Narrative in Psychotherapy
NARRATIVE MEANS TO THERAPEUTIC ENDS
Michael White & David Epston
EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES The reader will be able to:
• Apply the principles of narrative therapy
• Learn to validate the clientís experience that the accepted stories of his/her life are inadequate to his/her experience
• Understand how the client can be helped in re-storying his/her life and that power and knowledge are a part of this process
• Understand that externalization of the problem assists this process
• Learn to identify unique outcomes and investigate these in defiance of the power of the problem
• Understand that identification and provision of space for alternative knowledge is central to therapy
Michael White was an Australian social worker and family therapist. He was the cofounder of Narrative Therapy.
David Epston is a New Zealand therapist, and codirector of the Family Therapy Center in Auckland, New Zealand. He is considered the cofounder of Narrative 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 personís lived experience, inviting a reflexive posture and encouraging a sense of authorship and reauthorship of oneís experiences and relationships in the telling and retelling of oneís story.