• Michael White: Fragments of an Event— John Winslade & Lorraine Hedtke with an introduction by David Epston Quick View

    We present here fragments, reconstructed from memory, of Michael White’s last workshop. These fragments are interspersed with descriptions of events that took place in San Diego in the days leading up to Michael’s death. Our focus here is not on the medical details, nor on the private family stories, but on the task of recording Michael’s last efforts to teach. Our hope is to play a small part in allowing his words to continue to resonate.

  • ‘What Doesn’t the Problem Know About Your Son or Daughter?’ Providing the Conditions for the Restoration of a Family’s Dignity— David Epston and David Marsten Quick View

    This paper looks at the effects of Problems in the lives of children and young people, and also why Problems, by definition, have a ‘limited scope of interest’, and therefore can never reflect the richness of young people’s lives. The authors offer a range of ways that Problems can be directly responded to, including informing them of children’s and young people’s ‘wonderfulnesses’. Several examples of therapeutic documents intended to provide a full disclosure of such ‘wonderfulnesses’ are provided.

  • Consulting your consultants, revisited— David Marsten, David Epston and Lisa Johnson Quick View

    This article questions the notion of children as hapless, biding their time, through a slow maturation process until they become useful adults. We argue that young people1 can be instrumental in their own lives and this extends to addressing serious problems they may encounter. We suggest, in addition, that young people’s knowledges2 can be useful to others. We offer a map (White, 2007) for this practice in how to consult young people on behalf of others in need. With the use of letters and transcripts, we provide examples for each step in how to support young people as they find surer footing and a clearer voice, taking up the role of protagonist and advisor. Through the consulting process, insider knowledges are privileged. Narrative structures are utilised to give order and coherence to such knowledges. A future petitioner is introduced to provide immediacy and narrative drive to the consultation.

  • Placing strengths into storylines – Building bridges between strengths-based and narrative approaches— Kay Ingamells and David Epston Quick View

    Could narrative inquiry enliven strengths-based practice through returning stories to strengths? This paper tells the story of the composition of ‘narrative of strengths’ interviews and their use with students, within a research project utilising the Clifton Strengthsfinder at Unitec, New Zealand. It moves on to explore possible seeds of connection between strengths-based and narrative practice, taking the paradigm of life as story and the reclaiming of the territory of the past as starting points for this inquiry.

  • Haunting from the Future: A Congenial Approach to Parent-children Conflicts—  David Epston, Cherelyn Lakusta, and Karl Tomm Quick View

    This paper describes a novel approach to parent-children conflicts. It has been developed in response to situations when the present is particularly vexatious or where parties are passionately committed to their respective position which requires each to either defend it, or attack the rectitude of the other, and where to relent or even hesitate would risk loss of face.

  • Innovations in Practice: a new column hosted by David Espton: introduction Quick View

    This column is seeking short pieces of writing from narrative therapists describing micro-innovations within their work. We are particularly interested in examples of practice that cannot be explained by the existing narrative therapy literature. We hope this column will foster continuous innovation within the field. We would also request that you avoid narrative terminology and speak in your own voice so that your ‘thinking’ comes through loud and clear. If you have examples of practice you would like to share, please email us at dulwich@dulwichcentre.com.au

    Guest columns for this issue include:

    Introduction— David Espton
    Increasing family presence to reduce expulsion in early childhood centres—Will Sherwin
    Thumbs up/thumbs down: When a child declines to speak— Emory Luce Baldwin

     

  • A narrative enquiry approach to strategic planning in community organisations: A ritual of legacy in transition— Frances Hancock and David Epston Quick View

    In this paper we explore the relevance and possible applications of narrative forms of enquiry to strategic planning in community organisations. How does one translate the ideas and practices of narrative enquiry, which have their genesis in the realm of family therapy, to the field of organisational development? Are there ‘family resemblances’ or do such practices need to be re-invented? In particular, what is a possible starting point for a narrative enquiry approach to strategic planning with community organisations? We propose that a narrative enquiry approach to strategic planning can rouse practitioners at all levels of the organisation to recall and pass on ‘stories that deeply matter’. Such storytelling implicates a ‘story-in-the-making’ in the form of a stirring and unfolding organisational legacy. Organisational practitioners not only remember that legacy into the present but also appraise how it might pass in transit into ‘a sought-after future’. Narrative enquiry may assist organisational practitioners (paid or voluntary, governance or staff) to inspirit their practice with a new-found sense of meaning, purpose and zeal for organisational mission. It may also help summon foresight to evolve a strategic direction and plan capable of guiding them, perhaps along ‘the road less travelled’ towards a soughtafter future.

  • A storyline of collective narrative practice: a history of ideas, social projects and partnerships— David Denborough Quick View

    Collective narrative practice is an emerging field. Building on the thinking and practice foundations of narrative therapy, collective narrative practice seeks to respond to groups and communities who have experienced significant social suffering in contexts in which ‘therapy’ may not be culturally resonant. This paper tells a story of this emerging field. It describes the author’s journey through the intellectual history of six key aspects of narrative therapy as well as richly describing a range of social projects and partnerships. In doing so, this paper provides an historical foundation to the emerging field of collective narrative practice.

  • Tales of travels across languages: Languages and their anti-languages— Marcela Polanco and David Epston Quick View

    This paper is a collaboration between an apprentice bilingual translator/narrative therapist (Marcela) and one of the originators of narrative therapy (David). Studies of translation and bilingualism offer interesting and useful contributions to the renewal of narrative therapy. As narrative ideas migrate cultures, these crossings can enrich, acculturate, and diversify narrative practices. At the same time, considerations of bilinguality or multilinguality can influence our practice within languages. The example of therapeutic practice that is offered illustrates how narrative therapeutic conversations can move between and across multiple namings of people’s predicaments. In this process, understandings need not be ironed out, as often happens in monolingual conversations. Instead, multilinguality puts names in play as transitory constructions, susceptible to renewal or reinvention.

  • Ethnography, co-research and insider knowledges— David Epston Quick View

    This piece revisits some of the intellectual histories of narrative practice, in particular the development of an ethnographic, co-research approach to working with families. By tracing the influence of anthropological and sociological thought on the development of what has become ‘narrative therapy’, this piece invites current practitioners to read beyond the boundaries of any professional field in order to generate new forms of practice.

    • Ethnography, co-research and insider knowledges— David Epston Quick View
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    • Ethnography, co-research and insider knowledges— David Epston
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    • This piece revisits some of the intellectual histories of narrative practice, in particular the development of an ethnographic, co-research approach to working with families. By tracing the influence of anthropological and sociological thought on the development of what has become ‘narrative therapy’, this piece invites current practitioners to read beyond the boundaries of any professional field in order to generate…
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