Article was found at the Harlene Anderson, PhD
POSTMODERN SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THERAPIES (Draft)
Houston Galveston Institute and Taos
Family therapy as we know it today
can be traced back to two main roots. One perspective—the etiology, insight, and
family patterns view of Nathan Ackerman—focused on the individual in the family
and viewed families as a collection of individuals. Coming from within the child
guidance movement and drawing from psychodynamic and social theories, Ackerman
was interested in family role relationships and their influence on the intrapsychic development and make-up of the individual
(Ackerman, 1958, 1966). The other perspective, the rhetorical communication and
interactional view, grew from the early works of
Donald Jackson and Gregory Bateson and their later
collaborative efforts with interdisciplinary colleagues at the Mental Research
Institute in California (Watzlawick & Weakland, 1977).
They reached out to the social sciences and the natural sciences to understand
families, early on developing a theory of communication and later focusing on
the role of language in the construction of reality. They conceptualized
families as cybernetic systems of interconnected individuals and questioned the
concept of psychological problems as illness. They viewed psychosis, for
instance, as an interpersonal relational problem rather than as an intrapsychic problem or a disease of the mind
(Bateson, 1972; Watzlawick & Weakland, 1977;
Watzlawick, Beaven, &
Jackson, 1967). [ETS1] The current therapies primarily based
in postmodern and social construction philosophies that have evolved over the
last twenty plus years represent a hybrid-like ideological shift that can be
traced back to the California rootstock and to developments in
philosophy and the social sciences.
During these years the world
around us was fast changing, shrinking, becoming enormously more complex and
uncertain and was impacting human beings and our everyday lives. Familiar
concepts such as universal truths, knowledge and knower as independent, language
as representative, and the meaning is in the word no longer seemed helpful in
accounting for and dealing with the changes and complexities and their
associated impact. The familiar systems concepts, whether first- or
second-order, did not help either. Such concepts risked placing human behavior
into frameworks of understanding that seduced therapists into hierarchical
expert-nonexpert structures, into discourses of
pathology and dysfunction, and into a world of the known and certain. Among
developments in philosophy and the natural and social sciences, postmodernism
and social constructionism have emerged as more
fitting, offering alternative ways to think of people and their problems and
therapists’ relationship to both.
Broadly speaking, postmodern
refers to a family of concepts that critically challenge the certainty of
objective truths, the relevance of universal or meta-narratives, and language as
representative of the truth (Lyotard, 1984; Kvale, 1992[ETS2] ). Postmodernism is not a
meta-narrative, but rather one among numerous others. Inherent in postmodernism
is a self-critique of postmodernism itself; that is, it invites and demands
continued analysis of its premises and their applications. Social construction,
a particular postmodern theory, places emphasis on truth, reality, and knowledge
as socially embedded and the role that language plays in the creation of these
products. According to the foremost proponent of social constructionism, social psychologist Kenneth Gergen (1982, 1985, 1994[ETS3] , 1999), it is “...principally
concerned with explicating the processes by which people come to describe,
explain, or otherwise account for the world (including themselves) in which they
live ” (1985, p. 266).
Language emerged as the
meaningful and useful metaphor, especially its role in the creation of
knowledge, the power of discourse and transformation, and its role in human
systems and interaction. This ideological and epistemological shift holds
significant implications and challenges for therapists’ thoughts, actions, and
interpretations of others. It offers a broad challenge to the culture,
traditions, and practices of the helping professions. It invites reexamination
and reimagination of psychotherapy traditions and the
practices that flow from them, including: how problems are conceptualized,
client-therapist relationships, the process of therapy, and therapists’
expertise. For varying reasons, a focus away from the family as the limited
target of treatment is inherent in this shift. Instead, the postmodern/social
construction ideology-informed approaches are not limited to families but are
applicable to individuals, couples, families and groups. In the words of family
therapist historian Lynn Hoffman
(2002), [ETS4] the shift changed the definition of
what needs to be changed: The target has moved from the unit to the situation.
Problems are not believed to reside within the person, the family, or the larger
system. Instead, problems are considered as linguistic constructions, with
various punctuations such as the local dialogical context and process of
people’s everyday lives and the subjugating and oppressing influence of dominant
universal narratives. Thus, the aim of the therapist has changed: to set a
context and facilitate a process for change, rather than to change a person or
group of people.
Postmodern social construction
premises influence a dialogical and relational perspective on understanding
human behavior, including the dilemmas of everyday life and a therapist’s stance
regarding these. Although there are significant variations among the postmodern
social construction therapies, generally speaking, some common basic premises
(although with slight variations and differences in emphasis)
- The notion of objective discoverable
knowledge and universal absolute truths is viewed skeptically.
- The world, our truths, is not out
there waiting to be discovered.
- Knowledge and social realities are
linguistically and communally constructed; reality, therefore is a multiverse.
- Language is the vehicle through which
people know and attribute meaning to their world, including realities about the
people, events, and experiences of their lives. Neither problems nor solutions
exist within a person or a family; they take shape and have meaning within a
relational and dialogical context.
- The goal of therapy is to create a
relational and dialogical context for transformation.
- Transformation--outcomes and
solutions--is inherent and emerges in dialogue.
- Transformation is unique to the
client and the participants in the therapy conversation and therefore cannot be
predetermined ahead of time.
- The person and self, including
development and human agency, are viewed as interdependent, communal, and
dialogic entities and processes rather than as isolated autonomous interior
- People have multiple identities and
their Identities are shaped and reshaped in social interaction.
Therapies based on these premises
share common values (with slight variations and emphasis):
- Taking a non-pathological,
- Appreciating, respecting and
utilizing the client’s reality and uniqueness.
- Using story and narrative
- Being collaborative in structure and
- Avoiding labeling and blaming
classifications of individuals and families, or their behaviors.
- Being more “public” or “transparent”
with information and biases.
More so than others, the
postmodern/social construction therapies have captured practitioners’ interest
in learning about the effectiveness of their therapy in their everyday settings
1997; Anderson, 1997).
[ETS5] This interest has created a number of
studies that provide in-depth first-person descriptions of the lived experience
of therapy processes and the nuances of its effectiveness, or lack of, from both
therapists and clients’ perspectives. What is learned from the “insiders” can
have relevancy to both current and future practices and yields a more thorough
story of the nuances of therapy than can be captured in “outsider” qualitative
research. Together these efforts join other family therapy approaches at the
forefront of promoting multiple alternative research methodologies, particularly
those categorized as qualitative such as single case studies, ethnographic
interviews and narrative accounts (see
Corby, Robila & Platt, 2002). [ETS6]
A growing number of therapists
place their practice under a postmodern/social construction umbrella or are
heavily influenced by it. The author chose to discuss three therapies in this
chapter: the collaborative approach of Harlene Anderson and Harry Goolishian (Anderson &
Goolishian, 1988, 1992; Anderson,
1997)[ETS7] , the narrative approach of David
Epston and Michael White (White &
Epston, 1990; White,
[ETS8] and the solution-focused approach of
Insoo Berg and Steve DeShazer (de Shazer, 1985, 1988, 1991; Berg & de Shazer, 1993). [ETS9] This choice was made because these
three therapies are often the core therapies that are typically found in
graduate and postgraduate family therapy courses with titles such as
postmodern/social construction, advanced systems, and narrative therapies. Other
significant contributors to the emergence of postmodern social construction
practices included in these courses who must be acknowledged are Tom Andersen in
Norway, and Lynn Hoffman and Peggy Penn in the United States (Andersen, 1987, 1991;
Hoffman 1981, 1998, 2002; Penn, 1985, 2001; Penn & Frankfurt,
1994[ETS10] , and Jaakko Seikkula in Finland 1993,
2002). Although each of the above approaches is historically or currently
influenced by the postmodern social construction perspectives to various
extents, they are not necessarily limited to these influences and their
originators might make different theoretical and practice applications
punctuations than this author.[i]
Comparing and contrasting can be
helpful in learning. A reader, therefore, might want to do this as they read
along. In doing so they might note these distinctions among the three approaches
regarding power, client-therapist relationships, the therapist’s role, and the
process of therapy.
- Collaborative and Narrative therapies
place importance on power. Similarly, they value client-therapist relationships
and systems that are more egalitarian and less hierarchical; they are careful to
be respectively, public and transparent about their views and biases.
Dissimilarly, Narrative Therapy holds an agenda to liberate people from
constraining or oppressive dominant narratives; Collaborative therapists pay
attention to these narratives when the client thinks it is important; and
Solution-Focused therapists do not find the issue relevant.
- Collaborative and Narrative therapies
place emphasis on the client-therapist relationship, although perhaps a
different emphasis; Solution-Focused therapies do not accent the relationship.
- Therapists’ expertise can be thought
of as along a continuum in terms of importance and intent. Collaborative
therapists espouse that the clients are the experts on their lives and the
therapist is in a not-knowing position regarding it. Narrative therapists are
experts in helping clients achieve preferred stories and living them, and
Solution-Focused therapists use their expertise in strategies toward goals.
- Collaborative therapists favor a
process of mutual inquiry and are not invested in a content outcome; they view
themselves as walking along side their client toward an unknown destination of
new meaning and action. Narrative therapists favor a process that leads to
preferred stories and people being able to live these; their role is like a
narrative editor. Solution-Focused therapists overtly steer clients toward
solution-talk and a specified behavioral goal.
- Observers might notice a Narrative or
Solution-Focused therapist systematically, for instance, ask questions and make
comments as if moving the conversation in a particular direction; whereas, a
Collaborative therapist might be described as wandering here and
and Background: A Search
Approach evolved from the twenty-year mutual work of Harlene Anderson and Harry
Goolishian and their colleagues and students,
beginning in the early 1970s within the context of a medical school and later in
what is now the Houston Galveston Institute. Its roots can be traced back to
Goolishian’s participation in the early Multiple
Impact Therapy (MIT) family therapy research project at the medical school
(McGregor, Ritchie, Serrano, Schuster, McDanald &
Goolishian, 1964). Quite innovative at the time, the
theory used to describe and understand the MIT practice was limited by the
psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, and developmental theories available at that
time. Soon deciding that these theories could not provide adequate descriptions
of their clients and their experiences of therapy, Goolishian and his colleagues began what became a continuous
search for new theoretical tools. Now, the stage was set for the important
reflexive process of the interaction of practice and theory. That is, new
practices led to new theories that influenced the practices, which in turn began
to require new theories, and so forth. This early interest was influenced by the
voices of clients and therapists–their experiences, descriptions, and
understandings of successful and unsuccessful therapy— and has remained an
important thread throughout the development of the Collaborative
Theoretical Constructs: Human Systems as Linguistic
As Anderson and Goolishian and their colleagues searched for new
descriptions and understandings, they went down a meandering path to revolutions
in the social, natural, and physical sciences, philosophy, and eventually to the
postmodern philosophical movement
(Gergen, 1985; Lyotard, 1984; Rorty, 1979; Shotter, 1993; Wittgenstein, 1953
Specifically, knowledge--what we
think we know or might know--is linguistically constructed. Furthermore, its
development and transformation is a communal process, and the knower and
knowledge are interdependent. Knowledge, therefore, is neither static nor
discoverable; rather, it is fluid and created. Authoritative discourses from
this perspective give way to knowledge constructed on the local level that has
practical relevance for the participants involved. Language in this
perspective—spoken and unspoken communication or expression—is the primary
vehicle through which we construct and make sense of our world and ourselves. As
philosopher Richard Rorty (1979) suggests, language
does not mirror what is; for instance, it is not an outward description of an
internal process and does not describe accurately what actually happened.
