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New Book - Student's Guide to Supervision
New and Revised: U & Me
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Relational Leading
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Relational Leading
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Applications due by August 1st for the Fall cohort.
relationships and conversations that make a difference

Issue 4 - Available Now

Taos Institute Publications
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clinical supervision
NEW BOOK- A Student's Guide to Clinical Supervision

U & Me: Communicating in Moments that Matter
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Relational Leading
When Stories Clash: Addressing Conflict with Narrative Mediation
The Appreciative Organization

Social Construction: Entering the Dialogue

Healing Conversations Now: Enhance Relationships with Elders and Dying Loved Ones

Positive Family Dynamics: Appreciative Inquiry Questions for Bringing Out the Best in Families

DVD - Fusion of Strength: An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry by David Cooperrider
AIP video issue
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AI Practitioner - Special Video Issue - A Must-Have for AI Practitioners
Practicing Relational Ethics in Organizations
Developing Relational Leadership
Retiring but not Shy
Retiring But Not Shy
Ordinary Life Therapy
Hedtke - Bereavement
Bereavement Support Groups

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Ideas, News and Resources
August 2014  
We hope you enjoy receiving our newsletter which includes constructionist ideas and practices as well as news and resources from the Taos Institute.
Brief Encounters from the Taos Institute

As a way of sharing constructionist ideas, the Taos Institute shares each month an idea or experience that might be an inspiration for you and others.  


This month Kristin Bodiford, Celiane Camargo-Borges and Dawn Dole share thoughts on.....    





    by Kristin Bodiford, Celiane Camargo-Borges and Dawn Dole 


In this Brief Encounter with the Taos Institute, we want to highlight the recent issue of the AI Practitioner, August 2014. The focus of this AIP issue is dear to all of us at Taos because it features graduates of our PhD program and it was supported by a grant from the Taos Institute.

This issue, Bridging Research and Practice: Illustrations from Doctoral Research, offers practitioners inspiring ways in which practice and research are united in support of positive change and encourages us each to think about how our work is research, even though we may not think of it as such. Seeing research as a form of inquiry makes visible the ways in which we are all researchers and expands the value of research to practitioners, communities, and the world.

When reading the issue, you are invited to reflect on these questions as you think about your practice.

1.How can your practice be seen as research?
2.How is it creating positive change?
3.How can you engage with principles of research to strengthen your work?

"Designing Research", a term embraced by the issue editors, Kristin Bodiford and Celiane Camargo-Borges, focuses on co-creation of knowledge and practices that are useful, that support generative change, and that intimately connect research to practice. This perspective focuses on innovation through creative processes that involve a community of people constructing and re-constructing knowledge and practice (Beckman and Barry, 2007). Having the word "designing" before research connects knowledge development as actionable knowledge (Romme, 2003; van Aken, 2004) engaging and inviting research into practice and practice into research  (Mohrman, Gibson and Mohrman, 2001; Rynes, Bartunek and Daft, 2001).

Designing research invites a reflection on how aspects of the world that are often taken for granted are socially constructed,  opening space for alternative constructions to be forged and for new ways of engaging in research. 

The following 4 principles of designing research are based on constructionist assumptions and are presented as resources for how we might engage in research as a daily practice.

1.Designing research as relational and collaborative
Designing research holds relationships as central in a collaborative journey. A relational and collaborative stance offers a resource where all participants bring skills, knowledge, interests, experiences and stories together to co-create. In this endeavor, there is a movement of the researcher-as-expert to the researcher-as-offering-expertise and a shift from researcher and subjects toward research co-designers and co-participants.

2.Designing research as useful and generative
This principle encourages researchers to engage in inquiry with an intention to co-create new possibilities. It invites questions such as, "How is this useful? How will this create positive change? How will this generate new meanings?" The creative process of design research is to produce meaningful solutions where each system is seen as unique, past experiences are highlighted, and future possibilities are embraced (Brown, 2008; Kimbell, 2011).

