You are here

The Handbook of Narrative and Psychotherapy

The Handbook of Narrative and Psychotherapy
Practice, Theory and Research

First Edition
Edited by:

November 2003 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
`A timely and exciting volume that pulls together diverse work…I think a handbook like this will help to consolidate interest in narrative perspectives on therapy and encourage more dialogue among different types of practitioners and researchers who might not normally convers. The editors have pulled together a rich group of authors and I appreciate the international flavor of the contributors…I think that many university and college libraries would purchase the book for their collections as a handbook on a new direction in psychotherapy practice. It would be used in a graduate seminar on narrative and therapy' - Jefferson Singer, Psychology, Connecticut College

`The topic and the cast of authors make the book appealing to people well beyond North America…Anyone planning to conduct research on narrative approaches would have to have this book. Furthermore, as metatheoretical or integrative approaches to understanding psychotherapy process and outcome become more prevalent, the narrative metaphor becomes an important way of conceptualizing these issues' - George Howard, Psychology, University of Notre Dame

`The growing interest in constructivist approaches, nontraditional approaches towards research, and specifically narrative as an organizing concept makes it an extremely timely book. The contributors look like a who's who in the area… a well planned book, with the right organization and the right people' - Jeremy Safran, Psychology, The New School for Social Research, NY

`I think it is timely to gather together the thinking of people from a variety of corners of the narrative and therapy endeavor and have them spell out their approaches. This book invites people from both different theoretical sub-disciplines as well as different countries…I like the international nature of the group' Ruthellen Josselson, Department Psychology, Towson University

`Angus and McLeod are clearly leaders in the area of narrative therapy' - Bill Stiles, Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

The field of narrative-informed therapy began nearly a decade ago and has now matured to the point where a significant reference work is both timely and appropriate. This Handbook is the first to draw together theorists and practitioners representing a diverse range of approaches to describe and detail assessment and intervention strategies focusing on client story-telling and story reconstruction to promote positive change in clients. A primary goal is to bring together multiple approaches with the aim of promoting a dialogue among differing narrative traditions and synthesizing a more integrated understanding of client story-telling processes in psychotherapy. The editors have aimed for a balance between practice, applied research findings, and background theory.


}an international "who's-who" cast of contributing authors highlights the various approaches and dimensions of narrative therapy by the people commanding the most authority and attention (e.g., Jerome Bruner, Michael White, Donald Polkinghorne, etc.).

} therapy session examples and case materials demonstrate narrative interventions in action.

} clear and consistent guidelines informed each chapter; these, along with an opening } preface and a closing chapter by the volume editors, provide unity and suggest connections between and among approaches.

Preface, by Lynne Angus & John McLeod
1. The Narrative Creation of Self, by Jerome Bruner
2. Folk Psychology & Narrative Practices, by Michael White
3. Narrative Therapy & Postmodernism, by Donald Polkinghorne
4. The CCRT Approach to Working with Patient Narratives in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, by Howard Book
5. "What's the Story?" Working with Narrative in Experimental Psychotherapy, by Lynne Angus, Jennifer Lewin, Beverly Bowes-Bouffard, & Debra Rotondi-Trevisan
6. Nurturing Nature: Cognitive Narrative Strategies, by Oscar Goncalves, Margarida Henriques, & Paulo Machado
7. Working with Narrative in Psychotherapy: A Relational Constructivist Approach, by Luis Botella, Olga Herrero, Meritxell Pacheco, & Sergei Corbella
8. A Poststructuralist Approach to Narrative Work, by Gene Combs & Jill Freedman
9. Narrative Identity & Narrative Therapy, by Dan McAdams
10. The Innovation of Self-Narrative: A Dialogical Approach, by Hubert Hermans
11. Assimilation & Narrative: Stories as Meaning Bridges, by Katerine Osatuke, Meredith Glick, Michael Gray, D'Arcy Reynolds, Jr., Carol Humphreys, Lisa Salvi, & William Stiles
12. Minding Our Therapeutic Tales: Treatments in Perspectivism, by Robert Russell & Fred B. Bryant
13. Self-defining Memories, Narrative Identity & Psychotherapy: A Conceptual Model, Empirical Investigation & Case Report, by Jefferson Singer & Pavel Blagov
14. The Narrative Assessment Interview: Assessing Self-change in Psychotherapy, by Karen Hardtke & Lynne Angus
15. Disorganized Narratives: The Psychological Condition & Its Treatment, by Giancarlo Dimaggio & Antonio Semerari
16. Story Dramaturgy & Personal Conflict: JAKOB - A Tool for Narrative Understanding & Psychotherapeutic Pratice, by Brigitte Boothe & Agnes von Wyl
17. Narrative Activity: Clients' & Therapists' Intentions in the Process of Narration in Psychotherapy, by Heidi M. Levitt & David L. Rennie
18. "To Tell My Story": Configuring Interpersonal Relations with Narrative Processes, by Timothy Anderson
19. The Contributions of Emotion Processes to Narrative Change in Psychotherapy: A Dialectical Constructivist Approach, by Leslie Greenberg & Lynne Angus
20. Social Constuctionism, Narrative, & Psychotherapy, by John McLeod
21. Towards an Integrative Framework for Understanding the Role of Narrative in the Psychotherapy Process, by Lynne Angus & John McLeod

