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In This Issue
Brief Encounters - Theory in Action
Beyond the Therapeutic State
New MSc program in Relational Leading
Taos Workshops
Friends of Taos and Taos Europe Workshops
Free Download Books
Visual Resources
Relational Leading
Masters program in
Relational Leading
to begin Fall  2014.

relationships and conversations that make a difference

Issue 4 - Available Now
July 2013


Taos Institute Publications
Kindle and Nook
See all the titles available.

U & Me - Communicating in Moments that Matter
See this video:
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
50% price reduction - buy it now
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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Free Manuscripts 

Visual Resources 

Positive Aging News 

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Ideas, News and Resources
March 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 Executive Board of the Taos Institute shares each month an idea or experience that might be an inspiration for you and others. 


This month Bob Cottor shares thoughts on..... 


Theory in Action: The Story of the One Raspberry  


By Dr. Bob Cottor

A very special friend of ours will soon celebrate her 90th birthday, a birthday she had never really expected to experience. Her life journey has been extraordinary. Her ability to reconstruct herself and her life has been incredible. She was born in Poland in May, 1924, the younger of two children in a middle-class Jewish family. By the time she was 21, she had spent six years living under Nazi rule, three of them as a slave laborer in Nazi factories. Her parents and brother had been taken away, never to be seen by her again. Her best friend died in her arms during a 350 mile death march which began with 2000 women and ended with only 120 surviving. She weighed only 68 pounds in May, 1945, when she was found by American forces in an abandoned bicycle factory.


She had survived and, again, rebuilt her life. She married the American soldier who rescued her and immigrated to the US where she and her husband raised three children. Ever since regaining her freedom, as an author, a historian and crusader for tolerance, she has taught the world that it is often in our most hopeless moments that we discover the extent of our strength and the depth of our love. She has stated: "I pray you never stand at any crossroads in your own lives, but if you do, if the darkness seems so total, if you think there is no way out, remember, never give up."


Our friend does not know the language of social constructionism. She certainly would not describe herself as a constructionist. Nevertheless, she clearly shows the relational, appreciative and collaborative ways of being that have guided her in the many effective deconstructions and reconstructions she has experienced throughout her lifetime. She recently wrote a small book honoring her childhood friend who had died in her arms near the end of the death march in 1945, describing how her friend had once found a raspberry in the gutter of their prison camp and carried it all day in her pocket to present to her that night on a leaf plucked through the barbed wire fence. This raspberry was her friend's only real possession at that time and she gave it to her! That was a gift of love and kindness that our friend has never forgotten. She created an adult life in which her many acts of love and kindness with others have replicated what she had experienced with that one raspberry. She has shared her stories in books, in person and on film. Her emphasis is how positive and loving life can be even if we encounter horrific obstacles.


Our friend's life reflects, in many ways, how challenging the taken-for-granted, building on strengths, appreciating successes, honoring relationships and envisioning the future generates the resilience and determination that can enable all of us to create the new meanings and realities that allow us to find and establish a more effective and satisfying outcome when we encounter our crossroads. Change is not a threat to her. She sees it as part of life and as an opportunity to create new possibilities for living a life of love and satisfaction.


I want to thank our friend for being such an incredible model for living life so fully and so productively and allowing us to directly experience the awesome power and quality of constructionism when practiced in a real life over nine decades.  


Again, "theory in action."

Register now.....
June 26, 27, 28, 2014
Drammen, Norway

Mental health costs are soaring, drug prescriptions skyrocketing, and diagnostic categories continue to convince us that we are mentally ill. It is time to move beyond the therapeutic state!

Most existing alternatives focus on the individual. In contrast, this conference will feature inspiring innovations in collaborative practice. Such practices bring together diverse conceptions of reality, values, and hopes for the future. From the inter-change emerge new forms of life, viable for all.

The conference will feature collaborative practices relevant to therapy and beyond. Discussions will be enriched by practitioners and scholars from many sectors of society.

In the end, it is toward a relationally oriented society we must move. And it is toward active participation in changing both practices and policies that the conference is dedicated.

