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IDEAS, NEWS AND RESOURCES  | September 2016    
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 with The Taos Institute
This month we welcome Katherine Gergen Barnett, MD, as she shares reflections on Relational Health and Healthcare. 

Relational Practices in Health and Healthcare: Healing through Collaboration

By Katherine Gergen Barnett, MD

What does relational health and healthcare mean to you?

Health in healthcare cannot happen without the power of the relationship. Traditionally, this has been about the connection between the provider and patient. Developing this relationship is a timeless art - one that is built on fostering curiosity, true listening, empathy, and understanding. Many of us spend our lives teaching these skills to medical students, residents and practicing doctors.  However, in our increasingly complex world of medicine, relational health is beyond the matrix of the clinician- patient and spans to include relationship to other patients, relationships to other providers on the medical team, and relationships to community resources.  Medicine is now moving to team based care where we have social workers, psychiatrists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, practice assistants, nurses, patient navigators and care management members on our teams. Each of these individuals serves a critical role in bringing a patient to health. Group medical visits give a chance for patients to connect to others suffering from the same conditions and those relationships are part of their healing. Finally, health is created and strengthened when individuals are connected to resources within their community- getting locally sources foods at CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) , exercising at the local Y, walking on safe sidewalks, biking in safe bike lanes, having safe affordable child care, etc. Healthcare is moving in a very exciting direction where increasingly we are getting government incentives to turn health care delivery in a much more relational way. This is what gets me excited every day in the work at Boston Medical Center, New England's largest safety net hospital.

Can you share an example?

See the Integrative Medicine Group Visits paper. (Click here).   Also happy to share more!

What's is one practice that you think could transform the future of healthcare?

Group medical visits and, if I had to name another, greater utilization  of community health workers.

How might we spread the ideas and practices of relational health and healthcare?

It is incredibly exciting to have the Taos Institute focusing on Relational Practices in Healthcare in their upcoming conference. Part of what needs to be done is better communications across all sectors - Community health Workers, social workers, nursing, community organizers, doctors, etc. so that we can be in greater dialogue about what each of us is doing in the field of relational health (using language so that each sector can better understand what this means). So many of us are moving in the same direction but are working in siloes. If we all got on the same page and actually starting building on each other's work and dialoguing, we could move the field of health forward at greater leaps and bounds. After all, no healing can be done outside of the context of relationships.

Visit:  and  
Taos Institute Events and Gatherings  - The Many Ways to Get Involved.....

We are thrilled with the innovative space where the conference will take place and the speakers and  presenters who will be joining us in November . We invite you to take a look at the information on our website: 

Special event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - you will want to be there! 
Music and Healthcare - Medicine and Music Therapy: Tuning into One Another
Wed. Nov. 9th - 5:00 - 9:00 PM - Program, Dinner and Museum

Pre-conference workshops - Nov. 9-10, 2016

Cleveland, Ohio  (Home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!) 

At The Global Center for Health Innovation (

A Taos Institute Conference in collaboration with the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (

This conference will bring together scholars and practitioners to explore, share and develop ideas and practices around health and effective healthcare through relational, appreciative, and collaborative initiatives. We will explore how this fundamentally depends on a vast matrix of relationships. Relationships between and among patients, families, physicians, nurses, administrators, educators, insurance adjustors, attorneys, social workers, mental health practitioners, and clergy, are all included.
Conference themes will include Innovations in Relational, Collaborative, and Appreciative Practices in:
  • Patient, Family, and Professional Relationships
  • Healthcare Organizations, Policies, Practices and Whole System Change
  • Healthcare Education
  • Connecting Community and Healthcare
Who should attend:
  • Healthcare providers and practitioners - All those involved with care giving at all levels of care
  • Healthcare and medical educators
  • Consultants to healthcare organizations
  • Students from all healthcare professions
  • Healthcare Executives, Senior Managers and other Leaders
  • Insurance companies, lawyers and policy makers
  • Patients and community members
The Program is Amazing 
We are thrilled with the speakers who will be joining us in November and invite you to take a look at them on our website:   Breakout Sessions and Plenary Speakers

Special event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - you will want to be there! 
Music and Healthcare - Medicine and Music Therapy: Tuning into One Another
Wed. Nov. 9th - 5:00 - 9:00 PM - Program, Dinner and Museum


3rd International Conference of Collaborative 
and Dialogic Practices 
Conversations with and among Education, Research, Health, Social Practices, Psychotherapy...

March 30 - April 2, sponsored by ICCP and TI, 
in the Canary Islands, Tenerife. 



Taos Institute Workshops
  • NEW Online - Relational Leading: Do we know what it means in practice?  |
    Sept. 28 - Nov. 23, An Online Workshop, with Ginny Belden-Charles and Keith Kinsella
  • Collaborative Inquiry: A Methodological Exploration | Sept. 29-30, with Celiane Camargo-Borges, and Jasmina Sermijn, Belgium
  • Social Construction: Relational Theory and Transformative Practices | October 27-29, with Harlene Anderson and Sheila McNamee, Durham, NH
  • Social Construction: Premises and Practices | Oct. 31 - Dec. 12, An Online Workshop, with Celiane Camargo-Borges and Dawn Dole 
  • Practical Tips for Writing a Dissertation | ONLINE workshop - Jan. 15 - March 10, with Rich Furman
For details about these workshops and to register visit:


  • Performing the World | Sept. 23 - 25, NY, with the Eastside Institute
  • International Class: Study and Train at Eastside Institute | 10-month class begins Sept 23
  • Pharmaceuticals - Risks and Alternatives: International research and evidence based practice regarding alternatives to treatment with pharmaceuticals | Oct. 15, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Discover Development NYC | Oct 28-30, with the Eastside Institute


Social Construction: Relational Theory and Transformative Practices

October 27-29, with Sheila McNamee and Harlene Anderson in Durham, New Hampshire

This workshop will introduce social construction and relational practices for those new to it and will help those familiar with it deepen their understandings and practices. Additionally, focus will be on the practical application of constructionist ideas in organizations, therapy, education, and community development. We will focus on relational constructionist understandings of language and meaning making, polyvocality, transformative dialogue, and appreciative and future oriented perspectives. Participants will learn how social reality is constructed in language and the implications of this for our understandings, knowledge, and everyday practice. Participants with a background in social construction will have an opportunity to explore issues of special relevance to their projects and practices. Taos Ph.D. students are encouraged to attend, as are other interested students and professionals.

