David Epston

David Epston
North Dakota State University | NDSU · Department of Psychology

BA, Dip.Comm.Dev Distinction; Ma in applied social studies, CQSW(UK), mnazc, D. Litt

About

104
Publications
33,118
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4,496
Citations
Introduction
Further papers and teaching information is available at www.narrativeapproaches.com and in the Journal of Narrative Family Therapy (free access at www.journalnft.com). If electronic copies of papers aren't available on researchgate they may be available at narrative approaches.
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (104)
Article
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 rea...
Article
Wairua (spirituality) is a central focus in indigenous Māori healing. This article describes Māori healing with a Māori and Samoan family told from the viewpoints of the teenager presenting with depression and suicidal thoughts; her mother; the Māori healer; and the Pākehā (New Zealand European) child and adolescent psychiatrist involved. While ele...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides an account of our experience trying out exemplary tales as an alternative pedagogy for learning narrative therapy. The laboratory for this experiment was a semester-long graduate course on narrative therapy taught at North Dakota State University. Rather than following a traditional structure of first teaching the theoretical...
Book
Reimagining Narrative Therapy Through Practice Stories and Autoethnography takes a new pedagogical approach to teaching and learning in contemporary narrative therapy, based in autoethnography and storytelling.The individual client stories aim to paint each therapeutic meeting in such detail that the reader will come to feel as though they actually...
Article
Full-text available
Rose had lived with a great number of voices all her life, and since her teens, she had been in a state of perpetual war with some of them over the control of her life. She had not found cognitive therapy to be helpful and rejected psychopharmacological treatment as a trial had proved to worsen her hallucinations. During our collaboration, we engag...
Article
Full-text available
Alice had lived with entities, categorized as auditory hallucinations, she calls The Others all her life, but they were aggressive and dangerous to live with. Psychiatric treatment did not affect them. Then one day, we discovered that they appreciated being treated to cigarettes and coffee and we began to teach them how to be receivers of hospitali...
Article
Full-text available
Rose had been experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations since childhood for which psychopharmacological treatment had not proven helpful or effective. Rose therefore rejected antipsychotic treatment. She developed ways of dealing with the more troublesome of her many voices in her teens, but the state of war between then was exhausting and un...
Article
Full-text available
Alice had co-existed with entities categorised as auditory hallucinations since she was a child. They were terrifying and dangerous companions and psychiatric treatment did not prove helpful against them. One day, we made the discovery that these entities that Alice called The Others appreciated an offer of a smoking break, and this led to a practi...
Article
Full-text available
El presente artículo es una conferencia ofrecida en San Antonio, Texas donde se plantean algunas formas de acercarse a conversaciones que destaquen el carácter moral de las personas en relación con el Problema que las acosa. Se ofrecen varias historias que ayudan a reflexionar acerca de la capacidad de las personas de verse a sí mismas como dignas...
Article
Abstract Objective: The aim of this article is to give an overview of Māori concepts informing a collaboration between a Māori healer (NiaNia) and psychiatrist (Bush). Conclusions: Wairua (spiritual) problems can resemble psychiatric disorders or symptoms. Knowledge of relevant Māori concepts such as mauri, tapu, mana, matekite and manaakitanga may...
Book
Full-text available
A collection of papers written by David Epston and Edited by Barry Bowen
Article
Objective: This article describes the voice hearing experiences of a young Māori man, and the joint Māori healing and psychiatry assessment he received, in which the Māori healer (WN) concluded that some of the young man's experiences could be accounted for by ancestral kaitiaki (spiritual guardians). Conclusions: Kaitiaki are commonly accepted...
Article
Objective: The aim of this article is to give an overview of Māori concepts informing a collaboration between a Māori healer (NiaNia) and psychiatrist (Bush). Conclusions: Wairua (spiritual) problems can resemble psychiatric disorders or symptoms. Knowledge of relevant Māori concepts such as mauri, tapu, mana, matekite and manaakitanga may assis...
Data
Abstract: This article provides an account of our experience trying out exemplary tales as an alternative pedagogy for learning narrative therapy. The laboratory for this experiment was a semester-long graduate course on narrative therapy taught at North Dakota State University. Rather than following a traditional structure of first teaching the th...
Article
Full-text available
Freely available in the archived section of the Journal of narrative family therapy special issue 2018 www.journalnft.com
Article
Full-text available
My Concern I was a 19-year-old university student at the time that I began meeting with Emily Corturillo, who was a student therapist at the NDSU Family Therapy Center. My reason for seeking therapy was to get a better hold on the effects of anxiety in my life. Emily was by no means the first therapist that I had met. It was no surprise to me that...
