The Corner: Stories this time
Journal of Systemic Therapies, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2010, pp. 92–102
I just learned that my introduction to what this Corner might be about has reached you recently, although it has not yet made its way to faraway New Zealand. For this reason, I am not surprised that I have not heard from anyone as yet. This has allowed me more time to have further thoughts about The Corner and what it might contain. The name itself I suspect derived from the “Story Corner” I both contributed to and fostered throughout the 1980s in the Australian Journal of Family Therapy. I did so with the conviction that “stories” were what therapists told one another about their work both in conversation and in supervision. For this reason, I considered stories were the preferred format for practitioners that sought to write up their innovations in practice for publication and circulation. Such stories allowed for fresh accounts that did not require being “dressed up” in grand theory or obliged to wear the style of the familiar university essay or thesis. How many times had I felt my own desire to write up an innovation wilt and perish under the burden of my futile attempts to write something along these lines? And I recall a poll of readers of the Australian Journal of Family Therapy that ranked “Story Corner” as the most popular section in the journal and what readers turned to first. Since then, I have continued to represent a great deal of my ideas-in-practice through this medium as did Michael White in his “case stories.”(1)
However, in saying that, I want to assume some responsibility in the first instance for providing some such stories as exemplars. Otherwise, I fear that those who might consider contributing in this way will be equally weighed down by the well known literary forms e.g., short story, magazine essay, etc.
With this as my intention, I decided to contribute two stories that are linked to a project that I have been involved with over the past year with my colleagues, David Marsten (2) and Lisa Johnson (3). This project has yielded one publication so far and several others are on the way (4); in addition, we are preparing a book manuscript. But most of the fun we have along with considerable generativity is in our regular email conversations that go back and forth between New Zealand, the United States, and Australia on an almost daily basis. We are hoping that this manuscript will show the evolution of my version of “playful approaches to serious problems” along with David and Lisa’s contributions. As I always hope that any story of this kind should be able to stand on its own two feet, I have decided to allow them to do exactly that. So read on . . .
A STORY TOLD BACKWARDS
I had spoken briefly to Judy, Sally’s (aged 13) mother, over the phone about her concerns and gave them instructions on how to find their way to my workplace. They would be traveling by car for about an hour and a half in to the city. Judy mentioned that they lived next door to her husband’s parents and as they have a great deal to do with raising Sally, she wondered if they might come too. “What a good idea!” I expostulated. “I will look forward to meeting each and every one of you.” She told me that Sally and her grandmother were inseparable when she was younger and to this day, they retained an extremely close bond. Judy worked full-time in a very demanding professional capacity and wondered out loud if her mother-in-law was “more Sally’s mother than I’ve been!”
They arrived at their appointed time without Sally’s grandparents. Jim mentioned in an aside that “mum didn’t feel easy about coming but said she might come next time if there is a next time.” I accepted that at face value but wondered to myself if her reluctance to attend this meeting had anything to do with concerns that Sally’s problems might or would be attributed to her and her grandmotherly care. This was just a guess knowing of Problem No. 1, which was that Sally was afraid of just about everything there was to be afraid of and as a consequence her school attendance over the last few years had been around 50%.
After formal greetings and taking down their names, addresses, cell phone numbers, and email addresses, I addressed everyone at the same time but noticed out of the corner of my eye that Sally apprehensively had turned away from me:
Look, I heard from you, Judy, of your concerns that have led you all to come and meet with me today. To be honest, I didn’t take notes and you will have to admit our conversation was very brief. However, contrary to what you might expect, I would like your permission to ask you some questions about Sally’s ‘wonderfulnesses.’
Jim and Sally did look at me with a kindly “what is he up to here” look but Sally didn’t seem to hear me.
Why you might very reasonably ask? Well, I thought it a good idea to get the jump on the Problem, whatever it turns out to be, so we can get ahead of it. I know often when people come to meet me, they feel they are way behind the Problem. And I would like to think there is more to such an enquiry than just that. If my experience is anything to go by, it is very likely that out of your ‘wonderfulnesses,’ Sally, we will find plenty enough for you to ‘meet’ the Problem with, whatever it turns out to be.
By now, Sally had turned and was staring at me with bewilderment, which had wiped the trepidation off her face. “Sally, would you like me to ask you about your ‘wonderfulnesses’ or would you prefer me to ask your mum and dad?” Sally had no hesitation directing me to her parents for further information. I thanked her, saying:
I am not at all surprised you would prefer your mum and dad to tell me all about your ‘wonderfulnesses’ as it might be hard for a young woman your age to answer my questions. If you did, would you feel like you were bragging?