Check out the fantastic workshop offerings ..... still developing:

Traveling to Norway - June is a special time of year in Norway - plan to come early or stay after to visit the area:

Conference collaborators:
  • The Taos Institute
  • Taos Institute Europe
  • Institute for Research in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Buskerud, University College (Norway)
  • Helsinki Psychotherapy Institute (Finland)
  • Familjev�rdsstiftelsen (Family Care Foundation) (Sweden)
  • The Family Institute (UK)
Keynote Presenters:
  • Kenneth J. Gergen
  • Robert Whitaker
  • Olga Runciman
  • Sami Timimi
  • Carina Hakansson


For information and to register at the Early Bird rates:  www.taosinstitute.net/beyond-the-therapeutic-state   

Share the News......Do you know someone who would benefit from participating in a Masters program in Relational Leading?

This new program is a 2-year, online learning program designed to deepen the theory and practice of relational leading through course content and teaching practices.

This program introduces ideas and practices at the forefront of organizational studies, and integrates workplace experience into class discussions. The courses focus on:

  • The social construction of realities, values, and reason
  • Systemic and relational process
  • Collaborative practices in the workplace and society
  • Relational and appreciative leading
  • Relevant research practices

The courses prepare participants to work with faculty members in conducting original research relevant to their professional development.


If you or anyone you know might be interested in learning more about this program visit: www.taosinstitute.net/relational-leading-program 

The Taos Institute Workshop Series
  • Social Construction: Premises and Practices - an online workshop | April 21-May 26 - with Celiane Borges-Camargo and Dawn Dole.  
  • Social Construction, Relational Theory and Change Practices | June 6-8 -  with Ken and Mary Gergen, Wallingford, PA.  
  • Social Constructionist Inquiry and Research Practices | June 12-14 - with Sally St. George and Dan Wulff, Calgary, Canada.    
  • Social Construction, Relational Theory and Transformative Practices | Oct. 16-18 - with Sheila McNamee and Harlene Anderson, Durham, New Hampshire.   

To register, visit: http://www.taosinstitute.net/upcoming-workshops



  •  International Summer Institute with Harlene Anderson | June 16-20, Mexico.   
  • Attractor/Taos Summer Institute | July 2-4, 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark. 
More workshops will be listed soon.


For details and a listing of more workshops, visit our website.
Friends of the Taos Institute
Workshop Series

Contact the presenters to register for these workshops:

  • Open Dialogue Week-end Seminar Series -2014 - March 15-16, May 3-4 & May 31-June 1, London, England, with Jaakko Seikkula, Markku Sutela, Mia Kurtti, Nick Putman
  • EFTC Yearlong Narrative Course - begins May 3, with Jill Freedman and Gene Combs
  • Narrative Therapy Intensive - Level 1 - May 3-7, with Jill Freedman and Gene Combs
  • The Imagine Conference - Organized in the spirit of Peter Lang - Aug. 29-30, Denmark
  • Narrative Therapy Intensive - Level 2 - Sept. 3-7, with Jill Freedman and Gene Combs 

And, more workshops will be listed soon.  

For details, registration and more workshop listings, visit our website. 



Taos Institute Europe Workshops and Events:

WorldShare Books WorldShare Books 
Free Download Books  


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 for more than fifteen books in English, 2 in Spanish, 1 in Italian, 1 in German, 1 in Africaans and 1 in Farsi. More books to come.
Resources for Teaching, Exploring, and Enjoying Social Construction   Interdependence

We offer you here a collection of visual resources to explore and enjoy social constructionist thinking. A number of these resources are used by our associates and colleagues in social constructionist training context. Many of the resources are compiled from what is available on the worldwide web and we ask you to appropriately acknowledge the original sources in your use.


The resources are organized into cartoons, interactive visuals, mini-movies, photographs/images and presentation slides. Click on any resource title below to view them. We invite you to post your comments in the space provided on each resource page. You can also narrow the search for resources by using the above categories or by selecting the tags on the right margin. We are interested in your resources too. Please submit them for consideration using this form. Enjoy!

- Visit: www.taosinstitute.net/visual-resources


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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