Life staging®™
WORKHOPS, participation in congresses and more

Presented Life Staging® at AGPA in Los Angeles 2019

"Building Bridges of Connection Through Group" was the theme of the Conference.

LIFe staging® Workshops 2018

 A workshop was held at the Swedish Family Therapy Congress in Stockholm in October 2018. Around 90 professionals from Sweden attended. Through great cooperation we were able to demonstrate the format in doing two constellations despite the amount of participants. A workshop was also held at  IAGP Congress in Malmoe Sweden  with the theme; RISING TIDES OF CHALLENGE AND HOPE HEALING IDENTITY, IN SOCIETY, GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS,  in summer 2018

Life Staging®- participation in a book about Supervision

Life Staging®, together with other supervision models, will be described in a book about Supervision that soon will be published. Written by Lilja Cajvert, Senior lecturer and head of the Supervision Education at the University of Gothenburg, Department of Social Work. 

LIFe staging® Workshops in stockholm and Gothenburg 2017

A two day workshop in Life Staging® was held i Stockholm 2017 in The Old Town in great surroundings. With Supervisors; Therapists and Leaders  from different professional fields. With enthusiasm we all co created pieces of art  during these days! 
In December a special workshop was held in Gothenburg with professionals at The University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Social Sience and Department of Social Work. ( Socionomutbildningen och Handledarutbildningen).

New York MArch 2017

I made three stops on this trip. First at Mercy College and meeting with Salhia Bava, professor, whom I met in Galveston earlier. Sahlia is working at the Systemic Family Therapy Program at Mercy. Here is the call for the workshop!

– Apply creative techniques in group work and supervision! 
– Question the normative power in traditional language and settings! 
– Practice creativity through interaction in the workshop! 
– Collaborate in rich story development! 

Life Staging®, by the creative format and collaborative process, activate our evolutionary and personal knowledge and skills as humans, thus create meaningful connections, resonance and develops relational skills. Moreover, it also challenges the dominant taken-for-granted ideas on "what's there" that easily kidnap professionals into thin inscriptions of people and phenomena. Life Staging® offers a (magic) dance, by moving away from dominant ideas of knowing, in ways that might both touch and surprise you. 
Spooky? No, just a use of more right brain knowledge that always was there-but silenced. 
Scary? No, rather more fun and playful. 

March 6, 2017 11:30am-1:30pm Manhattan Rm 723 

Elisabet Wollsén, MSc, Private Practice, Stockholm, Sweden 
Certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist in family therapy. Forty years of experience as a clinician, while thirty-five in supervision, education and professional development in her own company. Influenced by systemic and narrative ideas and expressive art therapy formats. She did narrative research in the mid-nineties and besides ordinary work, she is now writing professional books, developing Life Staging® and cooperates with a massai women’s project in Tanzania. 


After that I attended the AGPA conference. There were around one thousands of Group Psychotherapist and starting with a two day Lacan Group Psychotherapy was interesting. It was a long time ago since I joined an event like that. Though I liked it. Thereafter three days conference and on one of them I held a workshop on Life Staging.  

Next stop was to meet with Lois Holtzman at the Eastern Institute. She is a leading proponent of cultural approaches to learning, development and psychotherapy.
A great meeting where we shared  ideas on our respective ideas around creativity, play and performance. They are doing some fabulous work there. Here is a link to their homepage.
Read the blog! 

Lois also introduced me to Joyce Dattner who directs the West Coast Center for Life Performance Coaching. Here is a link to their homepage.
As a coach, Joyce Dattner takes “life performance” literally—helping people see living as an evolving, creative act, and themselves as performers of more effective and satisfying ways of being in the world. Her clients learn the skills of improvising to produce qualitative change in how they relate to themselves, their colleagues and loved ones.  In search for more innovative approaches to learning and development she found the groundbreaking discoveries of Fred Newman, founder of social therapy, and Lois Holzman, developmental psychologist, who together created a unique      performance-based approach to human development. 
I will definitely catch up with these ideas and persons again to continue the important conversation around our mutual interest in play and improvisation and how Life Staging can be linked to their work and ideas. Hopefully we can collaborate in the future!

Life staging® Workshops in stockholm 2016

A two day workshop in Life Staging® was held twice in 2016  Stockholm with   participants such as coaches, psychotherapists, university teachers in supervision, management consultants, special teachers, authors, network therapy leaders, group leaders and the like. It´s great when such a "team" comes together and shares their huge professional experience as well as the life wisdom that comes with that (or vice versa..)

Life staging® Workshop in stockholm 2015

A two day workshop in Life Staging® was held i Stockholm with  seven participants. All supervisors from different professional fields. With enthusiasm we all co created pieces of art  during these days! To be followed up later on.

