Statement of Position Map 2

Statement of Position Map 2

Now let’s turn to Statement of Position Map 2, which is in Chapter 5 in your book.

It uses the same four areas of questions as Map 1 but this time we’re starting with a gap in the problem story – an exception, a sparkling moment, a unique outcome – whichever characterisation you prefer.

We’re now into preferred stories of life and rich story development of a preferred action. Think about the same three aspects of a story:  (1) EVENTS over (2) TIME linked by a (3) THEME OR PLOT and ask about each aspect and how they connect up.

Other maps (e.g. the Re-authoring Map) also start here, but this Map 2 is the simplest to try out first, especially if you’ve already had a go at Map 1.

As a starting point you might ask a question like “This value that you were telling me about [in Statement of Position Map 1] – could you give me an example of a recent action you’ve taken that fits with this?”

Any action that suggests the problem story isn’t (A) the whole story or (B) the only story is a possible starting place. The action/initiative/development will hopefully include an aspect of agency (so, e.g. winning the lottery might be a harder starting point because of the large element of luck).

In the video – again with KJ – you’ll see how continuity with Map 1 was established. 

If, in the practising of this, you find yourself getting drawn back into the problem (this can happen!), try and return to the structure of Map 1 and, assuming the person has now experienced adequate acknowledgement of the problem and its effects, look for opportunities to return to Map 2. 

If it keeps happening, I might ask a question like “What is it about the problem and its effects that I could usefully understand further?”

Read Chapter 5, check out the video and post a comment or three!

Again, I’ll respond to all transcripts posted.

NB the outsider witness conversation in relation to KJ’s story appears in the Outsider Witness Group lesson.


In twos, one person interviews the other using the questions below. Take about 10-20 minutes each way.

Avoid asking different kinds of questions or taking the interview into different areas unless you are confident that your practice will stay narrative.

  1. Characterising
    Select a recent action or initiative (no matter how small) you took that seemed to go well. Describe what you did. What words or images come to mind as you describe it?
  2. Connecting
    What were the preceding events or thinking that provided a foundation for this action?
    What effects did it have on others? Yourself? Your sense of who you are? What happened subsequently? What you got to understand better?
    What other ideas or actions from elsewhere in your life might be connected to this action?
    Who might really understand the importance of this?
    What future possibilities might flow from this action and its effects?
  3. Position
    What was your experience of this action and its effects? What position do you take on it? How well does it fit with the things you believe in?
  4. Values
    Why do you have the view you do about this? What does this fit with in terms of what you want for your life or work?

You can download a PDF of this exercise here.

“Maps like these shape a therapeutic inquiry in which people suddenly find themselves interested in novel understandings of the events of their lives, curious about aspects of their lives that have been forsaken, fascinated with neglected territories of their identities, and, at times, awed by their own responses to the predicaments of their existence.”  - Michael White, Maps of Narrative Practice
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