Poststructural Inquiry: Narrative Therapy’s De-Centered and Influential Stance

  • Stephen GaddisEmail author
Part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy book series (BRIEFSFAT)


This chapter unpacks narrative therapy’s “de-centered and influential” stance. The de-centered and influential description is a response to the apparent ethical dilemma of not wanting to impose normative judgments in therapeutic conversations while simultaneously recognizing the impossibility of participating neutrally. Michael White, widely considered a founder of narrative therapy, highlights how certain practices of curiosity provide a way past this apparent philosophical dilemma. In this stance, narrative therapists take responsibility for their participation through the intentional use of questions that help deconstruct internalized stories and re-author alternative ones that clients identify as preferable. The author uses an extensive practice example to illustrate how de-centered and influential curiosity allows him to maintain his preferred narrative therapy stance.


Truth Claim Narrative Therapy Discursive Power Moral World Alternative Story 
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Copyright information

© American Family Therapy Academy 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Narrative Therapy InitiativeSalemUSA

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