Rather, language allows a description of what happened and an attribution of
meaning to it. Language gains its meaning and its value through its use. Thus,
it limits and shapes thoughts and experiences and expressions of them. What is
created in and through language (realities such as knowledge, truth, and
meaning) is multi-authored among a community of persons. That is, the reality
that we attribute to the events, experiences, and people in our lives does not
exist in the thing itself; rather, it is a socially constructed attribution that
is created within a particular culture and is shaped and reshaped in language.
What is created, therefore, is only one of multiple perspectives (realities such
as narratives or possibilities).[ii]
Language, therefore, is fluid and creative.
Combined, these perspectives
influenced Anderson and Goolishian to move away from
the familiar, general, and second-order cybernetic systems notions on which
family therapy had been based to the notion of human beings as systems in
language or language systems (Anderson & Goolishian, 1988). Human systems are meaning-making systems.
Therapy becomes one kind of language or meaning-making system. Originally,
Anderson and Goolishian referred to their work as a
Collaborative Language Systems Approach and more recently Anderson has simplified it to Collaborative
Etiology of Clinical
A Collaborative therapist takes the
position that there is no such thing as an objective problem. Problems are a
form of co-evolved meaning that exists in ongoing communication among others and
self. Through our interpretations we attribute meaning to others, events,
actions, and ourselves. Problems cannot be separated from an observer’s
Problems are considered part of
everyday living; they are not considered the product of pathological individuals
or dysfunctional families. What is problematic to one person or family may not
be problematic to another: “Each problem is conceived as a unique set of events
or experiences that has meaning only in the context of the social exchange in
which it happened” (Anderson 1997,
p.74). Problems can be perpetuated and escalated through conversational
breakdowns, a failure to maintain generative conversations (Anderson, 1986,
Traditional notions of
diagnosis and assessment are based on the idea of objective reality, commonality
across problems, and linear cause and effect. Inherent in the notion of
assessment is a determination of what is: A problem can be defined, its
cause can be located, and it can be solved. From a collaborative perspective
each observation, problem description, and understanding is unique to the people
involved and their context. Problems are collaboratively explored and defined
through conversation. Because conversation or dialogue is generative, a problem
is never fixed; it shifts as its definitions, meanings, and shapes change over
time through conversation.
collaborative therapists seldom find traditional notions of diagnosis and
assessment useful, they acknowledge that they and their clients live and work in
systems in which these are important. This is simply a challenge for therapists
to respect, be in conversation with, and navigate multiple realities. In other
words, it is a challenge to be true to one’s beliefs and act accordingly
whatever the situation or context.
Clinical Change Mechanisms and
Curative Factors: Collaborative Relationships and Dialogical Conversations
is a process or activity that involves collaborative relationships and
dialogical conversations. It is a process of coexploring, clarifying, and expanding the familiar; therapy
invites and forms the “unsaid:” the newness. Although newness in some form or
another—stories, self-identities, etc—can be the result, the emphasis of therapy
is on this process, not on content or product. Collaborative therapists strive
to be aware of this essentialist trap.
is distinguished by shared inquiry. Shared inquiry is the mutual process in
which participants are in a fluid mode and is characterized by people talking
with each other as they seek understanding and generate meanings; it is
an in-there-together, two-way, give-and-take, back-and-forth exchange
& Goolishian, 1988; Anderson,
1997[ETS12] ). Dialogical
conversation begins with the therapist as a learner whose interest and curiosity
about the client naturally invites the client into shared inquiry. This shift
and the interpretive process of shared inquiry are transformational
the primary vehicle for therapy. Transformation (e.g. new knowledge, meanings,
expertise, identities, agency, actions, and futures) is inherent in the
inventive and creative aspects of language, and therefore, dialogue: “In
dialogue, new meaning is under constant evolution and no ‘problem’ will exist
forever. In time all problems will dissolve” (Anderson & Goolishian, 1988 p. 379). This transformative nature of
language invites a view of human beings as resilient, and it invites an
appreciation of each person’s contributions and potentials.
Specific Interventions: A
Like most other postmodern/social
construction oriented therapies, Collaborative Therapy does not consider the
therapist’s position or actions as techniques. Anderson and Goolishian (1988) distinguished their work as a philosophy
of therapy rather than a theory or model. For them, philosophy involves
questions and ongoing analysis about ordinary human life such as self-identity,
relationships, mind, and knowledge. Their conceptualizations of knowledge and
language inform a worldview or philosophical stance-a way of being in the
world that does not separate professional and personal. The stance characterizes
a way of thinking about, experiencing, being in relationship with, talking with,
acting with, and responding with the people therapists meet in therapy. Several
interrelated characteristics partly define the stance.
