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A Sequential Analysis of Externalizing in Narrative Therapy with Children

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Abstract

Externalizing, or separating the person from his/her problem-saturated story, is a central approach in narrative therapy. Michael White, one of the therapy’s founders, lately revised his map of the externalizing process in therapy according to Vygotskian theory. In this study we sought to determine whether White’s proposed process was evident in therapy sessions. Sequential analysis indicated that therapists scaffolded children’s responses according to White’s map, and therapists’ and children’s utterances tended to advance across the levels of the map over the course of a session, indicating that White’s model of narrative therapy matched the therapy’s empirical process.

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Notes

  1. The residual tables are available from the first author upon request.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Karen Young and Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), and Scot Cooper and Haldimand-Norfolk Resources, Education and Counselling Help (REACH), for generously granting us access to the data and for providing constructive input on all phases of the research. We also thank the children and youth and their families who participated in the study. This research is based on a Masters thesis by the first author.

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Correspondence to Heather L. Ramey.

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Ramey, H.L., Tarulli, D., Frijters, J.C. et al. A Sequential Analysis of Externalizing in Narrative Therapy with Children. Contemp Fam Ther 31, 262–279 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-009-9095-5

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