Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Epston, David

  • Peggy SaxEmail author
  • Kay Ingamells
  • Dean Lobovits
  • Sasha McAllum Pilkington
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1043


David Epston.


David Epston is the co-creator of Narrative Therapy – a collaborative and non-pathologizing approach to family therapy, counseling, and community work that centers people as the experts of their own lives and identities. The intellectual partnership between David Epston and Michael White initiated in 1980 founded a narrative family therapy framework infused with a spirit of adventure and invention based on a shared political philosophy. Narrative Therapy views problems as separate from people and engages people in re-authoring the stories of their lives by developing counter storylines that revive and vivify hopeful, preferred ways of living and being in relationships. David has disseminated this approach for 30 years through his teaching and lively collaborations with partners in 19 countries and has authored or co-authored ten books that have been translated into many languages.


David Epston was born in 1944 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. At...

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  1. Epston, D. (2008). In B. Bowen (Ed.), Down under and up over: Travels with narrative therapy. London: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  2. Epston, D. (2016). Re-imagining narrative therapy: A history for the future. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 35(1), 79–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Epston, D., Maisel, R., & Borden, A. (2004). Biting the hand that starves you: Inspiring resistance to anorexia/bulimia. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  4. Epston, D., Marsten, D., & Markham, L. (2016). Narrative therapy in wonderland: Connecting with Children’s imaginative know-how. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  5. Freeman, J., Epston, D., & Lobovits, D. (1997). Playful approaches to serious problems: Narrative therapy with children and their families. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  6. Niania, W., Bush, A., & Epston, D. (2017). Collaborative and indigenous mental health therapy: Tātaihono – Stories of Maori healing and psychiatry. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. White, M., & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative means to therapeutic ends. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  8. White, M., & Epston, D. (1992). Experience, contradiction, narrative and imagination: Selected papers of David Epston & Michael White, 1989–1991. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peggy Sax
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kay Ingamells
    • 2
  • Dean Lobovits
    • 3
  • Sasha McAllum Pilkington
    • 4
  1. 1.Re-authoring Teaching, IncMiddleburyUSA
  2. 2.Narrative ApprenticeshipAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Narrative ApproachesBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Hospice North ShoreAucklandNew Zealand

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA