About Us

Narrative Approaches is an online community, resource and an archive of Narrative Therapy conversations, ideas, inspiration, papers, art-work, poetry, stories, scholarship, and solidarity.  It is also home to the Archive of Resistance, a lifesaving armory of words – fired at anorexia, bulimia, and negative body image in the battle for the sovereignty of mind, body and spirit.

Narrative Approaches was founded and maintained by therapists/archivists, Dean Lobovits, Jennifer Freeman, and David Epston. Dean and Jennifer are practicing therapists and are available for individual, couples and family counseling. You can email them by clicking their names here: Dean Lobovits, Jennifer Freeman

Dean Lobovits
Dean Lobovits
Jennifer Freeman
Jennifer Freeman
David Epston
David Epston








Watch the video: Walter Bera interviews David Epston about the history and future of Narrative Therap
Please take note, your password will be: bicycle2

Learn more about David Epston on wikipedia


Learn about Jennifer Freeman and Dean Lobovits below:

Jenny and Dean offer presentations on the following areas of therapy, making use of experiential and didactic learning methods (including live and videotaped demonstrations):

• Innovative approaches in couple, child and family therapy including narrative, family systems, and expressive arts therapies.

• Theories of family therapy.

• Family systems and developmental theory.

• Advanced brief family therapy.

• Methods of collaborative assessment, goal setting, and evaluation.

• Reflecting team practices and relational co-research supervision.

• Current legal and ethical patterns and trends in the mental health professions.

• The relationship between a practitioner’s professional practices and ethics and her or his sense of self and human values.



Epston, D., Lobovits, D., & Freeman, J. (1997). Annals of the “new dave”. Gecko, 3. Reprinted on this site!

Freeman, J., Epston, D., & Lobovits, D., (1997). Playful approaches to serious Problems: Narrative therapy with children and their families. New York: Norton. Buy it now!

Lobovits, D., & Freeman, J., (1997). Destination grump station: Getting off the grump bus. In Nylund, D. & Smith, C., (Eds.), Narrative Therapies with Children and Adolescents. New York: Guilford. Buy it now!

Lobovits, D., Maisel, R., & Freeman, J., (1995). Public practices: An ethic of circulation. In Friedman, S. (Ed.), The Reflecting Process in Action, New York: Guilford . Buy it now!

Lobovits, D. (1994). The Development of a licensed mental health profession: Issues of identity and consumer protection in the regulation of Marriage, Family, and Child Counselors in California., In Verdun-Jones, S.N. & Layton, M. (Eds.) Mental Health Law and Practice Through the Life Cycle: Proceedings From the XVIIIth International Congress of Law and Mental Health, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada: Simon Fraser University.

Freeman, J. & Lobovits, D., (1993). The turtle with wings. In Friedman, S. (Ed.), The New Language of Change: Constructive Collaboration in Psychotherapy, New York: Guilford. Buy it now!

Lobovits, D. & Freeman, J., (1993). Toward collaboration and accountability: Alternatives to the dominant discourse for understanding professional sexual exploitation. Dulwich Centre Newsletter, Nos. 3 & 4.



Lobovits, D. & Freeman J. (1998) Reflections on the Peace Family Project: One family’s Story. Published for the first time on this site!

Freeman, J. Lopston, C., & Stacey, K. (1995). Collaboration and possibility: Appreciating the privilege of entering children’s narrative worlds. Narrative Ideas and Therapeutic Practice Conference, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Lobovits, D., Prowell, J. (1995). Unexpected journey: Invitations to diversity. Narrative Ideas and Therapeutic Practice Conference. Vancouver, B. C., Canada. Reprinted on this site!

Lobovits, D., Seidel, E. (1994). Relational co-research in narrative training and supervision. Narrative Ideas and Therapeutic Practice Conference. Vancouver, B. C., Canada. Reprinted on this site!

Freeman, J. (1993). Evolutionary biology, narrative and the limbic brain. Narrative Participators Conference. Menlo Park, CA.


Freeman, J, Lobovits, D. (1998). Playful approaches to serious problems: narrative therapy with children and their families.

Lassen County Mental Health, Susanville CA..

Education Centre Against Violence, Sydney Australia.

MFT Training Center, Seattle Washington.


Freeman, J, Lobovits, D. (1997, 1996, 1995). Children’s knowledge: honoring their voices, speaking their language and spreading the word. Phillips Graduate Institute. Innovative Approaches to Working with Children Symposium. Los Angeles, CA.


Freeman, J. (1997). Playful approaches to serious problems: narrative therapy with children and their families. Association of Family Therapists of Northern California. Annual Meeting, Berkeley, CA.


Lobovits, D., Taube, D. (1997). Ethical and legal issues for psychotherapists: A risk management approach. Agnews State Hospital. San Jose, CA.


Lobovits, D., Prowell, J. (1995). Unexpected journey: Invitations to diversity. California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ 31st Annual Conference, Master Presentation. San Francisco, CA.


Freeman, J, Lobovits, D. (1994). Creative approaches in child and family therapy. Narrative Participators Conference, Santa Barbara, CA.


Freeman, J. (1993).”Just Therapy”: Social justice and therapy. John F. Kennedy University. Cross Cultural Colloquium. Orinda, CA.


Freeman, J. (1993). Expressive arts therapy. Touch for Health Association. Canberra, A.C.T.


