BANTR#5: Zemeira Singer, MFT

Zemeira Photo

Zemeira Singer, MFT reads her writing “The Game of Life” about her experiences working in community mental health in Alameda County California.  We discuss some of the personal, political, and professional dimensions of doing psychotherapy with families living in poverty.

Download episode here.

Zemeira currently does psychotherapy in private practice in Berkeley, CA.  She works with Adult Individuals and Couples, Children, Teens and Families on a variety of concerns including Adult Relationship Concerns, Blended Family Issues, Parenting Challenges, Teen-Parent Communication Issues, School Related Behavioral Problems and mood and attentional concerns like ADHD, Anger, Depression and Anxiety.

For more information on Zemeira Singer visit her website,

BANTR#4: Jeffrey Jamerson, MA

Jeffrey Jamerson Bio Detail

Jeffrey Jamerson, MA and Will Sherwin, MFT discuss Mr. Jamerson’s work with:

  • his history developing Expressive Remix with narrative therapy, expressive arts, and digital media arts with foster youth
  • the influence of Hip Hop and remix as a metaphor for change work
  • using digital media to develop pathways out of poverty

Download episode here.

Jeffrey Jamerson, MA in counseling psychology, PhD candidate at CIIS, has worked with foster youth for eighteen years. He is an assistant director of a foster care agency in Southern California. His early work as a filmmaker, DJ, and break-dancer showed him the power of story and creative self-expression. Hoping to create a shift in therapy with children, he has integrated narrative and expressive arts modalities with digital art, which he calls remix therapy. The objective of remix therapy is to re-vision a life story utilizing digital cameras, pictures, music, and voice-over.

Email Jeffrey Jamerson at


Expressive Remix’s Animated Mask activity

Expressive Remix’s digital story “Fostercare Blues”:

PeersTV interview with Beats Rhymes and Life co-founder Tomas Alvarez III and Domantae Wilson:


BANTR#3: The Musical Narrative Salon

On this episode of BANTR Radio, narrative therapists and social workers including Will Sherwin, Zemeira Singer, Scott Ralston, and Terry Becker discuss five songs that are evocative of narrative therapy principles.  Give a listen below.

Download episode here.

Nina Simone — “Ain’t Got No. . . I’ve Got Life”

Sixto Rodriguez — “This is Not a Song, It’s an Outburst: or The Establishment Blues”

Eric Clapton — “Tears in Heaven”

Dar Williams and Joan Baez — “You’re Aging Well”

Solomon Burke — “Don’t Give Up on Me”

BANTR#2: Shoshana Simons, PhD, RDT

Download episode here.

Will Sherwin sat down with Shoshana Simons, PhD, RDT to discuss :

  • How she got involved with narrative therapy and drama therapy.
  • How she goes about teaching students in the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) Expressive Arts Therapy Program.
  • Her work using the Tree of Life and her newly co-developed “Laundry of Life”.
  • What keeps us inspired.

Shoshana Simons PhD, RDT is Chair of CIIS’s Expressive Arts Therapy Program. Shoshana has a rich background in integrating performance and expressive arts structures into multiple contexts of work with children and adults in educational, therapeutic and larger systems.

Over the last several years, Shoshana has focused on developing an expressive arts-centered approach to narrative therapy. In particular, she has co-developed an innovative narrative collective practice with EXA faculty member, Danielle Drake Burnette called “Laundry of Life” which they have been using locally and globally with groups and communities facing serious life issues and challenges.

Shoshana’s current interests include: narrative expressive arts therapy practices, the use of expressive arts modalities for promoting and maintaining mental health for therapists and human service workers, the role of expressive arts in leadership & social change, and arts-based research methods, especially Cooperative Inquiry methodology. Her personal arts practices include improvisational theater, sacred chanting, creative writing and poetry. She’s currently learning to play the didgeridoo. She is particularly interested in creating opportunities for students in the Expressive Arts Therapy program to be of joyful, creative service to under-served populations in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Jan. 24, 2015 Peggy Sax Training in SF!

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BANTR and BAFTTA are very excited to bring Peggy Sax, PhD. to San Francisco for a training entitled:

Reclaiming community out of  personal catastrophe:  Communal practices that build on naturally sustaining webs.

When:  Saturday Jan. 24th from 10am-6pm.

Location:  Bayside SF at 450 Sutter Street (btw. Stockton St. and Powell St.), Suite 300 in San Francisco 94108.

Six CEUs available for MFTs, MSWs, and PhDs.

Workshop Description:

Built on ethical foundations of collaborative, relationally responsible practices and choice, this workshop will engage participants in ‘communal’ ways of working with others that challenge traditional assumptions of therapy as an individualized experience. Through video, audio, storytelling and group experiential work, registrants will explore and engage therapeutic practices that assist clients suffering from psychological catastrophe – worst nightmare scenarios – through supportive operations of community engagement, peer-to-peer sustainability, and transformative actions of giving back to others.

