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Three Interviews with David Epston

Counterstorying, Hauntings from the Future, Wonderfulness Enquiries & Possibilities from the Future

Course Description

What lies at the very heart of the artistry of Narrative Practice?  What is a good question and what does such a question do? What is a good story and how does it does it ‘counter’ a problematic story?  David has engaged with these questions for over the last 15 years in traditional live workshop formats and more recently in The Apprenticeship in the Artistry of Narrative Practice Program with David Epston, Kay Ingamells, and Tom Carlson.

This course demonstrates innovative teaching methods to teach the craft and art of narrative inquiry training with immersion learning through transcripts and internalized other questioning. We focus on three interviews:1) David’s well-known interview and follow-up seven years later with Sebastian;   2) David’s interview with counselor Viola who has met 8 times with 16 year old Joel, and then 5 minutes in, he begins to interview her as Joel 3) David’s interview with social worker Karen as Jane and then as Jane’s son Tim. Each time, we review a recorded interview, alongside a transcript, paying close attention to questions and reflections. As well, relevant papers and essays will be distributed prior to or after each session.

Each interview and its transcript gives an insider view of David’s inventive interviewing practices. David and Kay demonstrate such practices as getting to know a person’s uniqueness, counterstorying,  playful approaches and imaginative knowhow, haunting from the future, and letter-writing.  For those interested in learning more intensive training situated within their own practice, this series serves as a gateway to The Apprenticeship.

Reflective and Interactive Learning

We strongly recommend finding at least one other person with whom to take the course and share your responses. Ideally, take this course as part of a local study group or use it as a way to bring together a new group. Alternatively, please Contact us if you would like help finding a Study-Buddy; keep in mind it will easier for us to do so if you have registered at a time when others are also registering such as during the Early Bird period.

We believe this course and its three interviews make excellent teaching materials for graduate training programs  Please contact us for an institutional rate if you wish to use these materials for other than personal use.

Course Objectives

Participants will: WE NEED AT LEAST 6
  1.  Become familiar with internalized other interviewing as pedagogy for teaching the craft and art of narrative inquiry.
  2.  Synthesize an understanding of and engagement with thinking with stories.
  3. NEW Identify aspects of a process of narrative questioning in at least one of three illustrations

To Register

Registration gives unlimited access to all course materials for personal use for an unlimited time.  You can start this course at anytime: all course materials are available on-demand, and adaptable to personal schedules. For an additional $25, registrants can earn 8 APA approved CE credits through Alliant International University.

Discounted rates available for students or fixed income, international registrants, and groups of 5 or more.
Registration Info Coming Soon
CE info coming soon
If Registered, Click Here to Take the Course

Course Contributors

David Epston

David Epston

David Epston (Auckland, New Zealand) David Epston, co-founder of narrative therapy alongside Michael white, brings a sense of wonder, adventure and innovation to his conversations and collaborations. What makes a good question? What guides inquiry in narrative therapy? What are some narrative lines of inquiry? The collaboration between David and Michael began in the late 1970s, as continued for many years. 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, Narrative Therapy in Wonderland.

For more information, please review: David Epston: Improvisations, innovations and collaborations.

Kay Ingamells M.S.W

Kay Ingamells M.S.W., (Auckland, New Zealand) has been working with individuals, children, young people and families since 1990. Kay began her career working with troubled young people and children in residential care and in specialist agencies,  then spent nine years working in child and adolescent mental health. For the past ten years she has lectured in narrative therapy in higher education at undergraduate and post-graduate level and has been running a private therapy and counselling practice for children, families, young people and adults. For the last 12 years she has been supervised by the co-inventor of Narrative Therapy, David Epston, and has taught alongside David for the last 5 years. Kay has published several articles. She is currently writing and presenting about her apprenticeship with David Epston. She also provides one-on-one and group training called ‘Training Through Transcripts’, to narrative practitioners committed to bringing David’s practices into their own work.

Lesson Descriptions

Lesson One: Setting the Stage

We introduce David, Kay and the course, building on David’s steadfast commitment to the art and craft of narrative inquiry. Kay describes her apprenticeship with David. Together they describe their unique approach to therapy as art and training through transcripts. Kay highlights what to watch for in the interviews.

Lesson Two: How We Teach

How does someone learn the craft of narrative inquiry toward becoming a narrative artist? The lesson begins with the reminder that this is not about learning to become David’s clone.  Michael often referred to a quote by literary theorist  Lionel Trilling   “It’s the copying that originates.” Akin to improvising in jazz. First, you learn the scales, and then you leave them to one side to express your own creative bent. We describe training through transcripts and internalized other questioning.

Lesson Three: The Sebastian Interview

David and Kay demonstrate their approach to training with the well-known “Sebastian” interview, and follow-up seven years later. In addition to exploring the original video and transcript, Kay gives her commentary.

Lesson Four: The Joel/Viola Interview

Meet 16 year old Joel through his counsellor Viola. Joel has very irregular school attendance and when he does, he has panic attacks.  His father has a long history of drug addiction and violence against Joel’s mother as well as Joel. Joel also has assaulted his mother. Joels’ wonderfulnesses are brought forth and witnessed in multiple ways. The wonderfulnesses are brought forward into the future and set against the problem using internalised other interviewing and future forecasting. A counter-story is told about Joel’s moral identity and this storying is witnessed by the important others in his life in such a way that the effects of the past violence are acknowledged and transformed inside this imagined future.

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Interview with and through Tim’s Social Worker

Jane and her partner had 4 children, two of whom died from neglect. Neither was charged but their remaining two children were removed by the Child Protection Services. Her son was rejected at 11 placements and out of desperation was placed with Jane’s brother who was given custody. However, without any notice, he phoned Jane to tell her he would be dropping Tim off the next day and did so. She had not seen him for 8 years and had no preparation for this. The Child Protection Services took legal action to provide weekly surveillance of this arrangement. This interview took place with the social worker who had visited weekly over a 2-year period after which any further surveillance was waived as Jane and Tim had bonded as mother and son. And Tim had stopped ‘weirding people out’. We explore a range of themes including Magnification, The person in the community rather than in isolation, Internalised other Conversations, Twisty Questions, Finding counter-story threads, Finding story in theparticular, and Counter-storying from a number of directions.

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Lesson Six: Where Do We Go From Here?

Guided by learnings from internalized other interviews, what comes next?  What are some of the take-aways and how might narrative practitioners make creative use of these learnings? For anyone who wishes to continue in this series, we introduce the next two interviews.

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