Though Michael White has been
one of the seminal figures in founding narrative therapy, the
details of his own personal narrative -- as opposed to the development
of his ideas regarding therapy -- are hard to come by. White's
first career involved mechanical drafting, a profession he abandoned
to study social work and, particularly, family therapy. Over
the years he has been resident in Adelaide, Australia where the
(at which he is co-director) has served as a home base for therapeutic
practice, training, and writing.
Hart (1995) proposes that White's
therapeutic career developed in three phases. During Phase I--up
to mid 1980s-- White was heavily influenced by the work of Gregory
Bateson, his system of "Strategic Therapy," and the
general notions of cybernetics. White's now familiar formulation
of "externalizing the problem" arose at this time when
he was predominantly concerned with helping clients in solving
the major problems of their lives. The late 1980s brought a second
phase to his work as White moved to articulate a more person-centered
approach emphasizing meaning construction and narrative while,
at the same time, developing a deeper appreciation for the social
construction of reality and issues of social justice. White becomes
concerned with "reauthoring lives" rather than more
simply solving problems. By the beginning of the 1990s, a matured
narrative therapy with strong links to many themes in postmodernism
has served as White's concern. The work of Michel
Foucault has served as an important influence on the later
theorizing of White (e.g., White, 2002) although White adopts
a more positive and possibity-filled understanding of power relationships
in the modern world than Foucault did.
Bubenzer, D. L., & West,
J. D. (1994). Michael White and the narrative perspective in
therapy. Family Journal, 2(1), 71-84.
Hart, B. (1995). Re-authoring
the stories we work by: Situating the narrative approach in the
presence of the family of therapists. Australian and New Zealand
Journal of Family Therapy, 16(4), 181-189. [Online
Munro, C., (1987). White and
the cybernetic therapies: New of difference. Australian and
New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 8 (4), 183-192.
White, M. (1987). Family therapy
and schizophrenia: Addressing the "in-the-corner" lifestyle.
Dulwich Centre Newsletter, Spring, 14-21.
White, M. (1988). The process
of questioning: A therapy of literary merit. Dulwich Centre
Newsletter, Winter, 8-14.
White, M. (1989a). The externalizing
of the problem and the re-authoring of lives and relationships.
Dulwich Centre Newsletter, Summer, 3-20.
White, M. (1989b). Selected
papers. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
White, M. (1992). Deconstruction
and therapy. In D. Epston & M. White, M., Experience,
contradiction, narrative, and imagination--Selected papers of
David Epston and Michael White, 1989-1991. Adelaide, Australia:
Dulwich Centre Publications.
White, M. (1995). Re-authoring
lives: Interviews and essays. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich
White, M. (2000). Reflections
on narrative practices: Essays and interviews. Adelaide,
Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
White, M. (2002). Addressing
personal failure. International Journal of Narrative Therapy
and Community Work, Issue #3, 33-76.