Reviews

Book review: Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with Children’s Imaginative Know-How

This book turns the classic approach to talking therapy on its head

Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with Children’s Imaginative Know-How

David Marsten, David Epston and Laurie Markham | WW Norton | £28.00 | 320pp | ISBN: 9780393708745

Narrative Therapy

This book was a joy to read. It turns the classic approach to talking therapy on its head, tuning into the worlds children have access to and with which we tend to lose contact as adults. 

Narrative therapy characterises ‘problems’ and locates them outside the individual, a vantage point from which the young person can begin to negotiate, control or eliminate them. 

Much of the book draws on exerts from meetings which brings the narrative therapy process to life, alongside discussion and analysis exploring its joys and challenges.

There are also two superb chapters that tackle specific issues: mother-blame and surveillance, and the issue of violence in a dominant hegemonic masculine culture. 

This is an accessible read useful to the therapist and the children’s nurse. The therapist might employ the whole therapeutic approach, while the children’s nurse can simply shift language use in their interaction with children and young people, locating a problem outside the individual and building up their strengths and abilities to negotiate a problem. Wonderful.


Reviewed by Sarah Bekaert, lecturer in child health, City University, London

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