Murray's first masterclass begins September 15th!

About Murray

I first discovered the healing aspects of storytelling in my own therapy. Relating my experiences to a qualified specialist, I saw my life in a new light. I learned to identify the habitual negative stories I told myself and replace them with alternative stories that were positive and productive. The process unleashed my creativity, boosted my self confidence and helped me accept myself.

As a clinical psychologist, I drew on the power of story to enter the mysterious minds of severely mentally ill adult patients and also children whom I treated with play therapy.

After emigrating from South Africa to New York in 1990, I began the journey to becoming a professional storyteller and storytelling teacher.

Before I was born

Maternal Great great grandfather. Name, place and date unknown. Story lost in the ether of history 
Before I was born

1961

Nanny Paulina Modisane

Third generation South African, born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Great/grandparents from Russia and Lithuania. Father a pharmaceutical executive, mother a concert pianist. From infancy onwards cared for by nanny of Koi/Tswana origins.

1961

1965

Was able to name make and model of every car on the road. Beginning of lifelong infatuation with cars.

 

1965

1967- 1976

Mediocre student, lived in a fantasy world.

1967- 1976

1977

Got into trouble for inviting black musician to play at high school.

1977

1980-1985

Obtained Masters degree in Research Psychology from Wits University. Conducted laboratory experiments investigating the correlation between the unconscious mind and creativity improvement.

1980-1985

1986-1990

Entered clinical psychology training. Developed treatments for severely mentally ill patients by harnessing creative impulses. Trained in Play therapy. Delivered paper to South African Psychological Association – “Is adult creativity child’s play?”

1986-1990

1990

Emigrated to USA to become a playwright. Modest critical success. Financially disastrous.

1990

1994

Enrolled in Ph.D program at Columbia University School of Social Work. Began working with dying AIDS patients. Developed listening and storytelling method. Studied Alexander Technique.

1994

1996

Became a student of Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche: a teacher, a scholar, a lama, and a Dzogchen master in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

1996

2000

Co-author and performer of Two Men Talking with Paul Browde MD at Narrative Therapy Conference, Adelaide, Australia and co-founder of Narativ, Inc., a communcations company specializing in listening and storytelling.

2000

2003

Oscar nominated for documentary Why Can’t We Be A Family Again?

2003

2004

Documentary film Paternal Instinct airs on HBO and BBC.

2004

2006

Performed Two Men Talking at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and off-Broadway, New York at Barrow St. Theater.

2006

2007

Performed run of Two Men Talking at Trafalgar Studios, London.

2007

2013

Following passing of teacher Khen Rinpoche (2010), becomes student of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, author and the founder of Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization in the Longchen Nyingtik lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

2013

2007-2020

Director of Narativ, Inc., conducting keynotes, workshops and trainings for corporations and non-profit organizations. Author of Powered by Storytelling: Excavate, Craft and Present Stories to Transform Business Communication.

In 2020, Powered by Storytelling was published in China.

2007-2020

2019

Collaborated with Nesime Salioska on The Power of Storytelling: Our work on changing narratives about Roma targets journalists, writers and producers from the world at an international conference.
2019

2020

Launched the World Mother Storytelling Project at The Town Hall of New York.

2020