Through 15 years of partnership, David Epston and Michael White established the philosophical foundations, key concepts, ethical considerations, and specific practices guiding narrative therapy. As our intellectual ancestors, their enormous contributions – both collaborative and individual – inform how we position ourselves as narrative practitioners, viewing problems as separate from people, and guide our narrative inquiry. They also gave voice to the hope and intention that we would continue to try out different modes of inquiry, come up with new practices, and integrate these cherished ways of being with people that fit with our own local experiences and socio-political contexts.
Since Michael’s sudden death in 2008, David continues to approach narrative therapy with an adventurous playful spirit. We cherish David’s contributions. In fact, while constructing this course, we are simultaneously working on an entire online series, Where the Buses Don’t Run Yet to articulate and demonstrate David’s approach to narrative inquiry, which he has been developing with colleagues over the past 15 years and builds on the sense of wonder, adventure, and innovation that David brings to his conversations and collaborations.
While recognizing and honoring David’s contributions, this particular series build more specifically on Michael’s legacy. Beginning with rare footage of Michael in dialogue with Dr. Salvador Minuchin, we inquire into Michael’s relational affective practices that the Maps of Narrative Practice leaves unnamed. Maggie Carey reviews Michael’s approach to rich story development with narrative maps as navigational tools, inquiring into – and linking – experiences through resonance and scaffolding. We review Michael’s approach to Trauma and its consequences, reflect on his approach to emotions and affect, and get inspired by David and Michael’s infectious approach to adventure and collaboration.