Freeman, J., Martin, M. (1992). Brief therapy and narrative approaches. California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, East Bay Chapter. Walnut Creek, CA.


Lobovits, D. (1992). Dual relationships in the mental health profession. San Joaquin County Mental Health Department. Stockton, CA.


Lobovits, D. (1992). Consumer protection concerns about marriage, family and child counselors: What role can educators play to prepare future professionals for safe practice? California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists 28th Annual Conference. Los Angeles, CA.


Lobovits, D. (1991). Family therapy comes of age as a profession. Family Therapy Conference. Brisbane, Australia.


Selected Reviews and Evaluations:


• About Playful approaches to serious problems.

“This book is the most compelling response yet to the long-standing need for a way to engage children and adults equally as participants in family therapy. It demonstrates how narrative therapy is ideally suited to the gifts and needs of children, The authors illustrate narrative therapy’s deep respect for individual experience and its exquisite sensitivity to the interplay between the personal and the sociopolitical. The book’s comprehensive scope, careful organization, and utter lucidity make it an extraordinarily powerful and accessible textbook on narrative therapy. Playful Approaches to Serious Problems is a joyful and brilliant gift to child and family therapy.”

Richard Chasin, M.D. Co-director, Family Institute of Cambridge. Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.


“This is a remarkable chronicle of the fruition of the narrative approach to working with children and their families and of many children’s triumph over weighty problems. In these author’s hands the ‘narrative’ brings children’s own creative solutions to center stage, while adults–parents, therapists, and readers–are genuinely impressed and charmed by the children’s commitment and resourcefulness. This is a book about children, but the appeal to ingenuity in the desire to escape from emotional pain and discomfort can also be applied to many adult patients. This book and the children in it are guides and consultants to the possible in contemporary psychotherapy.”

Lee Combrink-Graham, M.D. Adult, Child, and Family Psychiatrist. Behavioral Health Medical Director, Oxford Health Plans.


“This is a delightful and refreshing book that significantly fills the gap in the literature on working with children and their families. The authors present a broad range of ‘spirited’ ideas about practice and share with their readers a license to create, one that is vividly portrayed in the detailed illustrations of their work. The text is engaging and constitute an invitation to therapists to step beyond the boundaries of the known in their work with children.”

Michael White, Dulwich Centre, Adelaide, Australia.


• About Turtle with wings.

“The cases I found most convincing in Therapeutic Conversations and The New Language of Change are those that bring patterns of “unconscious” belief and behavior into the realm of the discussible and the choosable. . . Best of all is a case in The New Language of Change that is a model of open-minded sensitivity to the client by Jennifer Freeman and Dean Lobovits in which a Japanese-American boy named Yoshi is helped to deal with his fears when his parents divorce.

Yoshi responds well initially to having his problem (fighting with his mother) “externalized,” i.e. turned into a force outside of himself that he can battle with and learn to fend off. But in a few weeks he refuses to use the same process with his intense dislike of school. In fact, he finds therapy as distasteful as school now, and won’t talk. Rather than getting into a battle for control, the therapist (Jennifer Freeman) comes up with creative ways of helping Yoshi express himself in his various languages and channels, not hers. He is encouraged to use grunts and growls, cartoons and artwork. Again and again, when the boy retreats from facing his demons, the authors find ways to make it possible for him to master them (p.75).

Waters, D. (1994). Prisoners of our metaphors: Do dialogic therapies make other methods obsolete? Family Therapy Networker, November/December. pps. 73-75.


• About Freeman, J., & Lobovits, D. Presentation: Children’s knowledge: honoring their voices, speaking their language and spreading the word.

“I thought Jenny and Dean were great! They worked well together to keep the presentation focused and moving–the time went by very quickly and at the end left me wanting more.”


“Jenny and Dean were excellent presenters–very balanced, using humor and a lot of valuable, detailed information.”


“Thank-you for your energy and dedication in making a presentation that was useful, informative, interesting and entertaining. All of it was wonderful.”


“The case histories were very helpful to portray the points that were being taught. I loved this presentation and learned a lot from this workshop.”


“Jenny and Dean did a wonderful job of showing us at the Phillips Graduate Institute how you work with Children. I hope that I will continue to listen, read and learn as I try to become a good listener of the “voices of children”. Thank you for being a wonderful inspiration.”


• About Lobovits, D., Presentation: Ethical and legal issues for psychotherapists: A risk management approach.

“I like the specific and detailed focus on what to do and how to do it. It shifted my attitude from powerless to powerful.”


“The material was presented in an practical, common sense manner that helped alleviate my fear.”


“I enjoyed Dean’s sense of humor, his calm, steadily paced presentation helped in itself to relieve my anxiety. I also really appreciated his comments on how to not pathologize people and felt it renewed a spirit of my own values.”


• About Lobovits, D. Course: Theories of family therapy.

“Dean brought his intelligence, savvy, humor, and unrestricted approach to therapy/the world/ life. He was bold enough to confront important issues in his own life and provide space for unique learning opportunities. He honors and respects other people and himself.”


“Dean was extremely open minded and flexible. He is very supportive of differences. He expressed confidence in us and our intelligence. He described what was happening in videotapes, readings, and role plays from various theoretical perspectives.”


“I somehow had the experience in this class of learning with gratitude, humility, and sheer joy!”