science in Creativity & Change Leadership from the Center for Applied Imagination at SUNY Buffalo State University along with additional recent certificate coursework around his interests in digital wellbeing from The Digital Wellness Institute as well as MIT.

Chad continues to engage in ongoing narrative training through the Re-Authoring Teaching Collaboratory, a global consortium of narrative practitioners who promote ongoing training and professional development in a narrative approach to therapy, organizational, and community work.

He is excited to welcome you to his backyard for this event, meet new faces, and share narrative ideas with fellow area mental health professionals.

3 CEs and lunch are included in the registration cost for this presentation


Licensed MC-CAMFT Members:  $15

Pre-Licensed MC-CAMFT Members: $10

Non-Members and Guests:  $25

Course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credits for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs, as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


Please contact Kate Newhouse at


Please Note: Certificates of completion will be awarded at the completion of the workshop to those who attend the workshop in its entirety, sign in and out, and complete the course evaluation form.

MC-CAMFT is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs and maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  Provider# 050097.

Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals

  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

  • LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

  • For questions about enrolling in CE or receiving your Certificate of Attendance, email


Because this is a space limited event, please let us know ASAP if you are unable to attend so we can make space for others.  

You may cancel for a full refund up to 15 days in advance of the event, or a 50% refund between 5 and 14 days in advance of the event. No refunds for cancellations within 4 days of the event or for no-shows or failure to attend due to emergencies. Unused funds cannot be applied to future workshops. All requests for refunds must be submitted by email at

The Monterey County Chapter of the California Association of Marriage Family Therapists (MC-CAMFT)  is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

P.O. Box 3092, Monterey, CA 93942

Located on Ancestral Native Lands of Rumsen/Ohlone/Esselen Peoples

MC-CAMFT Grievance Policy:  If a grievance regarding CEUs is brought to the attention of the MC-CAMFT Board the board will review it and will vote on the validity of the grievance.  If the grievance is proven valid by the Board a full or partial refund will be given.

ADA Compliance:  All MC-CAMFT luncheons and conferences are held in accessible locations.

Sponsorship Disclaimer:  Products and services described or advertised in these materials occur by contractual business arrangements between MCCAMFT and participating companies and organizations. These arrangements do not constitute or imply MCCAMFT’s endorsement of these products and services. Further, MCCAMFT cannot make specific recommendations for such products, programs or services.

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