Peggy Sax, PhD practices as a licensed psychologist, family therapist and clinical supervisor in Middlebury, Vermont. Her teaching is imbued with learning from firsthand experiences as a therapist in her small town New England community. Dr. Sax is also an international consultant and workshop presenter and Executive Director of Re-authoring Teaching, Inc – a global learning community. She is author of the book, Re-authoring Teaching: Creating a Collaboratory, and the article, Re-claiming Community Out Of Catastrophe: Communal Practices That Build on Naturally Sustaining Webs. Her passion is in facilitating transformative dialogues that build communities, strengthen naturally sustaining webs of support, and transcend the barriers of geography, professional status, and other culturally-imposed experiences of difference.

Workshop Learning Objectives

1. Registrants will critically assess assumptions and practices that challenge notions of therapy as an isolated experience, through deconstructing real-life examples of catastrophe and subsequent responses of restoration and healing.

2. Registrants will explore ways to attend to their clients’ naturally sustaining webs of connection, and to apply these practices in their own work, lives and communities;

3. Registrants will learn specific lines of inquiry to foster social connectedness, not only within the family, but toward restoring a person’s sense of community-mindedness, solidarity and purpose.

Evaluation Criteria:

Attendance at workshop

Participation in discussions and practice exercises

Reading of assigned article

Fill out Evaluation Form at end of workshop

“Peggy Sax’s presentation in Vancouver at TC X a couple years ago was inspiring then and I’ve thought about since.  Her work with people whose children have died from overdose and suicide was so different than a standard therapeutic approach.  She was honoring and connecting in ways that cultivated hope and respect.  She also brought videos and they weren’t in offices — often they were shot with people in their homes and gardens.  I wanted to bring her here because of the lasting influence her work has had on me.”  — Julia Wallace

This workshop is geared to those with at least a basic foundation in narrative therapy.

When:  Saturday Jan. 24th from 10am-6pm.

Location:  Bayside SF, 450 Sutter Suite 300 in San Francisco.

Six CEUs available for MFTs, MSWs, and PhDs.

$150 if registered before December 15th, $175 if after December 15th.

$100 for interns and students before December 15th, $125 after December 15th.

if check:

Julia Wallace

(on memo line please write: BANTR Training)

110 Gough St. Suite 402.

San Francisco, CA 94102.

if paypal, go to and send money to:

BAFTTA is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. BAFTTA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

BANTR Radio #1: Julia Wallace and Will Sherwin

Will Sherwin is producing an internet radio show, BANTR Radio,  conversing with narrative therapists and community workers around the world.

For the first episode, Will compiled a list of quotations that have been helpful in his work.  He discussed these quotations with  BANTR co-organizer and co-instructor, Julia Wallace, LCSW, a narrative therapist in private practice in San Francisco. For more information on Julia Wallace go to

Download BANTR Radio episode #1

Julia Wallace, LCSW

Will Sherwin, MFT

1)  “People are profoundly influenced by the discourses around them.” — AATBS Study Guide for 2010 MFT licensing exam.

2)  ” …the postmodern argument is not against the various schools of therapy, only against their posture of authoritative truth.” — Kenneth Gergen

3)  “Therapy tends to privilege the individual rather than the set of relationships in which that individual lives.” — Kenneth Gergen

4)   “Where there is power, there is resistance.” — Michel Foucault

5)   “The narrative approach is characterized by an unshakable belief in the incomplete nature of all oppressions.” — John Winslade and Lorraine Hedtke, Narrative Therapy in Practice:  The archaeology of hope.

6)   “All of us are weirdly-abled.” — Stephen Madigan and David Epston


What is the theory of change from this narrative perspective?  One of my responses would be that the rich development of a subordinate storyline provides a foundation for people to address the problems and predicaments of their life.  It makes it possible to engage in actions that are healing in response to the traumas of their past.  It is this rich story development that provides that foundation.  People become aware of some actions they could take that would be more in harmony with what they’re learning about what’s important to them, about what they give value to, and about what they intend for their life.

It’s through this rich story development that some of these other conclusions become more visible and become more  influential in the shaping life.  There’s quite a focus on establishing a context in which people are able to give voice to what it is they do give value to that’s been continuous through their live; that’s represented in a range of responses to their predicaments.  And what it is that people intend for their lives.  It’s the rich development of these conclusions about one’s intentions and what one gives value to that provides a wonderful foundation for people to proceed with their life.  Suddenly people become aware of a whole range of options that would be in harmony with what they give value to and what they intend for their life.

