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Micheal White(b. December 29, 1948 - d. April 4, 2008) was an Australian psychotherapist. He was been an important figure in the development of narrative therapy and wrote with David Epston ‘Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends’ an important initial text in the field.
He started out as a mechanical draughtsman before moving into social work and developing skills in family therapy.
Hart (1995) suggested that White's therapeutic career developed in three phases.
- Phase I - up to mid 1980s-- he was heavily influenced by the work of Gregory Bateson, his system of "Strategic Therapy," and the general notions of cybernetics. White's now familiar formulations of "externalizing the problem" and “facilitating a mutually acceptable definition of the problem” arose at this time when he was taking a problem-solving approach to therapeutic change.
- Phase II - During the late 1980s he developed a more person-centered approach emphasizing meaning construction and narrative while, at the same time, developing a deeper appreciation for the social construction of reality and issues of social justice. White becomes concerned with "reauthoring lives" rather than merely solving problems.
- Phase III - From the early 1990s, he has developed narrative therapy, more fully emphasising postmodernist ideas, particularly those of Foucault.(See Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends, pg. 1-2)
- White, M. (1989). Selected papers. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
- White, M. & Epston,D.(1990). ‘Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends’.W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-70098-4
- Epston,D. & White, M.(1992) Experience, contradiction, narrative, and imagination--Selected papers of David Epston and Michael White, 1989-1991. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications
- White, M. (1995). Re-authoring lives: Interviews and essays. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
- White, M., (1997).Narratives of Therapists' Lives. Dulwich Centre Publications.
- White, M. (2000). Reflections on narrative practices: Essays and interviews. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
- White, M. (1992). Deconstruction and therapy. In D. Epston & M. White, M., Experience, contradiction, narrative, and imagination--Selected papers of David Epston and Michael White, 1989-1991. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
White, M. (1987). Family therapy and schizophrenia: Addressing the "in-the-corner" lifestyle. Dulwich Centre Newsletter, Spring, 14-21.
White, M. (1988). The process of questioning: A therapy of literary merit. Dulwich Centre Newsletter, Winter, 8-14.
White, M. (1989a). The externalizing of the problem and the re-authoring of lives and relationships. Dulwich Centre Newsletter, Summer, 3-20.
- White, M. (2002). Addressing personal failure. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, Issue #3, 33-76.
- Bubenzer, D. L., & West, J. D. (1994). Michael White and the narrative perspective in therapy. [Family Journal], 2(1), 71-84.
- Hart, B. (1995). Re-authoring the stories we work by: Situating the narrative approach in the presence of the family of therapists. [Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy], 16(4), 181-189. [Online version]
- Munro, C., (1987). White and the cybernetic therapies: New of difference. [Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy], 8 (4), 183-192.