Networker Workshop Materials

Reading list for ‘The Many Faces of Community’
David Epston


Lobovits, D.,Maisel, R., and Freeman, J. (1995), Public Practices: An Ethic of Responsibility, in Friedman, S (ed), The Reflecting Team in Action: Collaborative Practice in Family Therapy, NY: Guildford, 223 – 256

Madigan, S. and Epston, D., From ‘Spy-chiatric Gaze’ to Communities of Concern’; From Professional monologue to Dialogue in Epston, D. 91998). Catching Up with David Epston: A collection of narrative practice – based papers published between 1991- 1996, Dulwich Centre Pubs: Adelaide, south Australia

Epston, D and White, M (1992), Consulting Your Consultants: The documentation of alternative knowledges, Epston, D. and White, M.:Experience, Contradiction, Narrative and Imagination, Dulwich Centre Pubs: Adelaide South Australia.

Epston, D. (1998), David Consults Ben in Epston, D,: Catching Up with David Epston. Also in Epston, D., White, M. and ‘Ben’, Consulting Your Consultants: A Means to the Co-Construction of Alternative Knowledges, in Friedman, S. (ed): Reflecting team in Action

Seymour, F. and Epston, D. (192) An Approach to Childhood Stealing with an Evaluation of 45 Cases in Epston and White, M. (1992) Experience, Contradiction, Narrative and Imagination.

Epston, D. (1989): A Story within a Story, in Collected Papers, Dulwich Centre Pubs: Adelaide, South Australia (Soon to be available in full on

Freeman, J., Epston, D., and Lobovits, D. (1997) Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and their Families, New York: WW Norton.



Epston, D., Morris F., and Maisel, R. (1998): A Narrative Approach to so-called Anorexia/Bulimia in Epston, D: Catching Up with David Epston.

Madigan, S. and Epston, D: From ‘Spy-chiatric Gaze’ to Communities of Concern: From Professional Monologue to Dialogue in Epston, D (1998),Catching Up with David Epston.

Madigan, S. and Goldner, E (1998): A Narrative Approach to Anorexia: Discourse, Reflexivity and Questions, in Hoyt, M(ed): Handbook of Constructive Therapies, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Zimmerman, J. and Dickerson, V: (1994): Tales of a Body Thief: Externalizing and deconstructing eating problems, in Hoyt, M (ed), Constructive Therapies, New York: Guildford.



Andersen, T (1987): The Reflecting Team: Dialogue and meta-dialogue in clinical work, Family Process, 26: 415-428.

Friedman, S (ed) (1995): The Reflecting Team in Action: Collaborative Practice in Family Therapy, NY: Guildford.

Myerhaoff, B (1980): Number Our Days: New York: Simon and Shuster Myerhoff, B (1982): Life History among the elderly:” Performance, visibility and re-membering. in J. Ruby (ed), A crack in the Mirror: Reflexive perspectives in anthropology, Philadelphia, Un.of Pennsylvania Press.

Myerhoff, B. (1986): Life not death in Venice: Its Second Life’ In Turner, V. and Bruner, E (eds), The Anthropology of Experience, Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

White, M. (1995): Reflecting Teamwork as Definitional Ceremony in M. White, Re-Authoring lives: Interviews and Essays, Dulwich Centre Pubs: Adelaide, South Australia.

White, M. (1997): Re-membering and Definitional Ceremony in White, M: Narratives of Therapists’ Lives, Dulwich Centre Publications: Adelaide, South Australia.

White, M. (2000):” Reflecting team work as definitional ceremony revisited in M. White: Reflections of Narrative Practice: Essays and Interviews, Dulwich Centre Pubs: Adelaide, South Australia.

*See also papers in Introducing Narrative Therapy (1997), Narrative Therapy and Community Work (1999), and Extending Narrative Therapy (1999) Published by Dulwich Centre Publications


A Letter of Avowal


“I want you to know that as of 8/3/83 I have vowed to be honest. My mother may have told you that I haven’t been honest and that I stole from her. I know you will be disappointed with me. For this reason, I have asked David to help my mother set some honesty tests within the next 3 weeks. I will write you with my results. I know I will pass and I’d like you to come to my house on the 9th April to my Honesty Party to celebrate my growing up”.

(Timothy, aged 11).


Sample of Replies


“We would like to come to your Honest Party. It is nice to see that you are grown-up enough to be able to determine which is right and wrong, as a lot of people find this very hard to do. We both think that if you try hard enough, you will be able to pass all your honesty tests with ease, but remember – you still have to work hard’.

(from older brother and sister).


‘Thank you for your letter. It is really good to hear of someone like you, trying to make a big step forward in their life. Some people seem to have it easy – they never seem to get into trouble, everyone likes them, and they seem happy with themselves. Other people go through big struggles within themselves, and feel that nobody likes them – but when they win the struggle, they turn ou ¸t to be the best people of all. So I’m pleased to heart that you are sensible enough and grown-up enough to struggle with dishonesty. I look forward to hearing how you get on and hope to be able to come to your Honesty Party.’

(from a family friend).


Information Letter to David

‘The tests were of money and of chocolate bars and toy tests. For my toy tests they would check my bag or my room to see if any new toys had come home.

When I knew I had to pass ten tests and five toy tests, I felt much happier. The first test I passed was great – that was after I had passed it. I can remember one test which was chocolate bars. Dad asked me to go up to the car and get the paper and there were four chocolate bars. I took the paper down to the house. Dad went up to the car and found four chocolate bars. That was one test. Also when I pass a toy test, I get two army men.

It felt great after I had passed each test. I found it pretty hard to control myself at first and then it became a lot easier. I kept having tests up till I had finished. If I failed doing a test, I would have a meal taken off me. But now I find it a lot easier. When I started off I thought I wouldn’t pass any tests at all. But I was wrong. I passed them all. Now that I have passed my honesty tests I am going to have an honesty party.

PS: Just after we rang you I passed my last test.

PS: I got my meals taken off me because I didn’t get my jobs done at the right time.

Damien (aged 11)



From Epston, D.(1980): Collected Papers (Available soon on!)


Honesty Speech (transcribed from an audiotape)

“You are all aware of what I did earlier on this year. I now realize that what I did was not only stupid but selfish. And I am sorry for that. Since the incident occurred, my mum, dad, John and I went to see Mr Epston, a Family Therapist, who suggested I go on a program of honesty testing which you all know about. I did this to prove to myself and my family that I could withstand the temptation of taking things that did not belong to me. I have now successfully completed the tests which have led to this gathering. I’d like to thank you all for your support which has certainly made me realize what I did was wrong. And in the future, I will be earning money and not taking it”.


(from Freeman, Epston and Lobovits (1997): Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy With Children And Their Families. WW Norton, New York, pg.142).