Narrative Means To Therapeutic Ends

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1990 - Medical - 229 pages
Use of letter-writing in family therapy.

White and Epston base their therapy on the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. Therapy then becomes a process of storying or restorying the lives and experiences of these people. In this way narrative comes to play a central role in therapy. Both authors share delightful examples of a storied therapy that privileges a person’s lived experience, inviting a reflexive posture and encouraging a sense of authorship and reauthorship of one’s experiences and relationships in the telling and retelling of one’s story.


Story Knowledge and Power
Dominant Narrative as Dominant Knowledge
Alternative Stories and Culturally Available Discourses
A Distinction
Defining the Problem to Be Externalized
The Revision of Persons Relationships with Problems
Some Final Thoughts
A Storied Therapy
Counter Documents
Letters of Invitation

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About the author (1990)

Michael White (1948-2008), one of the founders of narrative therapy and co-director of the Dulwich Centre, an institute for narrative practice and community work in Adelaide, Australia, made significant contributions to psychotherapy and family therapy. He is the author of Maps of Narrative Practice and co-author of Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. David Epston, M.A., C.Q.S.W. is coauthor of Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends (1990) and Playful Approaches to Serious Problems (1997). He is a visiting professor at the School of Community Studies, UNITEC Institute of Technology in Auckland, and is the codirector of the Family Therapy Centre in Auckland.

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