David Epston is the co-originator with Michael White of what has come to be known as ‘narrative therapy and community work’. The collaboration between David and Michael began in the late 1970s, as continued for many years (you can read more below under “Remembering Michael”). David’s best known publications are White and Epston(1990), Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends; Freeman, Epston and Lobovits(1997), Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and their Families and Maisel, Epston and Borden (2004), Biting The Hand That Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia along with other collections of papers and book chapters.
David studied at the universities of Auckland (anthropology), British Columbia (sociology), Edinburgh (community development) and Warwick (social work/family therapy). Currently, he is the co-director of The Family Therapy Centre and teaches at the School of Social Studies, UNITEC Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. He has held visiting professorships at various universities. He has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters (1996) and a ‘distinguished contribution to family therapy theory and practice’ from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy(2002) and the American Family Therapy Academy(2007).
In 1997 following the publication of Playful Approaches to Serious Problems, David along with his co-authors Dean Lobovits and Jennifer Freeman, initiated the website Narrative Approaches. You’ll find there (and below) links to many articles written and co-authored by David.
David is a prolific writer. Over the years, he has co-authored numerous articles with colleagues and friends. I’ll list here a few of my favorites of David’s co-authored writings, in chronological order: David Marsten (2010), “What Doesn’t the Problem Know About your Son or Daughter?”, Frances Hancock (2008), The craft & art of narrative inquiry, Rick Maisel & Ali Borden (2004) Biting the Hand that Starves You, Joel Fay (2004), Joel, Can you help me train Amber to be a Guard Dog), Jennifer Freeman and Dean Lobovits, (1997), Playful Approaches to Serious Problems, and Sallyann Roth (1995), Engaging young persons in externalizing conversations.
David also nurtures new writers. For example, he reviewed every chapter in my book, Reauthoring Teaching: Creating a collaboratory – and they he even wrote the foreword (Click here to read). He similarly contributed to Marta Campillo’s book “Terapia Narrativa.” He is eager to share his enthusiasm for Marcela Polanco’s dissertation, “Autoethnographic means to the ends of translating narrative therapy (in press), Journal of Systemic Therapies.
David’s most recent book, Down under and up over: Travels with narrative therapy (2008) is currently out-of-print. The publisher has generously given permission for the manuscript to be provided to interested parties for free. Chapters include “Haunting from the Future: A congenial approach to parent-children conflict” by David Epston, Gavin Rennie & Ksenija Napan, “Community approaches – real and virtual – to stealing” by David Epston and Fred Seymour). You’ll find these chapters – and more – throughout this online resource.
In addition, David invites us to review a draft article Can a Young Person’s Mischief Make Trouble for a Problem? In response to the question, “When did you write this draft manuscript?” David said, “Last week.”
David’s current writing projects include preparing manuscripts for publication with: 1) Richard, Ann and Diana Treadgold in the auto-enthoography series of Left Coast Press (Art Bockner & Carolyn Ellis) tentatively titled, “Saving our Daughter from Anorexia;” 2) Lisa Johnson and David Marsten tentatively titled, “Passing through the Looking Glass: Narrative therapy with children, their families and communities.” 3) a project with Caley O’Dwyer Feagin, a narrative therapist and Prof of Creative Writing, University of Southern California and Daved Barry, Prof of Creativity in Organizations, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark to prepare a manuscript tentatively titled, “What is a good question? What is a good story? What makes some stories better than others?
David also is an international presenter. Maybe you have attended one of his workshops somewhere on this globe?
For all of these reasons – and more – I am delighted to share this online resource with you. On this site, we’ve done our best handpick some favorite writings, which we’ve clustered together in the following sections: