See Program


pre conference Workshop Randall & Kenyon

Workshop is organized by William Randall and Gary Irwin-Kenyon, both from the Gerontology Department at the St. Thomas University.

Practicing Narrative Care: Diverse Approaches to Awakening Ordinary Wisdom and Finding Stillness in Your Story

Narrative care is the applied or practical aspect of narrative gerontology. By narrative care, we mean interventions which focus on the person’s unique life narrative— in order to awaken the meaning and ordinary wisdom contained in that lifestory. This workshop will explore how narrative care involves both characters in the biographical encounter—the care-giver and care-receiver. The workshop will also explore approaches to awakening the “stillness at the centre of the story” as a further dimension of narrative care.

The workshop will be interactive in two ways. First, participants will be invited to practice gentle “relax-into-stillness” movements that originate in Tai Chi and which can be performed from a standing or seated position. The purpose of this activity is to relax and bring us to the present moment.  This will be followed by a variety of interactive exercises in which participants will be asked to explore aspects of the storytelling-storylistening exchange that constitutes narrative care.  Concepts that will be introduced include narrative foreclosure, narrative openness, wisdom environment, and restorying. We will look at examples of the ways in which narrative care is practiced, such as in dementia care —and also explore selected themes in our own personal and professional stories.

Biography William Randall

Bill Randall (see picture below) is Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University. A graduate of Harvard, Princeton Seminary, and the University of Toronto, he and Gary Kenyon have pioneered a unique approach to aging known as "narrative gerontology" ( He is author or co-author of over 60 publications, including the books: The Stories We Are (University of Toronto Press, 2014), Reading Our Lives (Oxford UP, 2008), and The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life (Oxford 2015).

 William Randall

Biography Gary Irwin-Kenyon

Gary Irwin-Kenyon (see picture below) is founding Chair and Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University. He is a Fellow of the Andrew Norman Institute for Advanced Studies in Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Southern California. Besides Pathways to Stillness (FriesenPress, 2016) (, he has authored, co-authored or co-edited six books. He designed a programme, Tai Chi as Narrative Care, which he has been teaching for the past ten years to special groups, including residents in long-term care.

 Gary Irwin-Kenyon