3.Designing research as dynamic and organic
Embracing research as a dynamic, fluid, and continuous practice emphasizes the act of doing research as a journey, allowing an unfolding as participants engage. Thinking about research as emergent and organic does not however mean there is no framework to conduct the inquiry. Having an articulated purpose, principles, and direction are important to support people in collaborative inquiry with participatory practices co-created throughout the process, involving researchers, participants, theories and methods.

4.Designing research as engaging complexity and multiplicity
Designing research avoids causal or dualistic positions and engages complexity and multiplicity as rich resources for action. Doing so with a relational sensibility expands our view and involves a whole system in ways that multiply possibilities by welcoming and appreciating the many different voices and points of view involved. Researchers are also mindful about how people are supported and empowered to participate, actively asking questions such as "Whose voices are privileged?" and "Whose voices are left out?"

Throughout the inquiry, patterns begin to become visible from the interactions among people in a specific space and time. We begin to see the relatedness and appreciate the interconnections that enrich possibilities.

Bridging research and practice: igniting positive change

When we think of research as a transformative daily practice, it expands who can be considered a "researcher", liberating research processes to the public sphere. This amplifies possibilities for positive change through democratizing knowledge by encouraging all involved to co-create the type of change that is most meaningful and impactful for their lives and their communities. By engaging in inquiry and mutual, collaborative engagement there is already transformation happening where all participants are changed throughout the process.

For more, and to see all the articles in this special issue visit:
August 2014 AIP -

  • Social Construction, Relational Theory and Transformative Practices | Oct. 16-18 - with Sheila McNamee and Harlene Anderson, Durham, New Hampshire.   

For informaiton visit:


More workshops will be listed soon.


For details and a listing of more workshops, visit our website.

Taos Institute Europe Workshops and Events:


First International Conference on Collaborative Research:  

clinical supervision
By Glenn Boyd, Ph.D.

You Are Not Alone: A Student's Guide to Clinical Supervision is surprisingly frank, funny, and encouraging. It urges beginning students to be proactive and engaged in the clinical supervision process without apology and without fear to combat the normal anxiety that comes with learning to be a clinical practitioner. It also encourages training programs to offer beginning students an orientation to supervision as soon as possible after they enter the program. It outlines the importance of the clinical supervision relationship while introducing key elements in the contemporary practice of supervision including a novel emphasis on collaborative learning communities, the results of common factors research, and the emerging importance of core competencies.

Order at:
New and Revised Edition of the book:

U & Me: Communicating in Moments that Matter, by John Stewart

Are you as happy as you'd like to be? Feeling satisfied with your job?

Getting along well with family members? Experiencing serenity, at least some of the time? Do you think your life situation is contributing to your longevity or pushing you toward an early grave?

Nothing is more critical to the quality of our lives than our relationships, and nothing is more critical to our relationships than how we communicate.

U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter shows how to improve the quality of your life by improving your everyday communicating. In the first part of the book, you'll learn the connection between effective communication and The Big Question, "What does it mean to be human?"

If you're looking for a resource that is very accessible, research-based, that can prompt serious discussions about depersonalization in every life-arena, and that is filled with concrete and practical listening and speaking skills, you might want to check out U&ME.

Also see

See more at:

WorldShare Books WorldShare Books 
Free Download Books - Check it out - More free books are available all the time!


Sharing Ideas and Practices From Around the World


The Taos Institute offers free-of-charge books for downloading to your computer or favorite reader. Our ultimate aim is to offer books in all languages. Like all the Taos Institute Publications, WorldShare Books represent significant contributions relevant to social constructionist theory and practice. More books are being added all the time. Check it out!  

All books are available in PDF format. Visit WorldShare Books

International Certificate Collaborative Practices is an international learning community and network. 


Sponsored by Taos Institute and Houston Galveston Institute


To find a program in your part of the world, take a look at:


The Taos Institute's mission is to bring together scholars and practitioners concerned with the social processes essential for the construction of reason, knowledge, and human value.

We are committed to exploring, developing and disseminating ideas and practices that promote creative, appreciative and collaborative processes in families, communities and organizations around the world through a social constructionist lens.

We look forward to your participation in the dialogue.


Dawn Dole, Executive Director
The Taos Institute

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