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Plenary Presenters

Presenting in Plenary #1 on Friday Morning: 

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Karl Tomm, MD FRCPC, is a Professor of Psychiatry in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. In 1973 he founded the Family Therapy Program which became the Calgary Family Therapy Centre where he continues as the Director. Karl is interested in the application of systems theory, narrative theory, social constructionism, and

bringforthism to therapy. His work has focused on clarifying patterns of interaction in families, the effects of social injustices on relationships, the influence on therapists of the distinctions they draw, and the possible therapeutic effects of the questions asked in the doing of therapy.


Hopes for a Generative Gathering


Dr. Lorraine M. Wright, C.M., is Professor Emeritus of Nursing, University of Calgary. She is also an international speaker, author/blogger, and consultant in family nursing and family therapy.

Dr. Wright’s most recent books are: Illness Beliefs (3 rd ed) (2021); Nurses and Families: A guide to family assessment and intervention (7th ed) (2019); and Suffering and Spirituality: The Path to Illness Healing (2017). She has developed 4 clinicial practice models: the Trinity Model (advanced 

practice) and co-developed the Illness Beliefs Model (advanced practice) and co-developed the Calgary Family Assessment and Intervention Models (generalist practice).


From Clinical Skills to Softening Suffering : Bringing forth Love

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John Burnham is a systemic psychotherapist working in the independent and public sectors of the UK. His practice includes therapy, supervision, training, consultation, and

writing. His main clinical work is with children, young people, and families at Parkview Clinic in Birmingham where he is employed as a Consultant Systemic and Family

Psychotherapist and formerly was Head of the Systemic Training Programme. As well as training in the UK he teaches in a variety of contexts including Scandinavia, Netherlands, Greece, Singapore, USA, and South America. He is sole author of the classic text ‘Family Therapy: First steps towards a systemic approach’ published by Routledge, and editor of the Special Edition of Human Systems known as ‘Voices from the Training Context’. His model ‘Approach, Method and

Technique’ is widely used in a variety of training contexts. His professional passions include ‘thinking theory and talking ordinary’ and ‘turning practice into theory’.

Co-Presenting with Alison Roper-Hall


Whatever next... Generative developments emerging over time...

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Alison Roper- Hall. With a degree in psychology and a masters in neurophysiology, Alison spent nearly ten years in brain research at Cambridge and Oxford Universities before training in clinical psychology. 

She anticipated specializing in neuropsychology but instead saw the relevance of systemic thinking from her  understanding of neural systems and trained in 

systemic psychotherapy. Working in the NHS, based on her home turf of the West Midlands during the 80s, she first pioneered applying systemic ideas in work within older adult services. Later she took on the task of developing psychological services across the lifespan in Primary Care in Birmingham UK. These services were systemic both in their organization and in offering a range of systemic therapies for individuals, couples and families. Alongside her clinical and managerial work, Alison has been a key member of the Birmingham Systemic Training Programme. Since leaving clinical work she has been enjoying neglected areas of her life such as painting, travelling, sewing, and exploring and writing about her family history.

Co-Presenting with John Burnham


Whatever next... Generative developments emerging over time...

Presenting in Plenary #2 on Friday Afternoon: 

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Dr. Imelda McCarthy ( works as a systemic therapist/supervisor at the Fifth Province Centre in Dublin. She also facilitates a weekly

meditation group and Spiritual Direction under the Fifth Province Sangha. Her work on the Fifth Province has been published and presented internationally in

over 20 countries and has been translated into 8 languages. She is one of the co-founders of the Family Therapy Association of Ireland and the first FT training

programmes in Ireland. She has also been on the editorial boards of Major international systemic therapy journals in Ireland, USA, UK and Australia. She also co-edited two international books with Carmel Flaskas and Jim Sheehan, ‘Hope and Despair in Narrative and Family Therapy’ (2007) and with Gail Simon, Systemic Therapy as Transformative Practice (2017) Imelda retired from 30 years teaching in Social Science at University College Dublin and initiated their first PhD programme in Families and Systemic Therapies.


