|Narrative Therapy was co-developed by Michael White and David Epston, social workers from Australia and New Zealand, beginning in the 1970’s. Michael died unexpectedly in 2008.|
David continues to teach narrative therapy around the world.
Narrative Therapy is a respectful and collaborative approach to working with people that accesses people’s knowledge and skills in addressing problems that have come into a person’s or a family’s life. The work of narrative therapy is ethically based and founded on principles of social justice.
Some of the beliefs that influence the work of narrative therapists include:
- The Problem is the Problem.
The focus is on naming, measuring, and evaluating the effects of the Problems that come into people’s lives. The work is to join with people and families to undermine the effects of Problems. The goal is to isolate and eliminate Problems from one’s life and relationships.
- People are the experts in their own lives.
A narrative approach relies on the sincere belief that people have wisdom, strengths, skills, and values that can be used to weaken the effects of Problems in their lives.
- People’s lives are multi-storied.
Problems can blind people to their own good qualities, abilities, hopes, and dreams. A narrative therapist is interested in having conversations that contribute to an enriched story of oneself, one’s relationships, and one’s place in the world.