Narrative Means to
Therapeutic Ends

Michael White and
David Epston


1990 . W. W. NORTON & COMPANY . NEW YORK . LONDON

Available in Australia and New Zealand from Dulwich Centre,
345 Carrington Street, Adelaide, Sth Australia 5000, Australia

ISBN: 0-393-70098-4


Contents

Foreword by Karl Tomm, M.D.					vii
Acknowledgments							xiii
Introduction							xv
1. Story, Knowledge, and Power 1 Analogy 4 The Text Analogy 9 The Text Analogy and Therapy 13 Dominant Narrative as Dominant Knowledge and Unit of Power 18 Alternative Stories and Culturally Available Discourses 27 Oral and Written Traditions: A Distinction 33 Conclusion 37 2. Externalizing of the Problem 38 Relative Influence Questioning 42 Defining the Problem to Be Externalized 48 Unique Outcomes 55 The Revision of Persons' Relationships with Problems 63 Responsibility 65 The Cultural Context 65 The Panopticon 67 Some Final Thoughts 75 3. A Storied Therapy 77 Distinctions Between Logico Scientific and Narrative Modes 80 Letters of Invitation 84 Redundancy Letters 90 Letters of Prediction 94 Counter-Referral Letters 96 Letters of Reference 98 Letters for Special Occasions 103 Brief Letters 107 Letters as Narrative 125 Self Stories 163 4. Counter Documents 188 Certificates 192 Declarations 192 Self-certification 212 Conclusion 216 References 218 Index 223