About Us

 

Our Mission

The Narrative Method™ helps diverse individuals
increase empathy, connect deeply, challenge old stories
and develop the skills to create more meaningful relationships.

Our Programs

The Narrative Method™ is an experience inspired by the values of social justice and influenced by people and concepts across many paradigms.

Our programs help participants put themselves aside, absorb new points of view and imagine the world through the eyes of another. Increased awareness, wonder, empathy and tolerance open the door to new perspectives that allow participants to correct their old stories and reclaim their lives.

The TNM journey interweaves compelling ideas, videos, relational activities, creative writing and thought-provoking conversations about the ways in which our lives and relationships are impacted by outside influences. We empower participants to discover their voice and agency. Our programs increase:

  • Awareness of self and others
  • Wonder and curiosity
  • Empathy and tolerance for differences
  • Speaking and listening skills
  • Authentic self-expression
  • Perspective on self, others and the world
  • Ability to discover new ideas and possibilities

Our Story

The inspiration for The Narrative Method was sparked in the 1980’s, when in addition to shooting spontaneous ‘guerilla improv’ videos on the street, Shari Foos was hosting underground salons where bursts of cutting-edge performances and disarming experiences created an environment where even strangers could become fast friends. By exposing her own vulnerability, she could playfully explore how far she could go with people and how far they would follow.

Shari made it safe for everyone to venture courageously into honest conversations or as she called it, “starting in the middle of love.” Injecting her quick wit to capture the audience, she could turn a serious moment into laughter or hold a mirror to reflect some ironic aspect of our shared humanity.

After becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist she found the work to be profound and transformative. But she missed the power of the “aha” moments that come from recognizing that our stories and struggles are shared by others. Shari wanted to create a space without hierarchy, in which people could connect deeply, challenge negative cultural messages and liberate themselves from limiting beliefs.

In 2011 while living in New York, Shari entered Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine program, a field conceived as a way to teach empathy to doctors. Inspired by the way sharing stories makes us feel known, she began running workshops where diverse individuals could begin t0 separate themselves from what had happened to them and discover who they really were. In these safe spaces people could share their stories, revisit old assumptions and discover new possibilities for themselves, each other and the world. The Narrative Method™ is the result of this journey.

Meet Shari Foos

 

Our Board

 

Shari Foos, MS, MA, LMFT  |  FOUNDER
Shari Foos is a Marriage and Family Therapist, adjunct professor, Narrative Medicine scholar and improvisational artist.

Shari received her MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles (1997) where she later founded the Bridge Program (1999), offering a free year-long university
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humanities course with college credits to adults without access to higher education. In 2012 she completed her MS in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.

Seeing the need for humanistic communities in an increasingly technological world, she founded The Narrative Method™ in 2013, providing training and programs to at-risk populations as well as teaching The Narrative Method™ at Antioch.

Prior to her career as a therapist and educator, Shari was a television and radio writer, guerilla improv artist, comedienne and co-creator/host of cutting edge salons and events, bringing together artistic and intellectual communities for entertainment and creative dialogue.

Shari serves on the boards of Coalition for Engaged Education and City Kids Foundation and is a co-founder of IKAR LA.

She lives in Los Angeles and New York.

BARBARA CANTER Barbara Lehrner Canter is President and CEO Emeritus of Los Angeles Team Mentoring, a pioneering site-based mentoring program serving Los Angeles Unified School District. As its first Executive Director, Barbara was responsible for guiding the growth of the agency, its sustainability, and the development of a unique mentoring program that became a national model.
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She chaired the Los Angeles Mentoring Coalition, and worked to create networks of agencies to best help youth being served. A mentor herself, Barbara is currently a Senior Advisor to MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnership, and co-founder of 1000 Women for Mentoring a MENTOR initiative. Considered an expert in the field of mentoring, she has continued to consult with numerous agencies to assist them with training, applying best practices, establishing protocols for staff, and for organizational structures. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband Lee.

DEBORAH BRIGGS Deborah H. Briggs comes to The Narrative MethodTM with a wealth of experience creating and managing businesses.  With a Master’s Degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University, Deborah began her career in human resources and organizational development for large corporations such as Citigroup, Chase Manhattan Bank, and ABC-TV.
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Deborah brought Gymboree, the nation’s first play learning program to New York as the owner/manager of four locations. Her focus on the evolving needs of the community continued with her next venture; she opened the first of her three Huntington Learning Centers in New York City. After moving to Boca Raton from New York City in 2005, Deborah began volunteering her services at Florida’s #1 ranked SCORE chapter where she counseled small business owners, helping them with their startup endeavors.   She also served as president of the (not for profit) Boca Raton Theatre Guild for four years.  Based on her passion for dance and its transformational power, she also created the 501(c) 3 nonprofit program “Dancing Classrooms Southeast Florida”. This program, which still operates, encourages emotional growth while nurturing the mind, the body, and the soul. Deborah joined Shari Foos to help develop and “roll out” The Narrative Method” as 1) she is blown away by the power of this project to change lives; and 2) she is Shari’s best friend since kindergarten.

RICHARD FOOS Richard Foos has been in the entertainment business for over thirty five years starting with a small record store named Rhino Records, and eventually growing it into the well-known audio label which was sold to Time Warner in 1998. Since then, Foos and his partners started another company, Shout! Factory, with Foos as its Chief Executive Officer.
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Now in its 12th year, Shout! is one of the leading independent video and music companies in Entertainment. Foos strongly believes in merging one’s social values with business and has installed a strong sense of purpose and giving back in all his business concerns. To this end he serves as Chairman Emeritus for Little Kids Rock and on the boards of The Nation Institute, Government Accountability Project, Chrysalis and other such non-profits that make a strong commitment to social progress. Foos is a 1967 graduate of Beverly Hills High School and a 1971 graduate of Whittier College. He and his family currently reside in Los Angeles.

LAURIE MEADOFF Laurie Meadoff is CEO of Laurie Inc. and Team, a company designed to innovate connect and activate brands and media from around the world. With extensive experience in executive production, resourceful collaboration, and strategic planning, Laurie masterfully uses her vast network to build bridges and devise projects with significant and resounding societal influence.
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“People say that a true mark of a brilliant person is her ability to make connections. If that’s true then Laurie is a modern-day Einstein.” Geraldine Laybourne, Founder Nickelodeon

For the last two years Laurie has been the Executive Producer for The American Grandparents Association producing a 13 part PBS series called Feel Grand with Jane Seymour focusing on health and well being. She also produced a web series with Deepak Chopra called Timeless You. Presently consulting for Playing Forward, a Tech and VR company in kids' entertainment and social emotional learning and several impact investing funds, Laurie Inc. and Team makes vital connection for businesses and community engagement strategies. She is currently Emmy nominated for her role as Executive Producer on the groundbreaking series The World Cup of Hip Hop: Take Back the Mic. Laurie served as CEO of Cancer Schmancer, a groundbreaking women’s Health Advocacy organization founded by actress Fran Drescher. Laurie’s innovative work on behalf of women included the creation of Trash Cancer home parties produced by Humana focused on prevention, which reached over 20,000 people. Laurie also worked with her team to create Fran Vans, which screened women in need in both NYC and LA. Laurie consulted for The Goldie Hawn Foundation with strategic planning for the launch of their social emotional learning program, MindUP. There, Laurie assembled the organization’s board, designed the marketing strategy, and produced a major fundraiser in New York City that resulted in palpable success for the Foundation. As CEO of Chat Ventures, she executive produced programming for Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC, HBO Family, MTV and VH1 and a host of international broadcasters. In addition to overseeing creative and strategic vision for the company, Laurie then formulated Chat the Planet, a global dialogue initiative committed to using media and online dialogue tools as a means of breaking down barriers reaching 350 million homes worldwide. As a part of this endeavor, Laurie co-created and executive produced the Webby award-winning series, Hometown Baghdad, which reached three million web viewers in the first week and, aired on The Sundance Channel and National Geographic International in long form .With experience filming in South Africa, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Australia, and Jordan, Laurie’s ability to imaginatively and insightfully capture a diverse range of subjects is exemplified. Laurie has spoken global and was a part of Cultural Diplomacy panels’ for the Brookings Institute in Doha for three years along with speaking in engagements in Hong Kong and India.

ROBERT SHERMAN Robert F Sherman Ph.D. works as a consultant to foundations and nonprofits in areas of education reform, youth development and leadership, and civic engagement. His particular interest is in bringing isolated yet related perspectives and favored strategies into productive alignment for greater impact.
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Current and most recent clients include: Ford Foundation, Social Impact Exchange/Growth Philanthropy Network; Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Movement Strategy Center, National Afterschool Association; City Year; Movement Strategy Center; Stuart Foundation; Public Interest Projects (Now Neo Philanthropy). Until March 2013 he served as Director, Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning at the NoVo Foundation. The Social and Emotional Learning Initiative seeks to advance educational experiences and practices that prepare children for personal and academic success—and help them develop the valuable social and emotional skills they need to become better students, create positive relationships and handle challenging situations they may face in school and life. Prior to NoVo, Sherman served as Executive Director of the Action Center to End World Hunger, a division of Mercy Corps. The Action Center is an innovative, high-tech public and education/museum space that uses the lens of hunger to educate, inspire and mobilize action-taking (from personal to collective/political) against global poverty and hunger. While at Mercy Corps, he also developed and supervised the agency’s Global Citizen Corps, a youth activist and service program involving thousands of young people from 11 countries who convene in person and online in a yearlong peer-to-peer leadership, learning and service effort focused on local action-taking on global challenges around hunger, poverty, conflict, and human rights.  Sherman, founded and directed the national Effective Citizenry program at the Surdna Foundation in New York City, where he served for 15 years. The program supported organizations that help young people participate meaningfully in shaping civic and community life. Anchored in social and emotional learning at its core, the Effective Citizenry program funded youth organizing, youth media, policy development, service-learning, volunteering and a range of youth development strategies which promote individual growth and youth-led social change. Building strong intermediary organizations, undergirding funding decisions with research, and building sustainable, long-term field anchors was key to the program’s strategy. Prior to Surdna, Sherman served in New York City government for 8 years: as Executive Director of the Increase the Peace Volunteer Corps, a city-wide, grassroots race relations initiative of the Mayor’s office in New York City; and as Director of the Community Relations Institute, a think tank studying neighborhood-based responses to racial tension housed at the New York City Commission on Human Rights. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, and a BA from Haverford College.
 

Our Clients

info@TheNarrativeMethod.org      |      424.832.7709       |      2038 Armacost Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90025