Therapeutic Letter Writing – Poetic and Collaborative Means to Documentation with David Nylund

Therapeutic Letter Writing – Poetic and Collaborative Means to Documentation with David Nylund


About this Episode:

A conversation with Dr. David Nylund on the history and art of therapeutic letter writing. We discuss the emergence of letter writing in narrative therapy as an alternative to “traditional”notes and documentation, crafting letters that keep the conversation going, and new movements in how to use letter writing in therapeutic work.


About David:

David-NylundDr. David Nylund has been a practicing therapist for 29 years. He has worked in a broad array of settings including community mental health, non-profit agencies, managed care, and private practice. David specializes in working with people struggling with anxiety and depression; LGBTQ identities; couples therapy; trauma and abuse; life transitions (grief and loss, divorce, career changes, etc.); children and teens struggling against problems; ADHD; youth and adults with eating/food related issues; substance abuse problems; parenting difficulties; and family therapy. Dr. Nylund has a particular interest and specialty in working with transgender and gender non-conforming youth and their families. David is the Clinical Director of the Gender Health Center, a non-profit agency in Sacramento that serves transgender and LGBQ communities.

Dr. Nylund is also a Professor of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento. He conducts workshops for mental health professionals nationwide and internationally; he is a respected scholar in Narrative Therapy. Narrative Therapy is an exciting, growing body of work that offers generative ideas for effective clinical practice. It is a competency-based approach that highlights people abilities and skills. He has published many articles on Narrative Therapy and is the author of several books including Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD and the co-editor (with Craig Smith) of Narrative Therapies with Children and Adolescents. In addition to publishing various articles and book chapters on family therapy, Dr. Nylund presents his work throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.

Dr. Nylund holds academic degrees from the University of California, Davis (PhD, Cultural Studies); California State University, Sacramento (MSW, Master of Social Work); and Michigan State University (BA, Criminal Justice). He is a faculty member of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy.

You can visit his website at

Links and References

Links and References:

The article David mentions:
Poetic Means to Anti-Anorexic Ends –


The APA Citation for this Episode:

Shook, M. (Producer). (2019, March 13). EP119: Therapeutic Letter Writing – Poetic and Collaborative Means to Documentation with David Nylund [Audio Podcast]. The Thoughtful Counselor. Retrieved from


Thanks to the Following:

MILKOVÍ on Unsplash

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