Sally nodded but seemed curious as to what was to follow. “Who would like to go first and tell me the ‘wonderfulness’ about Sally that really endears her to you?” Judy happily volunteered but Jim came a close second. Judy looked tenderly towards Sally and spoke of how much she relished Sally’s “warmness, kindness and loving character.” I asked if Sally would be considered as having a “soft heart” in a world both Jim and Judy agreed had “a lot of hard-hearted people” around in it. “Could you tell me a story about her ‘warmness, kindness and loving character’ that by this one story I would really get to grips with what you mean by those lovely words?” Judy asked me if I had ever heard Eva Cassady sing. “Of course I have!” “Have you heard her sing ‘The Fields of Barley?’ ” “Have I ever! And how could anyone ever get that song out of your mind’s ear even after hearing it only once! She must have the most plangent voice I have ever heard.” Judy smiled in agreement and continued to tell me that “Sally has the most pained response whenever she hears it.” I turned to Sally whom by now was a full par- ticipating auditor and asked her: “Does it interest you to think about how shy and modest she was even though I have heard it said that she was gifted with one of the most beautiful voices of her generation?” Sally expressed interest in this fact as we discussed Eva’s life and untimely death.
I turned to Jim and asked him if he had any idea “where Sally gets these wonderfulnesses from?” He had no doubt that “it comes from both sides of the family.” Judy intervened at this point to single out the special connection between her and her grandmother. “She has a special spot in her heart for Sally and her gran sticks up for her against her older sister, Kelly (aged 16) because she knows what it was like to be picked on when she was growing up the youngest in her family.”
Judy then added on another wonderfulness in that Sally has “a concern for snails, bugs, and other creatures others spurn or maltreat.” There was some discussion about how extra-ordinary this was. But in addition to this Jim mentioned how she “has followed in her mother’s footsteps” in seeking out animal companions of all sorts. And Jim and Sally laughed at how Sally had even got her mum to “fall for Billy,” a mutt she had found wandering lost and uncared for on a neighboring farm to add to their four other dogs.
Jim now took another tack regarding his daughter’s “wonderfulnesses.” “Sally writes beautifully . . . years ahead of her age” and “loves reading.” He also men- tioned her “mature concepts and smart mind.” In response to this, Judy was reminded of a former teacher of Sally’s commenting on her school report that “she’s lazy but has moments of brilliance.” This led Jim to remark: “If she gets inspired, she will produce a clever and well crafted piece of writing, well beyond her years.” “Do you agree with your Dad, Sally?” The look on her face was one of demurral but before she was able to raise any objections, I asked her: “Would your opinion of your writing, the maturity of your concepts, and the smartness of your mind be somewhat less than your Dad’s opinion?” She seemed relieved by my opening that option. “How much less able are you in your opinion of your writing, concepts and general smartness of mind compared to your Dad’s? 20% less . . . 50 less . . . 75% less?” Sally settled for 50% less. Still, she looked towards her father and they smiled at one another. “Sally and Jim, do you mind having different opinions as to Sally’s ‘wonderfulnesses’ of the writing, reading and thinking variety?” Judy joined us saying she thought that was fine but that she was more inclined to agree with Jim than Sally.
Judy then interrupted to tell me about Problem No. 2. It seemed that fairly re- cently at Sally’s school, everyone her age had taken some intelligence and aptitude tests and on many of the indices Sally had scored in the 95% percentile. Although Sally attended a school that was very proud of its “gifted stream” and justifiably advertised this as one of the particular merits of this private schooling, no teacher had really noticed this and everyone was taken aback, as were the parents who said “we just didn’t have any idea how talented Sally is.”
Everyone, including Sally, was justifiably baffled by the results except Jim. In fact, he picked up where he had left off: “If she gets inspired, she will produce a clever and well crafted piece of writing, well beyond her years.” I turned towards Sally and earnestly asked her: “Sally, can you breathe life in to words?” She smiled and said you thought she might be able to do so. “Sally, can you, in a manner of speaking, bring your words to life and make them live?”
