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

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2 weeks ago

Tiffany Sostar

I didn’t get the event up (sorry!) but Shiny is happening today at 4. If you’re planning to attend, please let me know! ... See MoreSee Less

I didn’t get the event up (sorry!) but Shiny is happening today at 4. If you’re planning to attend, please let me know!

2 weeks ago

Tiffany Sostar

An Unexpected Light is open for enrollment again!

If you're feeling despair because the future seems impossible, this course is for you. We use narrative therapy and visionary fiction to find the way forward - sometimes deepening a connection to hope, sometimes just offering a thread of possibility that might, with time and care, develop into something like hope.

Visionary fiction is, to quote Walidah Imarisha, "fantastical writing that helps us imagine new just worlds. Visionary fiction encompasses science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, alternative timelines, and more. It is fantastical literature that helps us to understand existing power dynamics, and helps us imagine paths to creating more just futures."

For so many of us, the despair we feel is a result of witnessing, experiencing, and being caught up in systems of injustice and oppression.

Visionary fiction and narrative therapy both offer new ways to understand ourselves, our communities, and the possible futures in front of us. They are powerful allies against despair. And they are the foundation of this course.

The course has shifted from a six-month, cohort-based course to an open and expanding set of content and a growing and supportive community of participants. Work at your own pace, alongside a community of folks who are all dreaming more just, more liberated, more possible futures.

It's a hard time, but, as Walidah Imarisha says, "visionary fiction is a discipline; hope is a muscle."

We are learning how to stay connected to possibility together.

We are learning how to find, and to tell, possible stories in impossible times.

We are searching for the light together, creating our own little forest of phototropes - turning towards what is more just and more possible.

When you enroll, you'll get access to all of the core content. This includes the textbooks, and content that is organized around six themes, with four modules per theme. The core content includes 95 lessons.

The themes are:

Urgencies: Reframing, renaming, reauthoring ‘apocalypse’
Escaping from failure
Places of sustenance
Remembering futures
Kinship and community
Legacies of action

And within each theme, you will find:
- a narrative therapy module (including a new narrative practice that was created specifically for this course, and that I'm quite proud of!)
- a curated reading module, with study guides for each selection and additional reading suggestions
- a writing module with prompts and lessons that focus on both the craft of writing, and the how and why of writing in justice-oriented ways, learning how to write stories that work to align with justice rather than recreating oppression
- a care and integration module with ideas for how to care for each other and ourselves during difficult times

Each participant is invited to join the Unexpected Light discord server, to join our twice-a-month video chats, and to complete the lessons at their own pace. New lessons will be added over time, and participants will have access to new content as it is developed.

Send me a message or follow the link to find out more, or to register. www.tiffanysostar.com/an-unexpected-light

The cost is $900, with a payment plan of 12 $75 installments available. This includes the textbooks, professional editing and feedback on up to six writing submissions, and ongoing access to the community spaces, video chats, occasional group tabletop rpg sessions, viewing parties, and new content as it is developed. Sliding scale is also available.
... See MoreSee Less

An Unexpected Light is open for enrollment again!

If youre feeling despair because the future seems impossible, this course is for you. We use narrative therapy and visionary fiction to find the way forward - sometimes deepening a connection to hope, sometimes just offering a thread of possibility that might, with time and care, develop into something like hope. 

Visionary fiction is, to quote Walidah Imarisha, fantastical writing that helps us imagine new just worlds. Visionary fiction encompasses science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, alternative timelines, and more. It is fantastical literature that helps us to understand existing power dynamics, and helps us imagine paths to creating more just futures.

For so many of us, the despair we feel is a result of witnessing, experiencing, and being caught up in systems of injustice and oppression. 

Visionary fiction and narrative therapy both offer new ways to understand ourselves, our communities, and the possible futures in front of us. They are powerful allies against despair. And they are the foundation of this course.

The course has shifted from a six-month, cohort-based course to an open and expanding set of content and a growing and supportive community of participants. Work at your own pace, alongside a community of folks who are all dreaming more just, more liberated, more possible futures. 

Its a hard time, but, as Walidah Imarisha says, visionary fiction is a discipline; hope is a muscle. 