Conversational Partners. The collaborative
therapist and client become conversational partners as they engage in
dialogical conversations and collaborative relationships.
Dialogical conversation and collaborative relationship refer to the shared
inquiry process in which people talk with each other rather than
to each other. Inviting this kind of partnership requires that the
client’s story take center stage. It requires that the therapist constantly
learn—listening and trying to understand the client from the client’s
therapist learning position acts to spontaneously engage the client as a
co-learner or what collaborative therapists refer to as a mutual or shared
inquiry as they co-explore the familiar and co-develop the new. In this inquiry,
the client’s story is told in a way that it clarifies, expands, and shifts.
Whatever newness created is co-constructed from within the conversation in
contrast to being imported from outside of it. In this kind of conversation and
relationship all members have a sense of belonging. Collaborative
therapists report that this sense of belonging invites participation and shared
Dialogical conversations and collaborative relationships go hand in hand: the
kinds of relationships people have with each other form and inform the kinds of
conversations they have and vice versa.
Expert. The collaborative therapist believes that the client is the
expert on his or her life and as such is the
therapist respects and honors the client’s story, listens to hear what is
important for the client, and takes seriously what the client says and how they
say it. This includes any and all knowledge; for instance, whether dominant
cultural discourse or popular folklore informs the client’s descriptions and
interpretations, and it includes the many ways that the client may express his
or her knowledge. For instance, the therapist does not hold expectations that a
story should unfold in a chronological order or at a certain pace. The therapist
does not expect certain answers and does not judge whether an answer is direct
or indirect, right or wrong. Tom
[ETS13] suggests just how
challenging it is to respect the client’s expertise, “...what I myself found
important, but extremely difficult, to do was to try to listen to what clients
say instead of making up meaning about what they say. Just listen to what they
say” (p. 321). Inherent in this approach is an appreciative belief that most
human beings value, want, and strive towards healthy successful relationships
and qualities of life.
therapists often work with members of clients’ personal or professional systems.
The therapist appreciates, respects, and values each voice and their
reality and strives to understand the multiple and unique understandings from
each member’s perspectives: the richness of these differences are found to hold
collaborative therapist is a not-knowing therapist. Not-knowing refers to the
way the therapist thinks about and positions themselves with their knowledge and
expertise. They do not believe they have superior knowledge or hold a monopoly
on the truth. They offer what they know or think they might know but always hold
it and present it in a tentative manner. That is, therapists offer their voice,
including previous knowledge, questions, comments, opinions, and suggestions as
food for thought and dialogue. Therapists remain willing and able to have their
knowledge (including professional and personal values and biases) questioned,
ignored, and changed.
can be misunderstood as a therapist knowing nothing, pretending ignorance, or
forgetting what they have learned. Instead, it simply refers to how therapists
position themselves with their knowledge, including the timing and the intent
with which knowledge is introduced.
Public. Therapists often learn to operate from invisible private
thoughts—whether professionally, personally, theoretically, or experientially
informed. Such therapist thoughts include diagnoses, judgments, or hypotheses
about the client that influence how they listen and hear and that form and guide
their questions. From a collaborative stance, therapists are open and make their
invisible thoughts visible. They do not operate or try to guide the therapy from
private thoughts. For instance, if a therapist has an idea or opinion it is
shared with the client, again offered as food for thought and dialogue.
Important are the manner, attitude, and timing in which therapists offer
opinions, not whether they can or cannot share them. Keeping therapists’
thoughts public minimizes the risk of therapist and therapist-client
monologue—being occupied by one idea about a person or situation. Monologue can
subsequently lead to a therapist’s participating in, creating, or maintaining
external descriptions of clients such as ‘resistance’ and
therapist is not an expert agent of change; that is, a therapist does not change
another person. Rather the therapist’s expertise is in creating a space and
facilitating a process for dialogical conversations and collaborative
relationships. When involved in this kind of process, both client and therapist
are shaped and reshaped—transformed--as they work
Uncertainty. Being a collaborative therapist invites and
entails uncertainty. When a therapist accompanies a client on a journey and
walks alongside them, the newness (e.g. solutions, resolutions, and outcomes)
develops from within the local conversation, is mutually created, and is
uniquely tailored to the person or persons involved. How transformation occurs
and what it looks like will vary from client to client, from therapist to
therapist, and from situation to situation. Put simply, there is no way to know
for sure the direction in which the story will unfold or the outcome of therapy
when involved in a generative process of dialogical conversation and
Life. Therapy from a
collaborative perspective becomes less hierarchical and dualistic. It resembles
the everyday ordinary conversations and relationships that most people prefer.
This does not mean chitchat, without agenda, or a friendship. Therapy
conversations and relationships occur within a particular context and have an
agenda: simply, a client wants help and a therapist wants to help. Clients and
problems are not categorized as challenging or difficult. Collaborative
therapists believe that each client presents a dilemma of everyday ordinary
If a therapist assumes the
described philosophical stance, they will naturally and spontaneously act and
talk in ways that create a space for and invite conversations and relationships
where clients and therapists connect, collaborate, and construct
with each other. Because the philosophical stance becomes a natural
and spontaneous way of being as a therapist, there are no therapist techniques
and skills as we know them. The stance is unique for each therapist and for each
client and situation they encounter.
of Approach: Who Decides?