Jim agreed with her wordsmithing but went on to add that “she can do more than that” and was reminded that just the other day she had told him that “when I am in a tight situation, I play a role.” I turned to Sally to find out more about her acting talents and abilities and asked if she might give me an example of a recent role she played. With a certain acumen, she launched in to an account. When she had a premonition that the forthcoming school day would be “boring,” she pre- tended that “it wouldn’t be.” “How does that work?” She told me that “I play a character.” When I wondered aloud “who do you play?,” she proudly asserted: “I play myself and convince myself that I am just going because I want to.” It would be hard to describe the sheer bafflement on the faces of Jim and Judy but that was soon replaced with delight and intrigue.
I asked her if she had a name for this “acting herself.” She said, “It is sort of talking myself in to things . . . positive thinking!” “Do you mind telling me a story of how you talk yourself in to things by means of what you call ‘positive thinking’?” She did not hesitate to tell the following account: “I am driving to school and don’t really want to go to class. But if it is someone else playing the role of me, I can enjoy it.” “Is this what you are referring to what we call your acting abilities?” She smiled and nodded in agreement. She went on to add: “On a normal day, I am in a play.”
Turning to Jim and Judy I enquired: “Are you as dumbfounded as I am—because you both sure look it—by what you have heard?” They both admitted to being stunned. “Is this as much a mystery to you as it is to me?” They wholeheartedly admitted to being mystified by what had so obviously been going on. Turning to Sally: “Sally, so far, have you kept this a secret from your mum and dad?” She confessed she had because she “wasn’t sure if it would work all that well.” “Do you have any idea why you chose right now to disclose your acting abilities and how you play the role of yourself and how you can now enjoy school?” “I just did!” “Can I ask? Did you decide on the way here to tell your mum and your dad about your ‘acting,’ ‘role playing’ and ‘positive thinking’?” “Nope! It just came out now!”
Turning towards her parents, I asked: “Are you as bewildered as I am and would you like to know a great deal more about how Sally changes roles, moods, attitudes, etc.?” Turning back to Sally, I enquired: “Wouldn’t so many people wish to be able to do something similar to what seems, I suppose, normal to you, Sally? Have you ever given that any thought?” Sally was lost for words. Jim came to her rescue: “Sally downplays herself and hides her talents.” “Sally, what do you think about your Dad’s ideas about downplaying and hiding your talents?” Sally responded without having to give the question much thought: “I am concerned about fitting in.” “Sally, when you are more mature and confident, do you think there will come a time when you want to find a different balance between fitting in and fitting out? In being your own Sally rather than a Sally for everyone else?” I wasn’t expecting an answer and I didn’t get one but the thought seemed to linger as the conversation slowed down for a few seconds.
We then turned the conversation to what Sally wanted to apply this abundance of “wonderfulnesses” to. Jim said he was worried Sally was not trying very hard at school. In what would have been unlikely fifteen or more minutes ago, I suspect, Sally refuted this and in no uncertain terms reminded her father that “I had a good report” a few weeks before. Being reminded of this, he immediately did an about face and happily added: “You’re right, Sally! You stood out!” When I enquired as to why Sally was “upping the ante on exercising her mind and obvious talents,” she informed us she was reacting to having “gotten a D” on an earlier report: “I was disappointed I got a D. So I stopped talking in class.” “Did you start applying your intelligence to your work instead of what you described as ‘cruising’?” She thought this might have been the case. “Sally, do you think it was a blessing in disguise that you got a D given that it seemed to inspire you to get your intelligence going?” She just blushed with mild embarrassment. I queried the parents along these lines: “Were either of you surprised she could do well at school?” “Were either of your surprised she could apply herself so diligently in the class room?” But the most significant question came at the end of this series of questions: “Given that Sally admits to loving talking in class, could you have guessed she would just plain give up talking in class?” They were not surprised at all she could do well but they were unnerved that she could be so diligent and forego talking in class with her girl friends. Jim looked thoughtful and then interjected: “I have seen her doing her homework at home too!” “Jim, is this something you have never seen before?” “No,” he said, “nor did I ever expect to see it at all.” Judy too came out of a reverie with the exclamation that she had overheard her friends saying that Sally was “a goody goody now” and “they knew she was trying harder.”