We are learning how to stay connected to possibility together. 

We are learning how to find, and to tell, possible stories in impossible times.

We are searching for the light together, creating our own little forest of phototropes - turning towards what is more just and more possible. 

When you enroll, youll get access to all of the core content. This includes the textbooks, and content that is organized around six themes, with four modules per theme. The core content includes 95 lessons. 

The themes are:

Urgencies: Reframing, renaming, reauthoring ‘apocalypse’
Escaping from failure
Places of sustenance 
Remembering futures
Kinship and community
Legacies of action

And within each theme, you will find: 
 - a narrative therapy module (including a new narrative practice that was created specifically for this course, and that Im quite proud of!)
 - a curated reading module, with study guides for each selection and additional reading suggestions
- a writing module with prompts and lessons that focus on both the craft of writing, and the how and why of writing in justice-oriented ways, learning how to write stories that work to align with justice rather than recreating oppression
- a care and integration module with ideas for how to care for each other and ourselves during difficult times

Each participant is invited to join the Unexpected Light discord server, to join our twice-a-month video chats, and to complete the lessons at their own pace. New lessons will be added over time, and participants will have access to new content as it is developed.

Send me a message or follow the link to find out more, or to register. www.tiffanysostar.com/an-unexpected-light

The cost is $900, with a payment plan of 12 $75 installments available. This includes the textbooks, professional editing and feedback on up to six writing submissions, and ongoing access to the community spaces, video chats, occasional group tabletop rpg sessions, viewing parties, and new content as it is developed. Sliding scale is also available.

3 weeks ago

Tiffany Sostar

Are there people in your life who identify with BPD (borderline personality disorder) - friends, family, colleagues, students, clients, or community members?

Chances are, even if you don't realize it, you DO have relationships with folks who identify with BPD, either as a self-claimed descriptor of their experience, or as a received diagnosis.

Do you want to do a better job of supporting your relationships with these folks?

Osden and Sean, two members of the BPD Superpowers group, presented a generous, tender, helpful webinar on how to support BPD-inclusive relationships. If you missed the webinar back in June, you can now watch the video and/or read the transcript!

I particularly want to encourage medical and mental health professionals to watch this webinar. We hold significant structural power over the folks who consult us for help, and when we act out of the stigma that we have been taught or have internalized about who has BPD, what BPD looks like and what it means, we can significantly contribute to harm. There are more resources specifically for clinicians in the BPD Superpowers resource, which is linked at the end of this post.

Many, many thanks to Osden and Sean and the whole BPD Superpowers group, and to Joe for the video editing (check out the frame, which is in non-binary pride colours because all three of us presenting are non-binary), and to Shara for the transcription. This is absolutely a collective effort, and part of a larger project of creating resources for, and by, the BPD community.

tiffanysostar.com/mapping-borderline-spaces/
... See MoreSee Less

Are there people in your life who identify with BPD (borderline personality disorder) - friends, family, colleagues, students, clients, or community members?

Chances are, even if you dont realize it, you DO have relationships with folks who identify with BPD, either as a self-claimed descriptor of their experience, or as a received diagnosis. 

Do you want to do a better job of supporting your relationships with these folks?

Osden and Sean, two members of the BPD Superpowers group, presented a generous, tender, helpful webinar on how to support BPD-inclusive relationships. If you missed the webinar back in June, you can now watch the video and/or read the transcript!

I particularly want to encourage medical and mental health professionals to watch this webinar. We hold significant structural power over the folks who consult us for help, and when we act out of the stigma that we have been taught or have internalized about who has BPD, what BPD looks like and what it means, we can significantly contribute to harm. There are more resources specifically for clinicians in the BPD Superpowers resource, which is linked at the end of this post. 

Many, many thanks to Osden and Sean and the whole BPD Superpowers group, and to Joe for the video editing (check out the frame, which is in non-binary pride colours because all three of us presenting are non-binary), and to Shara for the transcription. This is absolutely a collective effort, and part of a larger project of creating resources for, and by, the BPD community.

https://tiffanysostar.com/mapping-borderline-spaces/
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Know your stories, know yourself.