Therapy contrasts with therapy approaches in which professional knowledge
externally defines problems, solutions, outcomes, and success--creating
expert-nonexpert dichotomies. Collaborative therapists
believe that one must ask the client to determine whether therapy was useful,
and if so how. Although therapists' experiences and opinions are valued, every
effort is made to privilege clients' perceptions and evaluations of therapy and
to pay attention to what therapists can learn from them. Research, so to speak,
becomes part of everyday practice, with therapists and clients as co-researchers
during the process of therapy, as well as at its conclusion (Andersen, 1997; Anderson, 1997). Findings are used during the
therapy process to make therapy more useful to the client and, of course,
influence the further evolution of ideas and practices (see
Andersen, 1997[ETS14] ).
The strengths of the approach are
in the relationships and conversations that are created between the client and
the therapist and in their inherent possibilities. Consequently, therapy becomes
less hierarchical and dualistic, less technical and instrumental, and more of an
insider rather than an outsider endeavor. Clients report a sense of ownership,
belonging, and shared responsibility. Therapists report an increased sense of
appreciation for their clients, sense of enthusiasm, and sense of competency,
creativity, flexibility, and hopefulness for their work. They also report a
reduction in burnout.
of the effectiveness of Collaborative Therapy is anecdotal: client and therapist
stories about their experiences of therapy and the usefulness of the approach
for them are included, for instance, in articles on child abuse and other types
of domestic violence, eating disorders,
and substance abuse (Anderson, 1997; Anderson & Levin, 1998;
Anderson, Burney & Levin, 1999; Chang, 1999; London,
Ruiz, Gargollo & MC, 1998; St. George & Wulff, 1999 ; Swim, Helms, Plotkin
& Bettye, 1998)[ETS15] . As in Narrative
Therapy it is not unusual for therapists to invite clients to participate in
writing and professional presentations (London, Ruiz, Gargollo & MC[ETS16] , 1998;
& Bettye, 1998[ETS17] ). Qualitative
research includes studies of the effectiveness of Collaborative Therapy and
analysis of whether therapists’ behaviors and attitudes were consistent with
their therapy philosophy (Gehart-Brooks & Lyle,
1999; Swint, 1995), and the application of the ideas
in supervision and education (St. George, 1994).
The history of its development
also supports its effectiveness. The collaborative approach evolved in practice
settings with a variety of challenging clients. These include chronic treatment
failures and patients in outpatient and inpatient psychiatric settings and later
with public agency clients such as children’s protective services, women’s
shelters, and adult and juvenile probation who were often mandated for therapy
and from various cultures (Anderson, 1991; Anderson & Goolishian, 1986, 1991; Anderson & Levin, 1998
; Levin, Reese, Raser, Niles, 1986).
[ETS18] Finnish psychologist Jaakko Sekkula and his colleagues
have aptly demonstrated effectiveness of a dialogue approach through a research
project with a five-year follow-up with psychotic patients and their families
(Seikkula, 1993; Seikkula, Aaltonen,
Alakare, Haarakangas, Keranen & Sutela, 1995).
Often asked questions about the effectiveness of the
collaborative approach include: (1) “What are its limits?;” and (2) “It sounds
so cognitive, how does it work with people who are not so verbal or bright or
who are psychotic?” When limits are experienced, the therapist creates the
limits, not the client or the kind or severity of their problem.
Therapist-created limits are usually associated with slipping out of a
collaborative mode. When clients are approached from a collaborative
perspective, they talk, they are forth coming, and they are active in addressing
History and Background: Joint
Michael White at the Dulwich Centre in
Adelaid, Australia and David Epston in Auckland, New Zealand became interested in each other’s
work in the early 1980s. Combining Epston’s background
in anthropology and his interest in storytelling and White’s interest in
interpretive methods inspired by the writings of Gregory Bateson, they created what became known as narrative therapy
(White & Epston,
1990; Epston & White,
1992[ETS20] ). Several
factors affected the development of narrative therapy. Contextually, it is not
surprising that narrative therapy emerged in these geographic and cultural
contexts during a period when social and governmental attention and commitment
in both countries were drawn to the oppression of their indigenous cultures and
efforts of restitution. Given this backdrop, Epston
and White were naturally attracted to the relevance of European poststructural theory, particularly Foucault’s position on
constructed truths and the inseparability of power and knowledge. White’s wife,
Cheryl White also influenced White and Epston’s
interest in feminist theory and analysis of power. Over the years, other
important leaders and extenders of the narrative therapy movement are Gene Combs
and Jill Freedman (Freedman & Combs, 1996), Victoria Dickerson and Jeffrey
Zimmerman (Zimmerman & Dickerson, 1996), Sallyann
& Epston, 1996), and Kathy Weingarten (1998) in the
United States and Stephen Madigan (Madigan & Epston,
1995) [ETS21] in
Major Theoretical Constructs:
Narrative, Knowledge, and Power
Narrative therapy is based in a
narrative/story metaphor: people make sense of and give meaning to their lives
including the people and events in it through their narratives, the stories they
tell others and themselves and the stories they are told. That is, narratives or
stories about others and self shape experiences, and thus lives. People’s
narratives are their realities. We are born into the dominant narratives or
discourses of our unique cultures that are created by the culture’s power
brokers. These dominant discourses, or truths, influence local and personal
narratives, affect the words we use and the knowledge we have, and become
internalized truths. The lived experience of the person becomes lost or
subjugated to the dominant narratives. Narrative therapy views problems--their
formation and their resolution--from this dominant narrative perspective.