Article
Full-text available
This is the first of three working papers intended to introduce you to one of the most recent developments in narrative practice called Insider Witnessing Practices (IWP). Given the fact that we are still in the midst of innovating this practice, in this first paper, we have decided to offer the reader an account of the emerging history of the deve...
Article
This "accidental" research project looks at the use of a case story as a pedagog-ical foundation for teaching narrative therapy in a master's level course in the University of Denver's International Disaster Psychology program (MAIDP). Case study is here utilized primarily to document process, methodology, and approach of the practitioner. A survey...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides an account of our experience trying out exemplary tales as an alternative pedagogy for learning narrative therapy. The laboratory for this experiment was a semester-long graduate course on narrative therapy taught at North Dakota State University. Rather than following a traditional structure of first teaching the theoretical...
Book
This book examines a collaboration between traditional Māori healing and clinical psychiatry. Comprised of transcribed interviews and detailed meditations on practice, it demonstrates how bicultural partnership frameworks can augment mental health treatment by balancing local imperatives with sound and careful psychiatric care. In the first chapter...
Article
What follows is a response from far away to a city, its citizens and professional colleagues ravaged by a series of devastating earthquakes and aftershocks in 2010. It was an attempt to offer stories that could be easily circulated around professional circles and the populace. These might be considered to be ‘teaching tales’, which the author hoped...
Article
This case story is a composite of similar family situations where the parents were at risk of harm from their teenage children and commonly the father/step-father has moved out of home leaving the mother to parent the children on her own. Several of these cases involved physical threats to the lives of the parents. These referrals occurred in a Chi...
Article
Full-text available
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Article
Traditional healers in many parts of the world have used family focused understandings and interventions well before the emergence of western family therapy theory and practice. This paper gives a detailed account of New Zealand Māori traditional healing work with a Cook Island Māori family in which the eldest daughter was in considerable distress...
Article
Full-text available
Stealing, a common problem of childhood and adolescence, is often regarded as an expression of distress and is associated with parental “distance” and family breakups, especially in older children (Patterson 1982, p. 263). This article tells the story of family therapy work with a New Zealand Indian family whose son's stealing habit followed the fa...
Article
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...
Article
This issue intends to highlight a pilot project for further research that will satisfy the requirements of the Shine a Light Narrative Therapy Research Fund and more generally “evidence-based research.” John and Chris detail their thinking and response to such requirements. I hope this is the harbinger of further such studies.
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
This issue's “The Corner” once again intends to highlight innovative practice: The West Coast Post-Trauma Retreat near San Rafael, California and the innovative theorizing of practice at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria and in the high school classrooms of British Columbia. In both cases, I have sought that the authors wri...
Article
Excitement, scrutinized in the therapeutic realm, can be seen as misguided and naïve, especially if it is of the spontaneous kind, producing an image of a dispossessed practitioner, lacking in experience and direction and prone to distraction by surface expressions, while neglecting the deeper concerns that are our core business. In contrast, a cal...
Article
This is a story about a young man who was beset with childhood fears. The story tells of his struggle to overcome these fears through participation, with his parents, in a several narrative therapy conversations. Selections from several therapeutic letters are included in the story. These record and attest to the development of a significant counte...
Chapter
From here on, Rose and I request that you prepare yourself for a different set of ‘reader responses’ as the genres become blurred. If fact and fiction are read differently, how best might you approach ‘faction’? The following is an example of a ‘re-authoring therapy’ but that process will be briefly described elsewhere so as not to intrude. So read...
Presentation
Published in Explorations: An E-Journal of Narrative Practice
Article
Full-text available
This contribution was a speech that David Epston delivered at ‘Remembering Michael’ at The Family Therapy Centre in Auckland, New Zealand on May 23, 2008; it was also read aloud by Suzanne Pregerson/Rick Maisel in a ‘Remembering Michael White’ ceremony in San Rafael, California.
Chapter
Full-text available
The craft and art of narrative inquiry in organizations In this chapter, we explore the application and relevance of narrative forms of inquiry to organizational development practice. We map the journey of an apprenticeship in narrative ideas and practices, showing how one learns and is taught the craft and art of narrative inquiry. In particular,...
Article
Full-text available
The Treaty of Waitangi is widely recognized as the founding document of New Zealand. While the Treaty has constitutional and legal status, its meaning and application in contemporary New Zealand society is the source of great debate. This paper unmasks the increasingly dominant and problem-saturated narrative of Treaty Fatigue circulating in public...