Life staging® in India 2015

Life Staging and Yoga- together in India! Vitality, flow, energy. We are all connected to one another. "Connection is solution". No need to be taught anything. We just have to remember who we are. Yoga and Lifestaging create a room and a space where such rememberance can take place. Workshop held in north Goa in cooperation with Existens Yoga retreat.

Demonstration in kungälv march 2015

I demonstrated Life Staging® at the "Swedish Supervision Association" (Svensk Handledarförenings) annual meeting  in early March in Kungälv. Fun!

Supervision Scholarship 2015

Happy as I just received The Swedish Supervision Association (Svensk Handledarförenings) Scholarship in 2015 and will demonstrate Life Staging® at the annual meeting in early March in Kungälv. 

Here is their justification;
"Elisabeth Wollsén seems to be based in the systemic theory which methodology supervision is based on. She has developed her own method, tested it in her supervision groups for a long time and also got a good ear for it at The Tavistock Institute. Life Staging® is a method which may be a way to get beyond the verbal language often dominating in supervision sessions. The scholarship will be, according to the applicant, used to formulate thoughts about the method in a book which is something that is commendable and therefore may contribute to development in the supervision area where several can try and help that the author gets feedback to further refine the method. "

Workshop in Tel AViv 2014

Under the open sky on a warm evening in October on a terrace near Tel Aviv me and my colleague Tommy Kvarnlöf gave a workshop on Life Staging®™. Narrative colleague, psychotherapist and supervisor Andrea Lazar, who owns Narrative Therapy Israel, had gathered a bunch of enthusiastic psychotherapists who readily tested the format! It was a touching evening in many ways and one of the participants' comments I liked especially was; "- It was not that I could feel and think freely, it was the feeling of just being able to be".

Nordic family therapy congress in Turku 2014

Finland hosted the Nordic Conference and had chosen the place to be Turku. This beautiful city that offered long walks in the picturesque neighborhood, by the cathedral and along the river that runs through town. The atmosphere was familiar as usual although the welcome speech went in a little somber tone. Even if the Finns described themselves as quiet, melancholy people with high suicide rate, I brought with me a lot of pleasant and joyful moments with the Finns. Like learning to dance Finnish tango by Jaakko Seikkula!
The content of the congress was marked by an illuminating and questioning of the spirit of the times as many of us recognize. With watchwords as evidence, documentation, statistics and so on… at the same time we got to experience extensive knowledge and many successful projects proposed an alternative approach and practice. Perhaps we need to find ways to combine these approaches? Self, I liked that it seems like it has become more important with the "structure with fewer interpretations" than "scant structure and a lot of interpretations."
Around research was the important notice on the difference between "about research" and witness research " which of course offers different data.
A favorite from a lecture was the photo of the four boys, with the same haircut, the same Canada Goose Jacket and matter; - What do you think about school uniforms?
Yes, you can guess what they said ... The normative power is great and makes us anxious and more likely to follow a template though we may think we make individual choices.

Systemic gathering in cambridge 2014

Huntingdon was the location for this event; it turned out, a couple of miles outside Cambridge. Kiki Oljemark and Cherry Ravello had really created a context that attracted many interesting colleagues from Europe. All of us "ordinary" and some keynote speakers lined up with both their time and their ideas "for free". Like Ken and Mary Gergen, Elspeth Mc Adams, John Shotter and others. Jim Wilson would also have participated but cancelled at the last minute due to illness. But, since it was about just a "gathering" all contributed with innovative ideas and inspired us all the same. What I think really stood out, though maybe because I want to understand it thus, is a focus on the non-verbal as an unexplored area, as something that may need to be valued more. John Shotter spoke, for example, about "the before facts", what is there before we mention it, which he thought was not necessary important in itself. An urge to get off thinking "about" phenomena and name them. Ken challenged the idea of ​​what we can know through our so-called "mind". If I did understood it correctly? Exciting research was reported also and I held a workshop on Life Staging®™ demonstrated through a “live session” of the format. Brampton Mill was the cozy restaurant at which we gathered for the evening's more social dialogue, where we enjoyed really good food and a great atmosphere!

Third european narrative conference in lasi, romania 2014

In the beautiful city of Lasi, pronounced "Yiash", in Romania was the third European narrative conference held this year. Attended by many Europeans but also colleagues from Israel, USA and others. Ovidiu Gavrilovici and his team organized the conference, which took place at the University of Lasi, Romania's first University. Overall, we found ourselves in an exciting historical cultural context that we also got to experience more during our day trip to Moldova. Days were filled with a plurality of workshops and large lectures. Just as vital as where the narrative perspective is always, with hopes to develop, challenge, stand up for and take a stand in trying to influence more than just inside the "therapy room". Challenging the inscription of people into thin diagnoses, moving away from psychiatry straitjackets and medication. Suggesting alternative more human contexts in which people can heal and live more dignified was the point in many speeches. With personal testimonies, presence and exciting new ideas. Surely this contributed to the social gathering in the evenings. It was a real happy bunch of Danes, Romanians, Belgians, Russians, Dutch, Hungarians, Greeks and other colleagues who joined for dinners and dancing until late into the night. FIFA World Cup, with Holland in the lead, did not make the atmosphere less enthusiastic! I also gave a workshop on Life Staging®™ joined by playful participants. Romania thanks for this amazing connection. The next European conference will take place in Spain!