At a Crossroads: Some Musings from a Fifth Province


Sheila McNamee is Professor Emerita of 

Communication at the University of New Hampshire

and co-founder and Vice President of the Taos Institute ( Her work is focused on dialogic transformation within a variety of social and institutional contexts including psychotherapy, education, healthcare, organizations, and communities. She is author of several books and articles, including Practicing Therapy as Social Construction (with E. Rasera & P. Martins, Sage Publications, 2022), Design Thinking and Social Construction (with C. Camargo-Borges, BIS, 2022), Research and Social Change: A Relational Constructionist Approach (with D. M. Hosking, Routledge, 2012), Relational Responsibility: Resources for Sustainable Dialogue (with K. Gergen, Sage, 1999), and Education as Social Construction: Contributions to Theory, Research, and Practice, co-edited with T. Dragonas, K. Gergen, E. Tseliou (Taos WorldShare, 2015). Professor McNamee has written extensively about alternative visions of social research.

Co-Presenting with Jack Lannamann


Dissing Quiet: On the Generativity of Raising (other) Voices 


John Lannamann is an Emeritus Associate Professor of Communication at the University of

New Hampshire and an Associate of the Taos Institute. From 2005 through 2017 he was a

member of the graduate faculty in the Program in Social Psychology at the University of

Parma, Italy. Professor Lannamann’s work explores the implications of social

constructionist approaches for understanding embodiment and technology. Another

theme in his recent work is the exploration of dialogic coordination in therapeutic settings

and in end-of-life communication patterns. His published work assessing the possibilities

and limitations of social constructionist approaches to the study of human interaction

appear in Theory and Psychology, Human Systems, Family Process, Journal of Family Therapy,

Communication Theory, Communication Monographs, The Journal of Strategic and Systemic

Therapies, and a number of other scholarly journals and books.

Co-Presenting with Sheila McNamee


Dissing Quiet: On the Generativity of Raising (other) Voices 


Laura Fruggeri, Psychologist and Psychotherapist. She completed her training in systemic therapy with Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin with whom she has also collaborated ever since for many years. Former Professor of Psychology of Family Relationship at the University of Parma, she is now Director of the Bologna Centre of Family Therapy. She has been extensively teaching in UK, Europe, North and South America for more than three decades. Presenter at main national and international conferences. She is author of more than a hundred publications in Italian, English, French, Spanish, Danish and German.


The Generativity Emerging from Therapist's Changing Position and Language

Presenting in Plenary #3 on Saturday Morning: 


Lance Taylor, R.Psych. I began my study of Solution Focused Brief Therapy with Steve de Shazer, Insoo

Kim Berg at the Brief Family Therapy Centre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These learnings have been

nurtured through 30 years working in Community Mental Health services as a therapist, supervisor,

manager, private practitioner and trainer. In therapeutic conversations with clients and collaboration

with colleagues, I seek to simplify my practice and description of the solution focus. I relish the

resonance with the bringforthist practice framework at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre and enjoy the

fruitful meeting between the solution focus and the IPscope.


Solution Focused Pathway into Generativity


David Denborough works as a community worker, teacher and writer/editor for Dulwich Centre. He is particularly interested in cross-cultural partnerships which limit the chances of psychological colonization and create possibilities for cross-cultural inventions

Co-Presenting with Cheryl White, Justin Butler, and  Angel Yuen


Moments of Generative Disquiet from the History of Narrative Therapy 


Cheryl White works at Dulwich Centre as publisher, editor, teacher, training co-ordinator, conference host, and initiator of projects. 