Article
Full-text available
Foucault's analysis of unseen power as it operates in discourses that construct ‘practices of discipline’ and ‘technologies of the self’ has been a central conceptual resource in the development of narrative therapy. Narrative therapists take the view that ‘unseen’ aspects of power work to construct both how a person understands their situation, an...
Article
In our dominant discourses, anorexia and bulimia are identified with those persons suffering from their effects. Thus a person is anorexic or bulimic. By contrast, narrative therapists conceive of anorexia and bulimia as separate from the person. Consequently the problem, and the person's relationship with it, rather than the person themselves, can...
Book
Traducción de: Playful Approaches to Serious Problems A partir de su propia experiencia clínica, los autores desarrollan una amplia y entusiasta exposición sobre el uso de recursos narrativos y lúdicos en las terapias infantil y familiar.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Co-Research: The making of an alternative knowledge
Book
La terapia narrativa implica a toda la familia y especialmente a los niños, pues respeta su lenguaje singular, sus recursos para la resolución de problemas y su concepción del mundo. Cuando los adultos hablan con seriedad y centrándose en el análisis de los problemas es probable que los niños pierdan interés. Los autores de este libro se preguntan:...
Book
Narrative therapy . . . is based on the idea that problems are manufactured in social, cultural, and political contexts. Each person produces the meaning of his or her own life from the stories that are available in these contexts. As "Narrative Therapy in Practice" demonstrates, it is the spirit of collaboration that guides clinicians who use this...
Article
In this paper we detail steps in the process of getting free of anorexia/bulimia. An edited version of a correspondence between the first two authors follows that records Ms. Morris' experience in breaking free of a twenty-three year tyrannical relationship with anorexia/bulimia. The correspondence illustrates practices that assist persons in forgi...
Article
Full-text available
Neutral dictionary definitions of the words of a language ensure their common features and guarantee that all speakers of a given language will understand one another, but the use of words in live speech communication is always individual and contextual. (Bakhtin, 1986, pp 88.) Therapy, like politics, has always rested on the construction and maint...
Article
in contrast with the [therapeutic] practices informed by the termination-as-loss metaphor, . . . outline a model of the final stage of therapy as a rite of passage from one identity status to another / this passage centers around the person joining with others in a familiar social world and encourages the recruitment of others in the celebration an...
Article
This article explains how a therapist might go about writing a narrative therapeutic letter.
Chapter
Full-text available
Externalising establishes a context where people experience themselves as separate from the problem. That is, separate from problem-saturated descriptions that have encompassed or have become" their identities. It changes persons' relationship to problems, and shifts the conversation to a focus on the relationship between the person and the problem...
Article
Presents 3 stories about the experience of people devastated by guilt in relation to the death of a loved person: a father, a newborn son, and a handicapped uncle. In each story, the persons believed themselves responsible and were moving inexorably toward their own personal tragedy. Grieving, either in anticipation or in the event of a loved one's...
Chapter
This book presents a respectful, often playful approach to serious problems, with groundbreaking theory as a backdrop. The authors start with 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. In this way narrative comes to play...
Article
Childhood stealing is a distressing problem for families and may have wider community costs since childhood stealers often become adult criminals: This paper describes a therapeutic ‘map’ that emphasises direct engagement of the child, along with his/her family, in regrading the child from ‘stealer’ to ‘honest person’. Analysis of therapy with 45 c...
Article
An illustration of Narrative Therapy
Chapter
There are three principal sections to this book. This first section is an introduction that provides the theoretical and political frame for the material presented in the other two sections. In this first section, I have presented an overview of some of the more recent developments in social theory that David and I have found of compelling intere...
Article
Suggests that childhood fears in relation to the night are common but may be both intense and persistent and describes a problem-solving approach to such fears. A double description (fear vs bravery life-styles) that counters the young person and his/her family's participation with the problem is introduced. A benevolent and empowering ordeal which...
Article
Describes the course of family therapy for a family troubled by their family doctor's diagnosis of a genetic cause for the son's disruptive and often violent temperament. Steps in disabusing the family of its hopelessness about the cause of the son's rages and how this contributed to the elimination of the disruptive behavior are outlined. (0 ref)...
Article
This paper describes the dramatic resolution of a refractory feeding problem of an eighteen month old boy. He had spent 199 days in hospital prior to treatment and none following this, except for a brief period for a tonsillectomy. He has regained his developmental pace. The authors have attempted to isolate their hypotheses and the interventions d...
Article
This chapter is followed by a commentary by W. H. O'Hanlon. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The aim of this project, is to develop new narrative practices and theory for addressing psychosis through co-research with people who are able to hear voices and related phenomena.
Project
To develop a narrative perspective in counseling practice