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COURRAGE: A Narrative Approach to Responding to People Who Have Suffered Severe Hardships and Trauma

With Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo

The NonProfit Center
89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111
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Virtual location

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Apr 23, 2024 09:00am ET - Apr 24, 2024 05:00pm ET

NTI is excited to host an in-person and online training with NTI faculty member Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo, who is known internationally for her narrative community work and will be travelling to Boston! In 1996, Ncazelo co-developed the “Tree of Life” Project to assist African children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. The enthusiastic worldwide response to this narrative-informed project helped Ncazelo step even more fully into an exploration of culturally sensitive counseling services for people who have experienced severe hardships and trauma.

COURRAGE is a collective narrative therapy methodology Ncazelo developed in 2014 in partnership with six women living in informal settlements in northern Johannesburg, South Africa. These women faced significant hardships, and Ncazelo will share how collective narrative work produced stories that feature these women’s strengths, skills, and courage in the face of immense sorrow, trauma, and grief. COURRAGE draws significantly from the work of Linda Tuhiwai Smith (2012) who describes 25 Indigenous projects in her book, Decolonizing Methodologies.

Ncazelo also will discuss the Imbeleko Approach to Therapeutic Practice, which she developed and which integrates narrative practice and cultural sensitivity. In her work, Ncazelo is committed to foregrounding cultural knowledges and local wisdoms about healing and recovery. 

Important principles covered in this training include: 

  • Introduction to COURRAGE training
  • History of the COURRAGE Methodology
  • 10 steps of the COURRAGE Methodology
  • Narrative therapy and responding to trauma
  • The Imbeleko Approach to Therapeutic Practice
  • Videos from COURRAGE projects
  • Experiential learning activities for second story development
  • Making your own COURRAGE photo story books

This training is designed for people who have been introduced to the Narrative Worldview, although all are welcome to attend. To ensure maximum participant engagement, this course is limited to 50 participants.

This event is a hybrid event, meaning participants can join in person in Boston or via Zoom. Please indicate in your registration which option you want.

This COURRAGE training is just one event in a weeklong Celebration of the Narrative Worldview that NTI is hosting in April. On April 25 & 26, we are organizing a two-day, in-person Folx Tales conference featuring Vikki Reynolds and members of our community sharing influential stories of their lives and work! With this event, NTI is re-imagining what a “professional” conference can be. This gathering is purposefully not shaped by the normative assumption that outsider, “expert” knowledge is inherently more valuable than the diverse local knowledges found right here in our community. Instead, we’re organizing this conference around a key narrative belief: that every community has vast, rich, valuable knowledges that are deeply precious and worthy of sharing. All we need to do is bring our genuine curiosity and willingness to be moved to new, unpredictable places.

For those of you coming to Boston, give yourself the gift of a weeklong immersion in the Narrative Worldview and register for Folx Tales as well! Learn more here.

COURRAGE Training Registration Fees:

  • Regular registration fee: $400
  • Students/seniors registration fee: $350 
  • Payment Plans are available. If you would like to discuss a payment plan, please email Darcey Surette at [email protected]


Additional Information:

  • Group Rate: A discount is available for groups of four or more people from a single agency or organization; to register a group, email [email protected].
  • CEUs: We are applying for 13 CEUs for LMFTs and LICSWs/LCSWs. If you need LMHC CEUs, we will assist you with the application process. If you will need a CE certificate, please order one in the registration form. 
  • Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be given up to 14 days prior to the event minus a $50 cancellation processing fee; within 14 days of the event, no refunds will be provided.
  • Breaks: A one-hour break and two 15-minute breaks are included each day. Lunch is on your own. Light breakfast and afternoon tea will be provided. 
  • Accommodations and Transportation: View detailed information about coming to Boston here!
  • Questions? Email NTI at [email protected].

Presenter Bio:

Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo the pioneer and co-developer of the Tree of Life Counselling Methodology. She is a psychologist, narrative therapist, and psychosocial specialist with over 15 years’ experience working in the area of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. She specializes in designing programs and interventions for various vulnerable groups and communities. Her work has largely focused on supporting children, women, and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, poverty, and conflict in East and Southern Africa. Ncazelo has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe, and Australia, providing training in responding to hardships and trauma and sharing her experiences with mental health practitioners. Over the years, Ncazelo’s work has focused on developing culturally sensitive therapies to respond to the hardships and trauma experienced by children, women, and communities. Learn more about Ncazelo at

headshot of Ncazelo Ncube-Mlilo