"This volume is an extremely valuable resource. It tells the fascinating story of the centrality of storying in human lives and their counsel — including the history of the narrative turn in psychology and the newest developments in theory and research. I recommend it most highly."

Michael J. Mahoney
Author of Human Change Processes and Constructive Psychotherapy

"The growing interest in constructivist approaches, nontraditional approaches towards research, and specifically narrative as an organizing concept makes it an extremely timely book. The contributors look like a who’s who in the area . . . . a well planned book, with the right organization and the right people."  

Jeremy Safran
The New School for Social Research, New York City

"Overall, clinicians will find this book valuable because they will be introduced to different approaches to using narrative ideas in therapy, with sufficient detail and case history material to make the ideas come alive. Theoreticians will get sophisticated discussions of the nature of narrative as it relates to the nature of the person, personality development, and personality change. And finally, researchers will get ‘state of the field’ knowledge of narrative research on therapy and narrative methods for doing research. Overall, this is an important and exciting book on a hot topic, filled with new ideas, sophisticated research, and case examples. If you wanted to know about this important development in the field of psychology in general, and psychotherapy in particular, this is the place to come."

Art Bohart
Saybrook Graduate School

"With an excellent cast of characters, both new and old, Angus and McLeod's ambitious anthology of current thought on narrative and therapy bridges the generations of scholars and therapists within this tradition, creating a lively community of the widely varying voices. Narrative is a truly integrative element of psychotherapy, applying with equal force to cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, experiential and family systems approaches. As such, this book successfully lays out the newly emergent approach, and points out new opportunities for integration at the levels of both theory and practice, with implications that reach far beyond clinical assessment and treatment, to the nature of self and culture. This book maps the territory of narrative and psychotherapy for the next generation of therapeutic narratologists."  

Robert Elliott, Ph.D.
University of Toledo

As no other volume brings together original contributions in narrative and psychotherapy from practitioners, researchers, theoreticians from around the world, the Handbook of Narrative and Psychotherapy should be purchased by libraries that support the education, practice, and research of professionals in the 'helping' sciences.


Lynne E. Angus

Lynne Angus, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a Professor of Psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is a past president of both the International Society for Psychotherapy Research and North American Chapter, Society for Psychotherapy Research. Dr. Angus has an active psychotherapy practice in which she specializes in narrative-focused experiential psychotherapy. She is clinical supervisor for brief therapy treatments at the East End Community Health Clinic in Toronto. Her research interests include the development of a narrative processes model and an assessment interview and coding system for psychotherapy discourse. She has... More About Author

John McLeod

John McLeod has held appointments in universities in the UK, New Zealand and Italy, and is currently Professor of Counselling at the Institute for Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dublin, and Professor of Psychology, University of Oslo. He is committed to promoting the relevance of research as a means of informing therapy practice and improving the quality of services that are available to clients, and has received an award from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy for his exceptional contribution to research. His writing has influenced a generation of trainees in the field of counselling, counselling... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9780761926849

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.