Relational Leading: Do we know what it means in practice? | Sept. 28 - Nov. 23

An Online Workshop - participate from your own home or office

with Ginny Belden-Charles and Keith Kinsella

Are you interested in:
  • Exploring the influence of social constructionist thinking in your leadership work?
  • Strengthening your capacity to help your team, organization or clients work together across differences; and in complex, multi-stakeholder and global contexts?
  • Developing new strategies for creating novel and generative solutions to entrenched organizational difficulties?
Relational Leading might offer one answer. By focusing on the conditions and processes for encouraging co-creativity, collective meaning making, fluidity and responsiveness in our action taking, and shared accountability for achieving systemic outcomes, this emerging viewpoint offers promise for thinking afresh about approaches to leading that can work in today's complex, diverse, and uncertain environment. 


FREE Downloadable Books 
We are thrilled to bring you all the WorldShare Books and we hope you will  take a few minutes to download your free copies today.  

New Book: 
See all the WorldShare Books >
Donate to the Peggy Penn WorldShare Books Fund 
This fund helps to cover the expenses of offering these online books free of charge to anyone in the world. 
Relational Research Network Meeting and Global Dialogue - a free event

October 26th  
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM US Eastern Time

Hosted by: University of Laguna, Tenrife and The Taos Institute Relational Research Network 

What: We invite you to join with us in conversation to begin to create a space for an international network to generate conversations and collaborations around Relational Research.
    1. Explore
    2. Engage
    3. Dialogue
    4. Share
    5. Create
  • What is relational research?
  • What can a network for relational research become?
  • Are there projects on which we could collaborate together - transdisciplinary, multi-voice that we could design together?
  • What's next? What are the opportunities for collaboration and learning?
To register for this meeting and dialogue - go to: 

by Emerson F. Rasera
Taos Institute Publications, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-938552-31-1

For more information
70Candles! Women Thriving in their 8th Decade

Recently featured in the 
New York Times and the 
by Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole
Taos Institute Publications, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-938552-35-9

by Glenn E. Boyd
Taos Institute Publications, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-938552-22-9

For more information

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By focusing on the positive aspects of aging, and the availability of resources, skills, and resiliencies, research not only brings useful insights into the realm of practice but creates hope and empowers action among older people. By moving beyond practices of repair and prevention, to emphasize growth-enhancing activities, practitioners also contribute more effectively to the societal reconstruction of aging. 
Join the Taos Institute NING Online Community website
Participate in online conversations, share resources, ask questions, connect with others doing similar work. Also, we feature special events on this community website.

Join in many different forums, groups and conversations:

1. Taos Institute Europe
2. Collaborative Governance
3. Relational Learning
4. Relational Research
5. Taos Latin America
6. Intergenerativity and Innovation

and many more at:


Welcome (Bienvenidos) to the International Journal of Collaborative Practices. The Journal brings together members of a growing international community of practitioners, scholars, educators, researchers, and consultants interested in postmodern collaborative practices.

Sponsored by Taos Institute and Houston Galveston Institute

I ssue 6- Available Now in English and Spanish - 
International Journal of Collaborative-Dialogic Practice now available!

Issue 6

Relationships and Conversations that Make a Difference

by Harlene Anderson

  The International Journal of Collaborative-Dialogic Practice
brings together members of a growing international community of practitioners, scholars, educators, researchers, and consultants from diverse disciplines who are interested in collaborative-dialogic practice based in postmodern-social construction assumptions. This community responds to important questions in social and human sciences such as:
  • How can our practices have relevance for the people we meet in our fast changing world?
  • What will this relevance accomplish? For whom? And, who determines it?
The Journal provides a bilingual forum for the exchange of ideas and practices from diverse practitioners and scholars around the world. This forum aims to help produce and promote relationally responsive-dialogic processes which generate new opportunities and new futures in our working and living together locally and globally. 

This new Issue 6, available now, features contributions from practitioners and scholars in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Mexico, Sweden and the United States.

John Shotter leads the issues with his exploration of orienting ourselves to the 'other' and the 'otherness' in our surroundings, suggesting a perspective of so-named mental disturbances out in the world of everyday life, rather than as a dysfunction solely within an individual. Newbury and Hoskins discuss the challenges of teaching/learning that invites learners to experience the transformational potential of collaborative approaches to change. The importance of reflection is also explicated in the article by Losantos and colleagues as they reflect on their research inspired by social construction. premises. Talavera's shares how literature enhances her therapy practice, though what she shares can be applicable to any disciplinary practice. Alcocer and colleagues highlight the importance of reflecting on our practices as they pause to explore an often posed question: what do people from different countries think about the meaning of family.


 The International Journal of Collaborative Practices is available for free, online, in both English and Spanish. Visit:

Donate to the Jane Magruder Watkins Scholarship Fund 

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.  Keep up with our updates!

Dawn Dole, Executive Director
The Taos Institute
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