What is Narrative Practice? A free course

G’day and welcome to this free online course about narrative therapy and community work!

This course is a gateway to free papers, videos and extracts to enjoy at your own pace. Across 9 ‘lessons’ or ‘chapters’ we have brought together papers, videos, images, interviews and questions.

This course is freely available to anyone, although we think it might be particularly relevant for those interested in counselling/psychology/community work/social work. We hope it is relevant for those seeking a ‘refresher’ working with narrative ideas and those looking for new ways of working with people in their context. Included are materials that are relevant for those working in therapeutic and/or community work contexts. Wherever you come from we hope you will find something interesting here!

By no means will this course answer all your questions – rather we hope it inspires more!

Along the way, your host will be Phillipa Joy, who is a member of the Dulwich Centre International Faculty and completed her Masters in Narrative Therapy and Community Work in 2014. Thank you Phillipa for all your work in creating this course!

If after completing this online course you would like a certificate of completion this is also possible by taking the ‘certification module’ which involves completing a quiz and short essay and posting a number of reflections on the course forums. This certification module costs AUD$77.

But the course itself and all its resources are freely available to all! This course has been created by Dulwich Centre Foundation with the assistance of Community Benefit SA (Government of South Australia).

We hope you find it helpful!


Certification Module

Please note, an optional certification module is available at the end of the course. Click here for more details.



This Post Has 58 Comments

  1. magdalinewendot

    Thank you for the course in Narrative Therapy. Have learnt a lot from the simplicity in which it has been presented using videos and articles to read. I can say that the knowledge has set me off to start practicing Narrative Therapy with clients.

  2. jennyheraghty

    Thanks for this course. It has really broadened my knowledge of Narrative Practice. The material was very relevant and I could see how the narrative approach shows respect and validation for the people seeking help utilizing their own stories of survival and strength. I am keen to learn more and have chosen a unit on Narrative Practice in my Bachelor studies this semester. This course has given me a thorough overview for which I am most grateful. Again my thanks,
    Jenny Heraghty
    FN Queensland

  3. Peter

    Thank you for this! Does anyone know roughly how long this takes to complete? I’m hoping to incorporate it in my practicum learning.

  4. treegray@outlook.com

    A fabulous course. A rich variety of materials that have been interesting to engage with and will lead to further developments in my own practice. Thank you for curating this.

  5. Cate Andrews

    Thank you for this overview I found navigating this course simple and easy to follow. I much appreciate the time and effort offering this course.

  6. Maryam Tamer

    I would like to enrol in the course of narrative practice

  7. Pratima jaidev

    How do I sign up for the free course? What is the start date? Duration of the course etc.

  8. sandramolies

    Thank you so much for this very interesting course. It is well laid out, well documented and very varied (article, videos). I would recommend writing the 1000 words assignment as it is a very good way to summarize in your own words what impacted you the most in this course.

  9. Glynis Thorp

    Thankyou very much I have really enjoyed relearning some of what I learnt many years ago. it is such a valuable tool to have in ones box of skills.

  10. Jessica Van Mourik

    I loved Amanda Worral’s video “Inviting paranoia to the table”. I work with young people who experience psychotic symptoms and when reflecting back now knowing the power of externalising the problem and use of creative imagery to do this, many young people are already doing this including bringing drawing in of what their visual hallucinations look like or one young man had named his hallucination as “Fear”. Without even realising using “Fear” in our assessment together was so helpful to externalise the problems this young person was presenting with. I wonder how much more effective the session would have been had I learnt about narrative therapy beforehand but am excited to see it’s impact in future practice.

  11. Kylie Webster

    I have found this free course very rewarding with information that has assisted me to change my practice style to incorporate aspects I believe will improve my therapy sessions with clients. This has encouraged me to look into improving my overall knowledge of narrative practice as it fits with my style of therapy.

  12. Nimrat

    I would like to register for the NT course

  13. Jenn

    Hello! I am very interested in taking these online courses, and am wondering if anyone might be able to tell me what the time commitment is to complete each course?

  14. Pauline Straw

    Please can I register for the course? Thank you

  15. debbie webster

    Thank you for providing this course as a free resource to gain an insight into this valuable approach to therapy and its wider applications. Narrative practice in therapy is a very appealing approach to empowering clients to be fully engaged in their therapy and healing.

  16. Holly R

    Regarding this module – I found the video about the black dog very helpful in demonstrating how externalizing a problem can look. Having the visual of this large aggressive dog who by the end has shrunk to a harmless sidekick is very powerful. Problems weigh our clients down they take them on and often cannot separate themselves from them. The concept of separating the person from the problem is so empowering. I try to be anti-oppressive and empowering in my practice with clients and concepts like externalizing and metaphors align so nicely with these frameworks.

  17. Nikki Turner

    Thank you for this free introductory online course. It’s a great introduction in preparation for further narrative therapy training.

    1. Linda Thai

      I really like the idea of Narrative therapy because of the idea that we are not the problem, but rather the problem is external from who we are. I also really like the idea of understanding how to externalize using symbolism and a metaphor, such as, “The black dog” which is the worry that we have. Once we externalize our problem, we can then begin to take more control of the problem, rather than trying to ignore it. I also appreciated the idea that each and every person can create their own story, and their story can represent several meanings to that person, with several interpretations to represent their experiences.

  18. Judith Wood

    Sounds wonderful and just what I have been thinking about. Thank you for a chance to explore Narrative Therapy in a free really accessible short course.
    I’m sure that I will find it very useful in my support work with people.

  19. Anuradha Chandran

    Am interested to do this course to try out Narrative Therapy before I plan to do it officially

  20. lindamayfraser1961@gmail.com

    I have almost completed a Diploma in Counselling and Communication Skills and feel drawn towards a deeper understanding of Narrative Therapy as this can only broaden my skill set for my future clients

  21. Kaaren

    Hello my name is Kaaren I have been wanting to study your online course for quite a while now and this is my year I was going to start. I had also planned to do the Melbourne Uni Narrative Therapy course online next year. Last time I saw the Melbourne Uni online course advertised on the Internet (it could have been early this year or late last year) it was around $10,000 and yesterday I saw that it is now over $20,000. I feel at this new price it is prohibitive and this even before the Federal Govts new doubling in price of Humanities subjects.
    I am an Art Psychotherapist and am wanting to do a Masters level course next year I wondering if you having anything suitable on offer. Thank You. Kind Regards kaaren

  22. Prema

    Thank you for making this free online course available! So grateful for the generosity you have extended! Thanks to the team that put this together.


    I would like to do this course

  24. gaylene walker

    I am so excited to have found this online course. I have recently completed a bachelor of arts/counselling and am very interested in Narrative therapy.

  25. Helen Goh Ee Kar

    May I know how to apply for the narrative free course ?

  26. Ivy Niu

    Thank you so much for providing this online course. I am a student who just graduate with a bachelor degree of social work who is really interested in counseling and narrative therapy.Wish this course will offer great insights to my future practice.

  27. bveyne@gmail.com

    Hails from Bertrand, Forcalquier, France.
    I’ve completed this online course. Slowly and serioulsy. Three weeks of work, since I was reading some narrative books at the same time.
    I enjoyed every video and document ! Being so far from Adelaïde, I nevertheless felt the abundance of ideas, projects that reigns in the Dulwich Centre. This place is so full of life! If some day I fly from France to Australia, I’ll definitely go to Adelaïde, Dulwich Centre !

  28. Coronavirus

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Montana. Regards

  29. Doreen bassel

    Hi i qould like to sighn up for the course.please e- mail me.thank you,dorin .

  30. Doreen bassel

    Hi! Im interested in perticapating in the on line course.thank you!

  31. mxxosker

    Thank you so much for making this course freely available. Being able to access such helpful and comprehensive is great for personal and professional development, and might inspire people to take a new stance in the way they interact.

  32. maggie65ma@gmail.com

    I am a Psychotherapist in training with Asian-cultural background. I found Chimamanda Adichie’s speech of ” the danger of a single story” is particularly helpful in terms of understanding clients who are from non-western backgrounds and further assist them to form their unique identities.

  33. Toni

    Kwe’ – Hello, I am 7th generation African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq. I live and work in the territory where I was born, K’jipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki. I’m a mother of 6 and grandmother of 9.
    Now after many years of doing community development work and teaching in public schools – I’m doing my PhD in Health. I am part of a Team, coordinating a CBPR project with urban Indigenous youth on matters specific to health, well-being, resilience, and healing. Story work is central to this project. Wela’lin – thank you for allowing me to take this course. This course will inform and strengthen my work in good ways.

    1. Eirik Pettersen

      Hi, l work as a family therapist in Bergen, Norway, whit family’s and couple.
      I would love to follow the course, for learning more so I can yous in my work.

  34. Nanci Lee

    Also very grateful. I have been considering a shift from facilitation more toward counselling and coaching. Narrative has always been central to my work. This course provides a real opportunity to ground my curiosities and bridge my experience.

  35. Zeynab Athari

    I’m a PHD student of counselling and im intersted in to be involved in your program

    a One Year Course and a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work in partnership

    Yours Sincerey

  36. Lynne

    Thank you for making this course freely available and accessible online it is much appreciated. I live in a remote area am semi retired from 30 years of working in NGOs I have been contemplating returning to counselling work as a private practitioner but not sure how to start going about it. Discovering an opportunity like this to refresh a much valued though inactive Narrative Practice offers hope that I can now start to move forward in a direction that appeals greatly to my sense of adventure.

  37. Joel Bartlett

    I’m a doctoral student of Counseling Psychology who is very interested in narrative practices. A free training resource like this is an incredibly valuable tool! Thank you for making it available.

  38. joann preston

    looking to improve therapy with teens and children

  39. valma James

    I am interested in registering for the course. I am a qualified social worker working with clients with mental health.

  40. Ann

    Thank you for this overview of Narrative Therapy. I am returning to practice after some time away, and these reminders are timely and appreciated.

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