Based on this cultural discourse
problem formation perspective, narrative therapy carries a political and social
agenda: to help people deconstruct and liberate themselves from their culture
dominated problem stories and to construct stories about themselves that give
more possibilities to their lives. This applies to therapists as well as
clients. Therapists are also subject to being captives of cultural privileged
truths and imposing them on their clients. To avoid this risk, narrative
therapists examine the influence of larger cultural discourses on their own
narratives, preferred truths, and actions, and they openly disclose, or are
transparent about, their beliefs and biases about problems, therapy, and so
development of narrative therapy, this perspective and agenda were strongly
influenced by the post-structuralism view of the French social philosopher
Michel Foucault (
1965, 197 5,
1984)[ETS22] , more so than by
a postmodern perspective. Foucault’s life work was committed to calling
attention to and challenging the taken-for-granted and often invisible but
pervasively influential social, political and cultural institutional structures
and practices in which people live. Foucault, persuaded by his studies of
institutions such as justice-penal systems and medical-psychiatric systems,
believed that the dominant discourses of these institutions gave power and
influence to some people, usually to those deemed to have expert knowledge, and
objectified, marginalized, or victimized others. This consciousness-raising
became a guiding principle for narrative therapy in relation to the goal of
therapy, the process of therapy, and the position of the therapist. Narrative
therapy’s commitment to social justice and questioning of power influences
outside and inside the therapy room drew many therapists who shared this
commitment to it.
The works of
French literary deconstructionist Jacques Derrida (19
92), [ETS23] North American
anthropologist Clifford Geertz (19 73) and psychologist
Jerome Bruner (1986)
[ETS24] have also
influenced the narrative approach. Derrida’s work focuses on meaning and its
relation to the texts. For Derrida, a text has no one true meaning. The reader,
through reading and interpreting a text, creates a text and its meaning. It is a
linguistic trap to assume that a certain text exists or that one can search for
and find it. Narrative therapists have also adopted Derrida’s concept of
deconstruction: “the critical analysis of texts . . . how a text is given
meaning by its author or producers” (Smith, Harre,
Langenhove, 1995, p. 52[ETS25] ). For Epston and White the text analogy “advances the idea that
the stories or narratives that persons live through determine their interaction
and organization, and that the evolution of lives and relationships occurs
through the performance of such stories or narratives” (White & Epston, 1990, p. 12).
[ETS26] Geertz introduced the concept of “context
analysis:” an interpretive process of looking into the meaning of talk and
action in their social and cultural contexts. The analysis gives a local
[ETS27] understanding, or
a fuller understanding that Geertz referred to as
‘thick description” (1973). Through these local understandings access is gained
to the human lived experience rather than to normative objective descriptions,
labels and classifications. A common thread through the works of Foucault,
Derrida, and Geertz is a strong plea to the human
sciences to be aware of and not participate in the entrapping danger of
normalization to subjugate and control. Narrative therapists borrowed from
Burner’s narrative theory, including his ideas about the structure of stories,
how people understand and give meaning to their experiences through them, and
how they create realities for the writer (teller) and the reader
Combined, these conceptual works
influenced the designation narrative therapy: the way that our
narratives, our stories about others and ourselves shape our experiences, and
thus our lives. They are our realities. And, they influence the mission of a
narrative therapist: to help people deconstruct the stories that guide their
lives, emancipate themselves from limiting or oppressive stories, and live their
preferred stories. The influence of these conceptual works on the premises and
promises of narrative therapy are apparent in the following
narrative perspective, dominant cultural discourses and institutions influence
the problem stories that people bring to therapy. Discourses of pathology and
causality that exist within our broader social and psychotherapy cultures are
large influences and are easily internalized, inviting problem-saturated
stories. Problem stories effect people’s identities and generate blame and
hopeless feelings. Problems persist because problem-saturated stories persist.
Thoughts and experiences of others and self become the interpreting and
validating lens that fix and perpetuate the problem story. In the words of
White (1990) [ETS28] “. . . persons
experience problems, for which they frequently seek therapy, when the narratives
in which they are ’storying’ their experience, and/or
in which they are having their experiences ’storied’ by others, do not
sufficiently represent their lived experience, and that, in these circumstances,
there will be significant aspects of their lived experience that contradict
these dominant narratives” (p. 14).
A problem is not inside a person,
couple or family; it is not found within family structures or interaction
patterns. Instead, problems are viewed as external to each person, limiting or
oppressing them and other members of their system. People, therefore, are not
blamed for problems.
Assessment assumes that there is
something—e.g., a structure, a pattern, a personality, or a relationship--to
evaluate. And, usually embedded in that assumption is that the something is
static. Traditionally, in psychotherapy, assessment tends to focus on
determining the correct diagnosis, which in turn informs the treatment.
Narrative therapists do not use standardized assessment instruments or focus on
quantifiable diagnoses. Narrative therapists value the local or the native
description of the problem. The person consulting the therapist is the best
source of description of the problem and the best judge of what they want from
therapy and the therapist, and whether the therapy is helpful. Assessment is not
seen as a beginning phase of treatment that determines the goal and the
strategies for reaching that goal. Rather, assessment, or learning about the
problem, is part of the continuous process of telling and re-telling the story.
Narrative therapists are interested in mapping the impact and effect of the
problem on the individual and the family rather than in finding its
Because narrative therapists hold
assumptions about limiting and oppressing dominant discourses, they would have
ideas about which discourses these might be as they listen to the client’s
narrative. So, part of the assessment would include determining the discourse in
which the client’s problem is located and the restraints that it poses on the
client’s life. Although, introducing the taken-for-granted or invisible
discourse can be viewed as an intervention, it is also viewed as an opportunity
to assess the client’s response and negotiate understanding.
