navigating our stories

narrative therapy, community care, collective action

Mug, books, and journal

Our stories, ourselves.

What is the story of your life, and of yourself within your life?

What are your skills, values, and insider knowledges?

How have you stayed connected to your own strong stories?

Our stories shape how we see ourselves and the world around us, and can connect us to our own actions and choices in responding to the problems in our lives.

Narrative therapy is all about our stories – the ones we tell ourselves, and the ones we’ve been told; the ones we tell about other people, and the ones they tell about us. It’s about understanding where those stories come from, who they serve, and deciding whether we still want to give those stories weight in our lives. And it’s about reauthoring our stories, and strengthening our connections to legacies and histories of responding to hardship with skill and resilience.

A narrative conversation, either in a group setting or individually, can help us tell our stories in ways that honour our skills, values, knowledges and actions. For many marginalized communities, these skills, values, insider knowledges, and actions have been devalued and dismissed.

You already are the protagonist and the narrator of your own story, the expert in your own experience – nobody can give you that power, and nobody can take it away. But sometimes we lose connection to our deep self-storying abilities, and narrative therapy can help us get back in touch with that knowledge.

Narrative Therapy

Coaching

In 2018, I completed the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree at the Dulwich Centre and the University of Melbourne, and I am excited to offer narrative therapy to people in Calgary and online. We can work together one-on-one, or in a group setting. My facilitation style is collaborative and flexible – we can co-create a plan that will help you navigate, understand, and re-author your story in a way that feels right for you.

Self-Care Resources

Are you looking for immediate and accessible help? You’ll find resources here. This category will be growing over the next year as I complete projects. These free resources are made possible by my patrons on Patreon and I appreciate it so much.

Writing in the Margins Workshops

Writing in the Margins has been on hiatus while I completed my Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work degree at the Dulwich Centre and the University of Melbourne. Now that I’ve completed this degree, watch this space for a new writing group launching in September, 2019!

Editing

Have you written something amazing? I can edit your fiction, creative non-fiction, academic paper, dissertation, or book. I bring a gentle and insightful editing voice, and a keen eye for detail. I read for grammar and style, of course, but what I’m best at is reading for intersectionality, accessibility, and queer and feminist politics.

Sostar Self Care on Facebook

Sostar Self Care on Facebook

2 days ago

Tiffany Sostar

This is a pretty comprehensive little intro to narrative practice. The intended audience is social work practitioners, but it might be interesting for anyone curious about narrative therapy.

I also appreciate that it brings up some of the limitations of narrative therapy - it's not a quick solution to problems and can involve a significant investment of time, because it is focused on exploring and shifting our stories rather than being focused on teaching skills, and it does also privilege language in a way that can be inaccessible to some folks. (Though the language/accessibility piece has been addressed by narrative therapists who do work with images and other ways of communication.)

If you're curious whether narrative therapy might be a good fit for you, this might be a good intro!

youtu.be/QWto83AJnIwSCWK6943 Narrative practice in social work: A guide for service users-- Created using PowToon .
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Comment on Facebook

3 days ago

Tiffany Sostar

Everyday, the news is overwhelming.

I’m sitting at a table in the farmer’s market, scrolling Facebook, awkwardly starting to cry as the news drifts past. Horrors in American concentration camps, anti-Indigenous racism at Airdrie’s pride event, defunded women’s studies programs, climate crisis. And all the news that I know is happening even if it doesn’t cross my feed today. Yemen, Sudan, MMIGW2, the murders of Black and brown trans women.

When I feel like this, overwhelmed and hopeless, I remind myself that I am not alone in these feelings.

So, friends, this is a reminder to you, too.

You are not alone with these hard feelings.

Neoliberalism lies when it places all of the responsibility in your individual hands, but nihilism also lies when it takes all agency away from you.

These are huge issues, enabled by powerful systems and structures of oppression. Our whole culture is built on colonialism and capitalism. But these systems are not all-powerful and they are not inevitable.

We have choices.

We have each other.

We cannot, through individual actions, solve these problems. And so much harm has already been done that cannot be undone. This is not a silver lining post.

But it *is* a reminder that we are not alone.

And we are not useless, powerless.

Find each other. Who knows how much your heart breaks for these injustices? Who supports you in your choices and actions of resistance? Who inspires you, encourages you, holds you accountable with dignity and care?

Find the values that you hold, that keep you resisting these systems of harm. Who taught you to value things like justice, equity, compassion, care? How did you learn to question or challenge the dominant stories and systems? When do you feel close to these values? What have these values made possible in your life?

Find the legacies of response that you want to join, that you are already part of. Who has come before you? Who has persisted, resisted, outlasted? What legacies of change and action and living can you join?

Cry, for sure. This is not an admonition to suck it up. I think we need our tears and our grief.

But also, when we’re being lied to - told that our own individual actions are the problem, that we are the problem; or told that our actions make no difference and the problem is all-powerful - name that as a lie, and resist it.

You’re not alone.

You’re not powerless.

And I’m not, either.
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Comment on Facebook

😢 I have given up on the news. I now treat media as a firefighter and only the major fires to I take note of and try to put out. Everything else is just nonsensical politics and overseas chaos that is out of my scope to affect with any immediacy. Sending you good vibes for always fighting! 🖤

Beautifully said <3

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Know your stories, know yourself.