Well, with Problem No. 2 pretty well looked after, at least for the time being, Jim said that he also hoped that Sally might engage a longstanding Problem of “getting wound up in the morning and not going to school” with her “wonderful- nesses.” He was pondering if there was something there she might draw upon when Judy interrupted this with an observation: “Hey everyone, she has had a huge improvement lately.” She then chuckled and added: “I couldn’t get her out of school the other day.” We talked all together how for so long the Fears kept her home and away from school 50% of the time. Sally, slightly exasperated by all this fuss which she assumed was somewhat outdated, said: “Hey, come on . . . I was just sick of getting a reputation for maybe being a fake.” “What did you do in response to your concern that you might be getting that sort of reputation?” I asked. Once again when she spoke, her parents’ faces registered befuddlement by what they were hearing. “This Fear is not such a big deal. Everyone finds a way to go to school. Why shouldn’t I?”
I turned away from her parents and to Sally:
Sally, I wish I had known you then and been by your side so I could have asked you questions such as these: “Sally, do you believe yourself more than you believe the Fear?” “Have you ever known a Fear that doesn’t either outright lie or really exagger- ate matters? I know I haven’t!”
She agreed in principle. I then asked her if the Fear had tried to retaliate when she started standing up for the kind of reputation she wanted for yourself? I was not surprised by her answers as it was “the same old stuff Fears say to most young people your age.” Sally disclosed that the Fear had tried some old favorites like “you are not smart enough to go to school!” “That I shouldn’t travel in cars or planes as I might die!” According to Sally, she had seemingly turned towards the Fears and face-to-face had refuted these frightening claims: “There are hundreds of planes and thousands of cars that don’t crash. To live life, you have to take some risks!” When I enquired as to the source of such courageous wisdom, Sally told us she had more or less translated her mother’s wisdom to the living of her life. “For that are you grateful for you mum?” She looked over at her mother and smiled tenderly.
“Does this mean, Sally, that you have also left behind some Fears over the last few years?” Well, there was a long list and here is only the short list: “Bird flu, swine flu, hell, flying, driving in a car, school camps, horse jumping” and just about everything a young person could conceivably fear. “Sally, how much was your life controlled by Fear before you faced up to it with your mother’s courageous wisdom? And how much did you control your life? Can you divide up 100% between the two?” Sally came up with “70% Fear controlled” and “30% Sally controlled”; now Sally proudly indicated she had turned the tables on Fear: “Now I am in control of my life 85% and Fear bothers me the other 15%.” “Sally, what is your conclusion about overcoming Fear in the ways you have overcome them?” “I kept going on and it got better and I am no longer trapped or cornered.” Jim took the next conversational turn concluding that “Sally is a brave girl who Fear tries to trick.” Judy agreed. I asked everyone if there was general agreement that Sally was of late out-tricking Fear more than being tricked by it. There was laughter all round as we sealed this agreement.
In this excerpt from the letter that followed I asked Sally some questions for her further consideration.
Sally, had you been cruising for so long that you had given Fear the impression that you were a very weak-minded girl rather than a strong-minded girl who when inspired can come up with stuff way ahead of her age? How many girls your age could have talked themselves out of Fear’s way, given that those very Fears seem to have been leading your life for most of your life? I know your Dad said you tended to underplay yourself but I couldn’t help marvel at what you had gone and done. From what you told us, I certainly got the impression that you became courageous relatively easily and relatively quickly. Jim and Judy, do you share my impressions or do you have other impressions of your own? Would it have remained a mystery if all of us didn’t know Sally’s “wonderfulnesses” first? And without knowing that, would we all have found it hard to figure out, Sally, how you took them and applied them to the Problem with such success?
Jim, who seemed to have been sitting on something for some time, took the op- portunity of what seemed to be the conclusion of this conversation to say to me, laughing and shaking his head at the same time: “David, I have been meaning to tell you something this whole meeting but you have done everything backwards! So I am going to tell you something backwards. If you hadn’t done what you did, I would have told this forwards.” I was not at all sure what he was talking about but the good humored way he was speaking told me I certainly had something to look forward to in his “backwards” telling.
He then went on to tell a remarkable story about his mother (Sally’s gran), who for the last seventy-five years had a profound fear of drowning. As a consequence in a country that is devoted to its maritime coastline and the sea, she never went in to the water so had never learned how to swim. That was until relatively recently. She had become such a good swimmer that she was regularly swimming a half mile every day. After all of us discussed the significance of this to his mother and Sally’s gran, he smiled and said:
David, here is the story forwards. My grandfather was a logger and as tough as nails. He was almost a legend in the “backblocks” of the King Country for his fearlessness. But it so happened when he was secured up in a tree, it was rotten at its heart and broke. He fell to the ground and more or less broke his back. He did recover and was able to walk but from then on, he was afraid of everything and would barely go outside his house. My mother and all her brothers and sisters became afraid of everything. And I am the only one of my siblings who isn’t on anti-anxiety medication.
We all laughed, even Sally, when we considered how you can tell a story “back- wards” and “forwards” and get such entirely different stories.
This was the final paragraph I am excerpting from the letter I sent them after this meeting:
Jim, you then went on to tell us quite a remarkable story about your mother (Jenny) who for the last seventy-five years had a dread of drowning so consequently never went swimming. However, recently, she has become such a good swimmer that she might even go out for the Senior Olympics. I wish I had met you, Jenny, so I could ask you a question that has really intrigued me ever since I heard about this.
Did you overcome this longstanding Fear to set an example for your beloved grand- daughter, whom has a special spot in your heart, that even old dogs can learn new tricks? Or was it in the reverse? Did seeing a young dog, like Sally, out-tricking Fear inspire you, by her example, to do something similar? I wish I could know the answer to this and if you had the time and energy, I would be pleased for you to settle my curiosity one way or the other: Did you inspire Sally? Or did Sally inspire you? Or I suppose that it could have been two-way inspiration too—you inspired one another? By the way, Jenny, could a grandmother /granddaughter do a more wonderful thing than to inspire courage in her granddaughter /grandmother?
Immediately on receipt of the letter, I received an email from Judy saying that Jenny really wanted to come and meet me at our next appointment. Although the family rang up to apologize but they had to admit the Problems that had once so concerned them no longer warranted such a long trip in to the city and days off work for the parents. “No problem!” I said laughing at myself for using such a New Zealand expression. Judy laughed too when I drew it to her attention.
Recent Reading and Thoughts
In a recent email conversation with Peggy Sax (Middlebury, Vermont), a more or less off the cuff comment of hers—“some clients bring out the best in us” caught my attention and has been on my mind ever since. I had just read a review of “Duped: Lies and Deception in Psychotherapy” edited by Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson (2010) which started me wondering how often I had been duped. But Peggy’s comments intrigued me more. Would anyone be interested in contributing a story or two about how a client inspired you to go beyond what you considered was possible?
Of the many pleasures and enjoyments I experienced at the “Winds of Change 3” conference held in Halifax in June (8–11) of this year was meeting up with Bill Randall and his colleagues and then visiting the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Studies of Narrative at St. Thomas University in Frederiction, New Brunswick. Bill had been a virtual friend of mine through letter, fax and email ever since I read and re-read his “Stories We Are: An Essay in Self-Creation” in 1995. At the time, I found this to be the pre-eminent compendium on matters narrative especially in reference to literary theory. I have followed him ever since, especially after he joined forces with Gary Kenyon (Professor of Gerontology) at St. Thomas University in his home-town of Fredericton to develop what has become a distinctive strand in the burgeoning field of gerontology and its dominant bio-medical perspectives— “narrative gerontology” and “narrative care.” Their clear intentions are to promote consideration of the dignity, complexity, humanity and uniqueness of the lives of older people. Spirituality, wisdom and meaning are its primary concerns. Their most recent edited text—”Storying Later Life: Issues, Investigations, and Interventions in Narrative Gerontology” (3) gathers together many of its exemplary investigators and practitioners.
I would also urge you to backtrack over Randall, Kenyon and McKim’s “oeurve”: Kenyon and Randall (1997), “Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth Through Autobiographical Reflection; Randall and Kenyon: Ordinary Wisdom: Biographical Aging and the Journey of Life; and more recently, Randall and McKim (2008), Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old. This is an inspiring body of work for something all of us will face sooner or later. I read their most recent edited text alongside another inspiring humanist/scholar/ researcher’s (Sarah Lightfoot-Lawrence) attempt to delinate a distinctive “life stage” for the years between 50 and 75(4).
The highlight for me was the “resident biography” project of Daphne Noonan and Jana Jones at the York Care Centre (200 or so residents) in Fredericton (see chapter in Kenyon et al. (2010).
I was so moved by my discussions with Rayma O’Donnell, Director of Care Services at YCC who commented that “it brings tears to my eyes to find out how little we knew about our residents before the narrative process. It has given us insight in to their feelings and decisions around being in an institution.” Barb Burnett, Executive Director of the Atlantic Institute for Aging Care mentioned how this practice “has changed the way we see things.”
I have an enduring interest in the practice and researches of Sue McKenzie-Moir and Michelle Lafrance (2009) and their Halifax presentation relating to narratives of women’s experience of recovering from rape and depression and their introduction of the story/counter-story distinction of Hilde Lindeman Nelson (2001) in to their research/practice. I had been in touch with Hilde for some time when I too noted the similarities between her story/counter-story and narrative therapy’s dominant/ subordinate stories. And Hilde, Art Frank (6) and I combined “ideas” for a day long workshop at the Hincks-Dellcrest Center in Toronto in May, 2009. I was also taken by the notion of “moral lateness” in the down to earth narrative theory of Mark Freeman in his recent collection of papers (2010)—Hindsight: The Promise and Peril of Looking Backwards. I intend to re-read this again against what the Holocaust historian Andre Bernstein refers to as “backshadowing” in his “Foregone Conclusions: Against Apocalyptic History (1994).”
For a very modest group of scholar/practitioners at their St. Thomas center, so much has taken place there already including three international “Narrative Matters” conferences in 2002, 2008 and in May of this year. And the inaugural issue of their online journal—Narrative Works: Issues, Investigations, and Interventions— scheduled for early 2011. This journal has an explicit mandate to “bridge the gap between theory and practice” and would be the first “narrative” journal that I know of to do so. For more information, go to their website: http://w3.stu.ca/stu/sites/ cirn/journal.aspx. I really anticipate sharing many common interests and concerns and I recommend them to you as very good companions.
- See Epston, D. (1989), Collected Papers, Adelaide, Australia; Dulwich Centre Publications; Freeman, J., Epston, D., and Lobovits, D. (1997), Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and Their Families, New York; WW Norton; Espton, D. (1998), “Catching Up with David Epston: A Collection of Narrative-Based Papers, Adelaide, Australia; Dulwich Centre Publications; Epston, D. (2008), Down Under and Up Over: Travels with Narrative Therapy, Warrington, UK; Association of Family Therapy (UK); White, M. (2007), Maps of Narrative Practice, New York; WW Norton; White, M. and Epston, D. (1990), Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends, New York; WW Norton.
- David Marsten is the Director of Miracle Mile Community Practice, Los Angeles and teaches in the Social Work program, University of Southern California.
- Lisa Johnston is a therapist/psychologist at St. Aloysius College and a member of the teaching faculty at Dulwich Centre, Adelaide, South Australia.
- Epston, D. and Marsten, D. (2010), What doesn’t the problem know about your son or daughter: Providing the conditions for the restoration of a family’s dignity, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 2010, No. 1, pps. 30–36.
- Sarah Lightfoot-Lawrence, a sociologist of education, was the recipient of the Emily Hargroves Fisher endowed chair at Harvard University, which, upon her retirement, will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot endowed chair, making her the first African-American woman in Harvard’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor. She also has an endowed professorship named in her honor at Swarthmore College.
- Arthur Frank is Professor fo Sociology, University of Calgary and a former family therapist. Like Nelson, he has written a body of work of great interest to me.
Bernstein, Andre (1994). Foregone Conclusions: Against Apocalypic History, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Frank, Arthur W. (1992). At The Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness, Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Frank, Arthur W. (1997). The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness and Ethics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Frank, Arthur W. (2004). The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine and How to Live. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Freeman, Mark (2010). Hindsight: The Promise and Peril of Looking Backward, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kenyon, G., Bohlmeijer, E., and Randall, W. L. (eds), Storying Later Life: Issues, Investigations and Interventions in Narrative Gerontology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kenyon, G. and Randall, W. L., Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth Through Autobio- graphical Reflection, (1997), ? ; Westport, CT: Praeger.
Kottler, Jeffrey and Carlson, Jon (eds) (2010). Duped: Lies and Deception in Psychotherapy, London: Routledge.
Lafrance, Michelle (2009). Women and Depression: Recovery and Resistance, London: Routledge.
Lightfoot-Lawrence, S. Respect: An Exploration (2000), New York: Basic Books. Lightfoot-Lawrence, S., The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 (2009), New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Nelson, H. L. (2001), Damaged Identities: Narrative Repair, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Randall, William (1995). The Stories We Are: Essays in Self-Creation, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Randall, W. L. and Kenyon, G. (2000). Ordinary Wisdom: Biographical Aging and the Journey of Life, Westport, CT: Praeger.
Randall, W. L. and McKim, E. (2008). Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old. Oxford: Oxford University Press.