— Michael White, Trauma and Narrative Therapy Part 1, 27 min.

8)   “. . . restoring the dignity and honor of young people and their families.”

“. . . shame, indignity, and dishonor dissolve in rich stories.”

— David Epston

Lorraine Hedtke, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D. Training April 12, 2014



Lorraine Hedtke Photo

If death doesn’t mean saying goodbye, how are we freed to grieve differently? Conversations will be constructed using innovative ideas that challenge prescriptive notions found in conventional grief psychology. The workshop shall show how to develop relational narratives that live on after a physical death. Attending this workshop will foster a sense or liveliness and provide a new way to think about death and grief, professionally and personally.  This workshop would be good for: counselors, psychologists, nurses, physicians, funeral celebrants, social workers, ministers, students, and those interested in new ideas about death, dying and bereavement.

Further information and articles can be found at

A personal note from Julia:
We are excited to offer this wonderful training!
The first time I had this training from Lorraine Hedtke (and John Winslade) I was invigorated and inspired in my work with folks dealing with dying, death and loss.  I love her literary approach to working with clients that explicitly rejects the prescriptive “stages” theories.
I’ve taken the training 2 more times and each time found my work improved.
That’s why I wanted to bring her to San Francisco!

Location:  Bayside SF at 450 Sutter Suite 300 in San Francisco.  10am-6pm.

Six CEUs available for MFTs and MSWs.  We would love to provide CEUs for nurses, psychologists, and physicians.  If you are part of a group that can sponsor, please let us know.

$150 if registered before March 15th, $175 if after March 15th.

$100 for interns and students before March 15th, $125 after March 15th.

if check:

Julia Wallace

(on memo line please write: BANTR Training)

110 Gough St. Suite 402.

San Francisco, CA 94102.

if paypal, go to and send money to:

Narrative Therapy Approaches to Undermine Anxiety and Depression

We hope some of you will enroll in a one-day class which we are teaching for UC Berkeley Extension entitled Narrative Approaches to Undermine Depression and Anxiety

Saturday March 22nd 9am-4pm at 425 Market St., 8th Floor   San Francisco, CA

To enroll:

Experienced and new narrative practitioners are both invited and experienced practitioners will be working separately for the first half of the day, thus no review of the basics.

For experienced practitioners the focus will be on crafting questions in guided exercises and case consultation (context consultation), so feel free to bring whatever is flummoxing or challenging you.

For folks who are newer to narrative, there will be lecture, videos, and exercises on foundational narrative approaches.

Both groups will gather to review transcripts and videos.

Please let us know if you have signed up for this and you are more experienced with narrative.  That would help us with planning.

Do you want any topics covered in particular?  Email us.  If you have any questions feel free to email Will Sherwin at

We hope to see you there — we are excited to offer a full-day with CEUs for our community.


Julia and Will

Jill Freedman and Gene Combs Training January 11th and 12th

Bay Area Narrative Therapy Resource (BANTR) and Bayside SF present:

Jill and Gene flyer Jan 2014

The workshop will be held, thanks to Bayside SF, at 450 Sutter suite 300. Saturday, Jan. 11th will be from 10 am to 6pm. Sunday, Jan. 12th will be from 9 am to 5 pm.

Jill Freedman and Gene Combs have been dedicated to teaching narrative therapy for more than two decades. They wrote Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities and Narrative Therapy with Couples…and a whole lot more! a collection of papers, essays and exercises. They offer year long (sometimes two year long) trainings (weekends- no need to be local) and intensive workshops.

Gene is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, where he is director of behavioral sciences in the NorthShore University HealthSystem Family Medicine residency program. Jill is the Director of Evanston Family Therapy Center. They have consulted to schools, social service agencies and businesses.


Because we are asking Jill and Gene to focus on couples therapy, the basics of narrative will not be covered. To benefit your training, prior training and experience with the narrative therapy approach is recommended.

Discount hotel might be announced. Check back for info.

If you’d like to be hosted by someone in the narrative community here in the SF Bay Area, let us know.

$275 if before Dec. 15th.

for students and interns, $225 if before Dec. 15th.

$300 if after Dec. 15th.

for students and interns, $250 if after Dec. 15th.

if check:

Julia Wallace

(on memo line please write: BANTR Training)

110 Gough St. Suite 402.

San Francisco, CA 94102.

if paypal, go to and send money to:

Upcoming Narrative Therapy Trainings

Lorraine Hedtke, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D.  – April 12th, 2014

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”  Lorraine’s work represents a departure from conventional ways in which death and grief are thought of. Her teaching and writing embodies innovative post-modern theory and practical applications about “re-membering conversations”. This relational way of thinking about grief affirms that our stories can potentially transcend our physical limitations as living points of strength, resource and love. Further information and articles can be found at