swedish FAmily therapy congress YSTAD  sweden 2013 (IN swedish)

Family Therapy as a kaleidoscope (in swedish)

More than 330 family Therapists gathered in the annual Swedish congress.
Here is my abstract on the workshop I held on supervision (in swedish)

– Finns det andra sätt att bedriva handledning på än att dra ärenden?

Ord som handledning för in oss i ett språk som bär med sig sitt speciella paradigm. Jag föredrar hellre att tala om professionellt samarbete. Jag ser också på ”handledning” som ett eget ämne, där handledarens yrkesskicklighet mer liknar konstnärens än skicklighet inom det aktuella handledningsområdet, till exempel familjeterapi. Under mina drygt trettio år som handledare och familjeterapeut har jag varit med om olika (ofta parallella) strömningar inom handledning och familjeterapi. Där det dominanta formatet, i båda fallen, handlat om att ”dra ärenden” respektive ”berätta sin story”. I dessa format försöker professionella vanligtvis förstå/söka mening i ett innehåll för att när så skett bidra med en lämplig ”kur” (reflektioner, idéer) som ska leda till förändring. Många av dessa format utgår från ett drogmetafortänkande där professionellas teoretiskt och metodologiskt föredragna kunskaper inom ett specifikt område– numera gärna evidensbaserat – betonas och ses som yrkesskicklighet.

Handledning utifrån en konstnärsmetafor har ett annat paradigm och färdas i ett annat språk. Innehållslig information om dilemmat är till exempel (initialt) av underordnad betydelse. Formatet uppmuntrar till relationer, känslor, improvisation och samskapandet av upplevelsebaserad kunskap–i-stunden snarare än tagen-för-given-kunskap och expertis inom ämnesområdet. Ur detta kommer att yrkesskicklighet handlar om handledarens förmåga att aktivera deltagarnas personliga och professionella kunskaper, färdigheter och erfarenheter i en kreativt samskapande process utan primär målsättning att förstå hur något hänger ihop, i mer traditionell bemärkelse. Målet är istället att deltagarna ska få tillgång till mer av sig själva och andra, bli modigare, upptäcka relationella sammanhang och lära sig att se- i betydelsen inse- de fördomar vi ofta ser som ”verkligheten”.

Uppställningar/Life Staging®™ är ett av flera handledningsformat jag utvecklat utifrån detta paradigm och som jag kommer berätta mer om på min presentation.

Opening doors to possibilities: Inviting dialogue, stories an community in therapy and social transformation.

"This event will provide an opportunity for dialogue among the field’s leading practitioners, thinkers, theoreticians, and researchers. There  will be an opportunity to wonder, share and be irreverent of the paradigms that have informed the field and create enriched ways to move together into the future. Come engage in a conversation-fest that will expand the field and open doors for greater possibilities, optimism and a renewed sense of community."

Invited presenters include:
 Ken Gergen, Harlene Anderson, Jill Freedman, Gene Combs, Sue Levin, Sylvia London, Saliha Bava, Karen Young, Jim Duvall, David Pare, Tod Augusta-Scot, John Winslade, Marie-Nathalie Beaudoin, Bonnie Miller, Monte Bobele, Arnold Slive … And many more

We are happy to inform you that your proposal, “LIFE STAGING®™”: Narratives from the Body in Supervision” has been selected for presentation! We look forward to your participation and your help in creating a learning community and dialogical space at this gathering.

NORDIc family therapy COngress in visby 2011.

The 9 th Nordic congress in Family Therapy ”Roots and Wings” gathered almost one thousands of participants in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. In this congress I held a workshop on Life Staging®™ visited by 45 colleagues. One of the hosts (seen in the picture) is Lena Sahlström, vice president at the board in the Swedish Family Therapy association.



Warja Ensjö, kurator i Katrineholm har ingått i en av de handledningsgrupper som provat på uppställningar och andra kreativa format. Inom ramen för handledarutbildningen vid Göteborgs Universitet har Warja författat en uppsats format uppställningar/lifestaging. Följ länken om du vill läsa den! Ytterligare en skrift om Life Staging® författas nu av två deltagare på handledarutbildningen ivid Göteborgs Univeritet. Återkommer med länk när den publicerats. 

"IMprovisation is art!"