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  •  November 15, 2015
     5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
With David Epston,  Sasha Pilkington,  Kay Ingamells (Auckland), and  Travis Heath (Denver)

Case stories or teaching tales are widespread in every professional jurisdiction. They provide for something other than maps or manuals. They are primarily an oral literature that circulate in any profession from senior to junior, from peer to peer. They embody far more than the formalized and canonical ‘rules and regulations’ of manuals and the far more informal ‘map’ which proposes how you get from one place to another and what considerations you might have to keep in mind as you go. Case stories intend to do far more than either and perhaps can be best distinguished as providing the listener/reader with a sense of having been there.

It is not surprising when you consider that narrative therapy has depended heavily on the ‘case story’ as one of its most characteristic means by which its practice is told. Michael White had a mastery of such a form, so much so I suspect most of us just took it for granted eg. that was just how things were done in narrative therapy writing. His stories also included exegeses which commented on the story so far. I and my co-authors have also depended heavily on ‘case stories’ as our modus operandi in terms of representing our practice: Epston(1989), White and Epston(1990); Epston and White(1992); Freeman, Epston and Lobovits (1997); Epston(1998), Maisel, Epston and Borden(2004) and Epston(2008). Oral stories have more in common with case stories than any other comparable genre. And since few of us have any more than a passing knowledge of such oral literatures, it will do us well to survey how in the absence of text oral stories do their work.

David Epston

In November 2015, we were delighted to welcome David Epston as our featured guest for a special two hour session of the Collab Salon. David invited three special guests using case studies as pedagogy to join us: Sasha Pilkington and Kay Ingamells (Auckland), and  Travis Heath (Denver) to join us. Participants also joined in from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, India, Canada, USA and Brazil.


In preparation, David requested that we read the following two articles:

In addition, here is the paper that David read at the beginning of the Salon:

Recording of November, 2015 Collab Salon

Post your Comments and Questions

Whether or not you were able to join us in real time, everyone is welcome to post comments and questions at the bottom of this post.