Playful Approaches to Serious Problems: Narrative Therapy with Children and Their Families

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - Psychology - 321 pages
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The narrative therapy approach involves the whole family and especially children by respecting their unique language, problem-solving resources, and views of the world. The authors begin by elucidating a basic theory of collaborative narrative play that allows new choices and stories of hope and change to emerge. They encourage appreciation for ways of communicating that appeal to children, whether in the sandtray or with puppet "co-therapists," and respect for special and unusual abilities, such the ability to "read hearts" or connect with imaginary friends. Compelling case examples draw the reader into the book from the first pages. Children who might have been labeled belligerent, hyperactive, anxious, or out of touch with reality are found to be capable of taming their tempers, controlling frustration, facing fears, and using their imaginations to the fullest. Realistic, heartening, pragmatic, and just plain fun, narrative therapy encourages children and their families to use resources that have been overlooked to turn the tables on the problems they face. Therapists, parents, teachers, or anyone helping children and families will find that this book turns their thinking around, too - in the most unexpected and illuminating ways.
 

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Contents

Playful Communication in Family Therapy
3
Getting to Know the Child Apart from the Problem
34
Stories of Hope
47
Parents in ChildInclusive Family Therapy
68
Thinning the Plot Thickening the Counterplot
94
Building a Narrative through Letters
112
Publishing the News
125
Therapies of Aesthetic as well as Literary Merit 1 45
169
An Imagination of Ones Own
204
Think Ill Be Able to Go Back
223
The Spiritual Boy Is Fine
233
Im Lighting My Own Lantern Now
250
I Wont Make a Place for You in My Heart
265
So after a Long Time in Horror I Live
278
Concluding Thoughts
294
Index
311

Weird and Special Abilities
179
Family Politics in Action
193

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Page 305 - Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science in Brisbane, 1961.

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About the author (1997)

David Epston, M.A., C.Q.S.W. is coauthor of Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends (1990) and Playful Approaches to Serious Problems (1997). He is a visiting professor at the School of Community Studies, UNITEC Institute of Technology in Auckland, and is the codirector of the Family Therapy Centre in Auckland.

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