Clinical Change Mechanisms and
is based on the assumption that resolution requires a change in story or
narrative. Narrative therapists want to help people “re-author”
6) [ETS29] their lives and
relationships and to form new identities that liberate them from limiting and
oppressing narratives. Re-authoring involves re-envisioning both the past and
the future. It also requires making the invisible constraining
problem-supporting discourses visible and helping people “confront the
discourses that oppress or limit people as they pursue their preferred
directions in life” (Freedman & Combs, 2000). The new or alternative story
is sometimes called a preferred outcome. The new story becomes the vehicle for a
The focus is not on the more
usual techniques and goals of therapy such as improving communication among
family members or encouraging people to express their feelings. Instead, the
primary therapist activity is deconstructing the problem story and its
supporting assumptions and on externalizing the problem. Critical to change is
the therapist’s attitude of respectful confidence in the client and tenacious
position for a narrative therapist is one that exemplifies a worldview of a “way
of living that supports collaboration, social justice and local, situated,
context-specific knowledge rather than normative thinking, diagnostic labeling,
and generalized (non-contextualized) ’expert’ knowledge” (Freedman and Combs, 2000, p. 345)[ETS30] . This
de-centered therapist position is critical to achieving the mission of narrative
therapy, more so that seeming interventions and
narrative therapists describe their work in the language of technique and
intervention varies. For example, some speak of “practices”
(Freedman & Combs, 2002, p. 350). [ETS31] Narrative
therapists take several identifiable actions, regardless of what they call them,
to help them achieve their mission to deconstruct the problem story, liberate
people from it, and construct a preferred story. Questions lead this agenda;
that is, narrative therapists ask questions to influence the emergence of
Deconstructing. A therapist asks questions to
deconstruct the problem story—detail it, explore its context—and to reveal the
dominant social, cultural and political practices that have helped create and
maintain the problem. Some therapists refer to the deconstructing process as
Externalizing. A therapist asks questions and
makes comments that emphasize the problem as an outside influence on the person
rather than as a characteristic or defect inside them or their actions.
Externalizing separates the person from the problem and disrupts the idea that
problems originate within people. To aid in this separation and to help people
renegotiate their relationship with the problem and exercise control over it,
the problem is often given a name or personified. Externalizing the problem
challenges not only the location of the problem, but also the idea of it as
fixed and as a totalizing entity.
Thickening stories. A therapist asks questions
that help create fuller descriptions and understandings of the lived experience
of the client and that invite new preferred life narratives. Deconstructing,
unpacking, and externalizing are part of the thickening
Realizing unique outcomes and
creating preferred outcomes. Critical aspects of creating
external definitions of problems are what narrative therapists call realizing
unique outcomes and creating preferred outcomes. A therapist asks questions that
help elicit unique outcomes--instances or “sparkling events” that contradict or
open the way for an alternate or preferred story. They identify, highlight, and
reinforce these unique outcomes, inviting and supporting the client to have
power over the problem and his or her life. In addition to focusing on past and
present unique outcomes, a narrative therapist focuses on future unique and
unexpected outcomes. Therapists ask questions, using their knowledge of the
problem story and their imagination to help the clients construct a preferred or
more useful story.
way of minimizing the power differential between clients and therapists,
narrative therapists offer information about themselves and invite clients to
ask them questions about the their experiences and beliefs. In the words of
Freedman and Combs, “We try to be
transparent about our own values, explaining enough about our situation and our
life experience that people can understand us as people rather than experts or
conduits for professional knowledge”
(1996, p. 36).[ETS32]
Reflecting. Using Tom Andersen’s notion of
reflecting process (Andersen, 1995)
[ETS33] a therapist gives
a therapy client, a therapy team, or any observers of the therapy the
opportunity to reflect on the conversation while the client and therapist
listen. The reflectors are thought of as one kind of community of concern
Writing letters. A therapist or team writes letters
as another way of participating in a client’s story, externalizing the problem,
and creating unique outcomes. Letters are most often written and mailed to a
client after a therapy session or at the end of a course of therapy. Letters are
used to show therapists’ recognition of the client’s situation and to help
support and sustain change during the course of therapy or at its end. A client
will then have the letter to read and re-read long after therapy has concluded.
Letters may take any creative form and their content may vary, all depending on
the clients and their circumstances and what the therapist hopes to accomplish.
Numerous examples of a variety of letters can be found in White
book[ETS34] , Narrative
Means to Therapeutic Ends (1990, pp. 84-187).
techniques, creating communities of concern and designing definitional
ceremonies, serve as important aids to acknowledging, solidifying, and
sustaining the new story. They create another way of telling and retelling the
story or what Wolfgang Iser
(1978)[ETS35] calls a
“performance of meaning.” They also invite a sense of ownership for the client
and a sense of joint responsibility for all
Creating communities of
concern. A therapist
invites the client to bring into the conversation, literally or figuratively,
the voices of significant people in their lives to help counter the influence of
the broader culture’s restrictive narratives and to support and maintain new
narratives and preferred outcomes. These voices are utilized throughout the
therapy and at its conclusion. A therapist can also encourage and help the
client to bring together or join groups of people with the same kind of problem.
