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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who created The Narrative Method?
    Shari Foos founded The Narrative Method in 2014 in response to the Crisis of Connection. She is a marriage and family therapist, a narrative medicine expert, author, speaker and artist. She holds degrees in Narrative Medicine and Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and Antioch University, respectively.
  • What inspired The Narrative Method?
    The Narrative Method is inspired by the values of social justice and influenced by people and concepts across many paradigms including: Narrative Medicine (Rita Charon) Narrative Therapy (Michael White and David Epson) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing/EMDR (Francine Shapiro) Gestalt Therapy (Fritz Perls) Attachment Theory (John Bowlby) The Good Enough Mother (Donald Winnicott) Imago Relationship Therapy (Harville Hendrix) Person Centered Approach (Carl Rogers) The works of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas and Brazilian revolutionary educator Paulo Freire
  • What are the TNM 12 Core Concepts?
    The concepts provide tools and perspectives to cope with life’s stressors and the pressure to conform. Each concept is designed to help you go deeper, and better understand yourself and others. In our online salons and across all of our work, the TNM 12 Core Concepts serve as the foundation for participation and growth.
  • How is the Narrative Method different from therapy?
    The Narrative Method is not psychotherapy. Rather, it is a multi-disciplinary philosophy and practice. In creating an ambience of trust and mutual acceptance, participants become emboldened to take creative risks in their writing and to share their feelings more openly than they might feel comfortable doing elsewhere. We do not pathologize, diagnose or seek to fix or solve participants’ problems.
  • How is the Narrative Method funded?
    We are a nonprofit organization funded by donations, private contributions, foundation grants, and selling our DIY human cards and other goods in our online TNM shop. To visit the shop, click here.
  • Where can I send a donation?
    Thanks for asking! To make a donation, click here.
  • Does The Narrative Method hold in-person salons?
    Yes! Prior to the COVID pandemic, The Narrative Method only held in-person events. Stay up to date on special events by subscribing to The Narrative Method email list.
  • Can I book The Narrative Method experience for my event?
    Email your inquiry to We look forward to connecting with you!
  • How can I book Shari Foos as a speaker?
    For speaking engagements or to bring Shari to your event, please email your inquiry to
  • How much previous writing experience do I need to participate?
    None! We welcome everyone regardless of experience. The Narrative Method does not teach you how to write. Rather, the focus is on letting your imagination lead you. What you write is less important than observing your creative process and experiencing the mutual support that flows because nobody is being judged.
  • What writing materials do I need?
    You may write on your computer, device or pen and paper— whatever you like! This is for you, so do it your way.
  • Can I join the Zoom meeting from my phone?
    You may join from any device that has access to Zoom. However, we encourage you to join from a computer if you are able. This allows for a more seamless experience!
  • How many people attend an online writing salon?
    Online writing salons average around 50 participants with smaller breakout rooms of 3-5 people and larger breakout rooms of approximately 20.
  • How much do I have to write?
    There are three 7-minute sections. You can write as little as you want, but please keep it to one page or 500 words.
  • Do I have to read what I've written out loud?
    Yes! By choosing to join the TNM writing salons, you are choosing to participate. It’s not fair to simply observe while others are sharing.
  • Will my writing be critiqued?
    No! We are here to share without criticism and witness each other with an open heart.
  • Are the online writing salons recorded?
    For the safety and confidentiality of all participants, the online writing salons are not recorded so everything that is said in the salon stays in the salon.
  • Does my video have to be on?
    Yes, your video must remain on at all times except while writing. It is unnerving to share your thoughts to a blank screen. Blank screens can make people feel observed, and we are all here to participate. In seeing each other, even in silence, we create a sense of safety and mutual support.
  • Do I have to write to the prompts that are given?
    The prompts are simply food for thought. You are invited to use them as a starting point and take them anywhere your imagination leads. Write in any style, and in any voice.
  • How do I know what TNM's core concept of the week is?
    TNM's core concept of the week is shared just before the prompts. They also appear in our weekly emails. Not receiving them? Sign up for an upcoming writing salon or subscribe at the bottom of our homepage.
  • What do I say in the small breakout room after someone has finished reading?
    We are here to witness others from their perspective, and respect what they’ve written without commenting. This is how we provide each other with the experience of being seen and heard without worrying about criticism or comparison. It may seem counterintuitive, but a compliment can run the same risk as a critique, taking us out of the safety of just being witnessed and appreciated. It also spares you from the pressure to say something— and spares others from feeling left out. Simply nod, smile, or offer gratitude such as, “Thank you for sharing.”
  • What do we do if there is still more time once everyone has finished reading?
    You are welcome to share about your own writing process, discuss the concept of the week, or share about what's going on for you right now. Speak only for yourself, and allow others to do the same.
  • What if someone in my breakout room seems like they are in distress?
    If someone seems in distress, that should override everything else. Use your humanity and ask them if they are okay. Sometimes that is enough. Try to hear them without interpreting or offering advice. If necessary, click “Ask for Help” in the meeting controls. Confirm that you would like assistance by clicking “Invite Host.”
  • What is a mosaic?
    A mosaic is a larger breakout room toward the end of the salon, in which everyone is invited to share one line from what they’ve written. It’s a rapid-fire whirlwind of shared creativity and mutual appreciation.
  • Can I come back to the zoom meeting if my wifi tossed me off?
    Yes, please do try! We know it’s frustrating and we do our best to help you return, but the technology is limited so please bear with us.
  • What does it mean if I am removed from a salon?
    Camera and audio are required to participate, and unfortunately you will be removed from the salon whether you choose not to turn on your camera or if they are not working. Please keep your audio off until it’s your turn to speak. If you are removed, please come again next time— no hard feelings! In extremely rare cases, a participant may be removed for inappropriate behavior, refusing to follow protocol or hate speech.
  • Do I have to commit every week, or can I just come when I choose?
    The Narrative Method is here for you whenever you’d like to join! There are no obligations or strings attached. Try it out and if you love it, come all the time!
  • Do I need to cancel my sign up if I can no longer attend?
    If you can no longer make it, simply take a breath and carry on with your day. No need to email or cancel. We will look forward to seeing you next time!
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