Audio: The issue of power (DeShazer & White, 1992)

Length: 7 minutes

This is the first and only taped public interview/discussion involving Steve DeShazer and Michael White (1992). Their discussion on the subject of power clearly illustrates a primary and distinct difference between Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.

Reading: Externalizing workshop handout (White, 1991)

Length: 25 minutes

In this 1991 workshop handout Michael White outlines externalizing conversations as counter-practices that challenge internal state psychology, negative identity conclusions, expert knowledge, and totalizing descriptions of personhood.

Audio: Introducing externalizing conversations lecture (White, 1992) – Sample


Length: 9 minutes

Michael White landed on a rather cheeky idea that the person was not the problem . . . the problem was the problem. Simple right? Hmmmm - not so fast. Two decades before his brief foray into maps, Michael's workshops focused almost entirely on the politics and practice behind locating problems and persons within cultural, contextual and relational contexts.

Reading: Explorations of the absent but implicit (Freedman, 2012)

Length: 30 minutes

Jill Freedman describes her exploration of practices working with the absent but implicit, particularly in therapy with couples and families. She includes questions that may be helpful in naming the absent but implicit and describes how these conversations can support a context in which exploring discourses is quite relevant.

Audio: Landscape of Action and Consciousness (White, 1991)

Length: 14 minutes

In this 1991 lecture, Michael White outlines the theory and practice surrounding his use of relative influence questions, landscape of action and consciousness (identity) questions, and those sneaky and beautiful alternative stories that do not fit with the problem story known as - unique outcomes.

Video: Gregory Bateson, negative explanation and restraint (White, 1986)

Length: 14 minutes

This rare and vitally important 1986 lecture features Michael White introducing his practice of therapy through a discussion of Gregory Bateson's ideas on negative explanation, double description and restraint. The lecture took place 4 years before his practice became known as narrative therapy.

Video: Moving away from family therapy’s idea of fuctionalism (Tomm & White, 1986)

Length: 8 minutes

In 1986 Karl Tomm begins to discuss his move away from the Milan Teams ideas (he had previously introduced the Milan Team into North America) and introduces the work of a new and talented therapist he has discovered to North America - Michael White. Karl has to be admired for his ongoing willingness to explore and expand upon new therapeutic ideas. Part of his legacy is that he always had a good nose for great therapists!

Video: An introduction to Michael White (White, 1986)

Length: 6 minutes

Accepting Karl Tomm's invitation to present, Michael White introduces himself and locates his therapeutic work (4 years before it became known as narrative therapy!) during his 2nd ever workshop in North America.

Reading: Addressing personal failure (White, 2006)

Length: 36 minutes

Michael Whites 2006 paper (which VSNT ranks as one of his all time best!) describes therapeutic options relevant to addressing a growing sense of people experiencing 'personal' failure. The paper also describes the operations of modern power (as opposed to sovereign power).

Video: Expert knowledge (White, 2005)

Length: 5 minutes

Michael White discusses the traditional 'surface and depth' concept at the heart of internal state psychologies practice and - those therapies based in expert knowledge and individualism

Video: Cultural specifications for personhood (White, 1987)

Length: 6 minutes

Michael White's early workshops in North American from (roughly) 1986 through to 1996, outlined a strong ideological, theoretical and practice difference with the foundations of psychology and family therapy thinking about identity.

Audio: Practices of re-authoring (White, 1992)

Length: 12 minutes

Michael White's 1992 key lecture shows how therapists might consider and bring forth questions that can be introduced during the re-authoring of lives and relationships that encourage people to generate new proposals for action

Video: Histories of narrative therapy keynote (Madigan, 2014)


Length: 15 minutes

Stephen Madigan explores Michael White's ideological connection to second order cybernetics and the work of Gregory Bateson and - how it was that Michael and David Epston decided to turn away from 150 years of psychological theory, vocabulary and practice

Audio: Discussion on diagnosis (DeShazer and White, 1992)

Length: 18 minutes

There were always comparisons between Solution Focused and Narrative Therapy that - Steve De Shazer and Michael White did not necessarily agree with. This rare recording is an excerpt of Steve DeShazer & Michael White discussing diagnosis.

Video: Plotting the counter-plot with rich description (White, 2004)

Length: 8 minutes

Michael White discusses the landscapes of action and identity, unique outcomes and the reauthoring of counter-plots, subordinate story lines, and alternative stories. You will come to understand unique outcomes as those wonderfully delicious moments that emerge to raise suspicions on any finalized version of the problem story.

Reading: Unique Outcome Workshop handout (White, 1992)

Length: 35 minutes

During VSNT's Stephen Madigan 1991 narrative therapy apprenticeship in Adelaide, Australia he received this Michael White handout outlining externalizing and reauthoring conversations as counter-practices. This particular handout is one of the first to outline the politics of narrative practice.

Audio: Reauthoring conversations (White, 1991)

Length: 12 minutes

A clear description of what constructs, constitutes, and scaffolds the possibility of entering into Reauthoring Conversations is discussed by Michael White during a workshop in 1991

Audio: Landscape of action and consciousness (White, 1991)

Length: 14 minutes

Drawing on the work of Jerome Bruner, Michael White found a structure to enter into client stories and construct a scaffold for his question. The structure involved Bruner's ideas on the composition of narrative stories through the landscape of action and landscapes of identity.

Reading: Working with trauma workshop notes (White, 2005)

Length: 30 minutes

There are contemporary understandings of psychological pain and emotional distress as an outcome of trauma that obscure many of the complexities of people’s experiences of trauma, and of their expressions of this experience. Study Michael White's original narrative workshop notes on working with trauma.