Michael White

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

    $9.90

    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.

  • Children, Trauma and Subordinate Storyline Development— Michael White

    $9.90

    In this paper, Michael White emphasises the importance of subordinate storyline development in consultations with children who have been subject to trauma. This subordinate storyline development provides an alternative territory of identity for children to stand in as they begin to give voice to their experiences of trauma. This affords children a significant degree of immunity from the potential for retraumatisation in response to therapeutic initiatives to assist them to speak of their experiences of trauma and its consequences. This paper includes illustrations of the implications of these ideas for consultations with children who have been subject to trauma.

  • Journey metaphors— Michael White

    $9.90

    In this paper Michael White documents the use of katharsis and rite of passage metaphors within therapy, teaching and community work contexts. This paper was written to be given as an evening address to participants prior to the Dulwich Centre Publications’ International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference held at Spelman College in Atlanta in June, 2002. As practitioners from many different countries gathered together in the beautiful grounds of the historically black women’s college, there was an increasing sense of anticipation about what experiences lay ahead of us. Never before had such an event been held at an historically black college, and participants and organisers alike felt powerfully welcomed by Vanessa McAdamsMahmoud of Spelman College and the local African American community. We didn’t know exactly where this was all leading, we only knew that we were delighted to be travelling together. What was clear was that thorough preparation would be required to make this event all that it could be. The writing and delivery of this paper was one aspect of these conference preparations. Now, six months later, we would once again like to thank Vanessa McAdams-Mahmoud, Vanessa Jackson and Makungu Akinyela for inviting us to host the conference at Spelman College, and for making possible what was a rigorous, generous-hearted and healing event.

  • Narrative Practice and Community Assignments— Michael White

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    This paper describes explorations of the relevance of narrative practices to working with communities which are facing various concerns and predicaments. These explorations have been undertaken in the context of community assignments that have been initiated in response to approaches from communities. In describing these explorations, this paper highlights the assumptions that have oriented our participation in these initiatives and some of the principles of narrative practice that we have found to be of particular importance in them. As well, this paper presents some special considerations in regard to addressing the psychological pain and emotional distress that is the outcome of trauma; discusses the priority given to the development of partnerships between the members of our team and between team members and community members; and provides an account of the structure of the community-wide gathering phase of these assignments.

  • Addressing Personal Failure— Michael White

    $9.90

    The phenomenon of personal failure has grown exponentially over recent decades. Never before has the sense of being a failure to be an adequate person been so freely available to people, and never before has it been so willingly and routinely dispensed. This paper describes therapeutic options relevant to addressing this sense of personal failure. It also describes the operations of modern power, for it is the rise of a distinctly modern version of power that is associated with the dramatic growth of failure. Offering a map to guide therapeutic explorations in this area, and interspersed with transcripts of therapeutic conversations, this paper then concludes with a ‘failure conversations exercise’ to assist in the development of practice skills.

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

    $9.90

    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.

  • Michael White and adventures downunder— David Denborough

    $9.90

    This paper explores the personal-professional historical development of the work of the late Michael White. It was written at the request of Maurizio Andolfi and first published in Italian in Terapia Familiare No.102, July 2013. It is published here for the first time in English with permission. The paper is written as a response to four questions: What were some of the key steps in Michael White’s historical development from a personal-professional perspective? From where did Michael draw his main inspirations? What have been his major contributions? And what has Michael left to the younger generations?

  • Working with People Who Are Suffering the Consequences of Multiple Trauma: A Narrative Perspective— Michael White

    $9.90

    In October 2003, Michael White gave a presentation at the Treatment & Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture and Trauma (TRC) in Ramallah, Palestine. In consultation with those present, it was decided that it would be helpful to have this presentation recorded, transcribed, edited and then translated into Arabic to be made available to other Arabic-speaking workers in Palestine and elsewhere. The paper published here was created for this purpose. In doing this, we realised that it was a paper that would be of value to a wider readership and so have included it here. Jane Hales transcribed an audiotape of the presentation and David Denborough assisted in bringing this piece to its current form.

    The paper places an emphasis on the priority given to the redevelopment and reinvigoration of a ‘sense of myself’ in working with people who have been subject to trauma. It describes how this can be achieved through the use of definitional ceremony structures, outsider-witness practices and re-authoring conversations. The last section of the paper discusses the work of memory theorists and its relevance to work with people who have experienced trauma. More particularly it proposes that, in order to re-associate dissociated memory, we must first enable a revitalisation of the ‘sense of myself’.

1,959 Comments

  1. Thank you for this overview of Narrative Therapy. I am returning to practice after some time away, and these reminders are timely and appreciated.

  2. Hi Chris

    I really enjoyed watching your video about Narrative Walks. My project is based in Blaenau Gwent, in South Wales, Uk. I’m wondering whether I might use such an approach in my work with our Youth Service, who support young people between the ages of 11 and 25. Have you any thoughts on this? Are there any resources available, either free or to purchase?

    Best wishes

    Paul

    • Hi Paul, m

      Much of my early attempts of the program were with the 15-20 year old age bracket and I found it worked really well. When I recently had an opportunity to run the program again with this age bracket – I extended the finish time so that could spend more time at the stop points and have a fire at the last resting place to talk about our intentions after the walk. This meant that we used head torches for the 2km which added a bit of a sense of theatre to the day. It was pretty cool.

      If you email me on hello@embarkpsych.com I can send you the manual. Or ask any other questions via this page so others might share in the answers.

      CD

  3. Thank you for sharing your insights. This has been very enlightening as a student studying post-grad social work. Recently my tutorial group was discussing how professionals often use their interpretation and that clients may not get to see how some professionals interpret their stories, in this way many things can be missed especially what the client sees as being important.

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