Co-Presenting with David Denborough, Justin Butler, and Angel Yuen


Moments of Generative Disquiet from the History of Narrative Therapy 


Justin Butler is a Kalkatungu, Bandjin, Warragamy, Jirrbal and Tagalaka Aboriginal man. He graduated with First Class Honours in the Masters of Narrative Therapy and Community Work in 2016. Justin currently works for the Queensland Department of Education in Australia. Using narrative principles, Justin has led engagement of multiple language groups across Queensland to co-design traditional language curriculum(s) to teach in schools.  Justin also works in a private practitioner role supporting families and communities to co-design locally resonant education models in remote Aboriginal contexts. Justin is a board member of the Queensland Indigenous Language Advisory Committee.

Co-Presenting with Cheryl White, David Denborough, and  Angel Yuen


Moments of Generative Disquiet from the History of Narrative Therapy 

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Angel Yuen (she/her) works as a narrative therapist, supervisor, teacher and consultant in alternative-private practice in the Greater Toronto Area and is one of the co-founders of the Narrative Therapy Centre. She is the author of the book ’Pathways beyond despair: Re-authoring lives of young people through narrative therapy’ (2019). Angel also co-edited a book with Cheryl White in 2007 titled ‘Conversations about gender, culture, violence and narrative practice: Stories of hope and complexity from women of many cultures’.

Co-Presenting with Cheryl White, David Denborough, and  Justin Butler


Moments of Generative Disquiet from the History of Narrative Therapy 

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Stephen Madigan MSW, MSc, PhD, is an award-winning narrative therapist, best-selling therapy author, Training Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy, content manager of, long-time supervisor to Norway’s High Couple Conflict Teams, and wrote the first ever doctoral dissertation on narrative therapy. His therapy work is studied in Graduate University programs across the world through various media forms such as the American Psychological Associations production of a set of six professional learning videos filming his live narrative practice, and the 1st and 2nd Edition of his book Narrative Therapy, published in 2011 & 2019 (3 rd Edition out in 2023). Stephen teaches, trains, consults, and supervises world-wide.


Letter to the Next Generation of Therapists

Presenting in Plenary #4 on Saturday Afternoon: 


Kyriaki Polychroni, MA, CGP, LMFT, is a Psychologist, Systemic Psychotherapist, Faculty and Scientific Advisory Council member at the Athenian Institute of Anthropos (AIA) in Greece - the first center to practice family therapy in Europe. She is Past President of the European Family Therapy Association (EFTA), recognized for her major role in the networking and mutual learning of Family Therapy Trainers in Europe and, in 2016, honored by EFTA for her contribution to the field. Kyriaki is specialized in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and is Founder/Coordinator of the EFT Greek Network. Central to Kyriaki’s work is understanding culturally defined patterns of relating echoed in partners’ Inner Voices as a means for facilitating development; and sociocultural change influencing family functioning, particularly as related to the couple relationship and to the woman’s role.


Here-and-There: Inner and Outer Relational Disquiet

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Dan Wulff and Sally St. George. We have enjoyed working at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre and the University of Calgary for

the last 15 years, endeavoring to integrate social work and family therapy and research and

practice. Social constructionism has been our philosophical and theoretical home and has

nurtured our family therapy practice to focus on social justice, envision families within larger

systems, and support research innovations that are less expert-driven and more collaborative

and distributed.


Families as Nested within Socio-Cultural Discourses and Larger Systems

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Taimalieutu Kiwi Tamasese is a Samoan family therapist, community worker, and researcher. She is

Coordinator of the Pacific Section at the Family Centre. One of her outstanding research achievements is the development of fa’afaletui methodology, which is a research method that is sensitive and responsive to cultural norms and methodologically rigorous. The work was funded by the Health Research Council and subsequently published as a ‘Qualitative Investigation into Samoan Perspectives on Mental Health and Culturally Appropriate Services’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry in 2005, Vol. 39 (4).

She is one of the founders of ‘Just Therapy’, an internationally recognised approach to addressing

cultural, gender, and socioeconomic contexts in therapy. She has been a Joint recipient of the

American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) Award for a Distinguished Contribution to Social Justice

and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy Special Award for Distinguished

Contributions to Family Therapy.


The World the Families We Serve Live In: Addressing the Socio-Cultural Contexts and Wellbeing

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