Examples include Anti-Anorexia/Anti-Bulimic Leagues (Madigan & Epston,
1995) [ETS36] and Internet
websites (Weingarten, 2000).
ceremonies. To focus
on the change, to witness it, to celebrate it, and to sustain it, narrative
therapists borrowed from anthropologist Barbara Meyerhoff’s
(1986) [ETS37] practice of
definitional ceremonies. Therapists invite clients to create a ceremony or
ritual in which significant people in their lives can witness the change, thus
highlighting it. The event can take any form or shape that acknowledges the
accomplishment such as a certificate, a declaration, an imagined public
announcement, a song, and so forth. The options are limitless and only depend on
the creativity of the participants.
Most of the dissemination
of information on the effectiveness and in support of Narrative Therapy is found
in anecdotal form at conferences, in books and journal articles, and the Dulwich Centre Newsletter. In keeping with the
narrative/story metaphor, narrative therapists invite present and former
clients, individuals and large groups, to tell their stories in writing and in
professional presentations. This allows the conference participants and readers
to hear the clients’ stories and therapy experiences directly from the source
rather than through therapists’ filters. It also acknowledges the major role of
clients in the therapy and the change.
has demonstrated success in various contexts and with different presenting
problems: Application in schools is partly demonstrated in a special section on
“Narrative Work in Schools” in the Journal of Systemic Therapies
(Zimmerman, 2001[ETS38] ) including
success with bullying (Beaudoin,
[ETS39] and the use of
teacher’s knowledge to revive commitment and success in teaching
& Epston, 2001[ETS40] ). Application
with custody evaluation has demonstrated a favorable outcome of a
narrative-collaborative process in which all parties (clients and evaluators)
felt more respected and heard and less traumatized and blamed. Furthermore, its
application and effectiveness in home-based therapy has been demonstrated (Madison,
[ETS41] The success of Narrative Therapy is also discussed in
Freedman and Combs (2000) and Smith and Nylund (1997).
Steve de Shazer is widely acknowledged as the principal originator of
solution-focused therapy, although its development emerged from the collective
work of de Shazer, his professional partner and wife
Insoo Kim Berg, and his colleagues in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin in the late 1970s. Well-known others, primarily William O’Hanlan, Eve Lipchik, Michele
Weiner-Davis, and Jane Peller and John Walter, built
on the early foundations and practices of solution-focused therapy, especially
its focus on solutions and brevity, and developed their own unique versions and
names for it (O’Hanlon & Davis, 1989;
1993; Walter & Peller,
2000[ETS42] ). de Shazer was strongly influenced by his early work with the
Mental Research Institute (MRI) group in Palo Alto, California and their brief
De Shazer and Berg may not place solution-focused therapy under
a postmodern social construction umbrella, for there are distinct differences
between solution-focused and collaborative and narrative therapies. All three,
however, share the centrality of language and its relationship to reality; and
de Shazer and Berg also use the narrative metaphor to
refer to the ways people talk about and construct their lives. Like the MRI
group, they promote the simplicity of their theory and practice; however,
solution-focused therapy does have a solid theoretical base.
Solution-focused therapy is
historically rooted in a tradition that started with the influence of Milton
Erikson, Gregory Bateson,
and the MRI associates; and giving credit to Berg, de Shazer supplemented the MRI influence with the premises of
Buddhism and Taoism (de Shazer, 1982). De Shazer and Berg basically flipped the problem-focused
approach that suggested more of the same ineffective solutions maintain the
problem to more of the same effective solutions solve the problem. They
continued the MRI group’s commitment to a pragmatic, deliberate intervention and
brief perspective, including the importance of what rather than why and the
importance of the present rather than history, and they added an emphasis on the
future. They referred to their early task and goal-directed practice as an ecosystemic approach to brief family therapy (de Shazer, 1982). Later de Shazer and
Berg wove philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s notions of language and language
games into the background of these earlier influences (de Shazer, 1991). Language creates and is reality.
Therefore, a problem is a client’s reality: to change a problem, one must change
the reality by changing the language. In de Shazer’s
view, a shift from problem talk to solution talk is critical to this change.
Solution-talk takes the form of what de
(1991[ETS43] ) refers to as
progressive narratives, ones that lead toward goals by allowing “clients to
elaborate on and ‘confirm’ their stories, expanding and developing exception and
change [problem] themes into solution themes”
Solution-focused therapy is a nonpathologizing, positive, and future oriented approach.
Therapists focus on the positive aspects and potential of clients, as well as on
empowering them. Solution-focused therapy revolves around the question, “How do
we construct solutions?” (Walter & Peller, 1992).
The major premise is that information about problems is not necessary; for
change, all that is necessary is solution or goal talk (Walter & Peller, 1992). Central assumptions that guide the
therapist’s thinking and activity include change and cooperation as inevitable,
everyone has the resources to change, and clients succeed when their goals drive
therapy (Selekman, 20
2-4). [ETS44] Maintaining the
early systems notions that a change in one relationship or part of the system
will effect change in others and that a small change can lead to a large change,
solution-focused therapists believe it is only necessary to work with the
complainant and to have modest goals. They are, however, flexible depending on
the requests of the referring person(s) or other customer or complainant. Early
on solution-focused therapists placed clients in one of three categories to
designate their commitment and level of desire to change: visitors, complaintants, and customers. Interestingly, when clients do
not cooperate they interpret this as helping the therapist find a better way to
A later influence for de Shazer was the work of Austrian philosopher, Ludwig
Wittgenstein (Miller & de Shazer, 1998). Drawing
on Wittgenstein’s notion of language games and his and other philosophers’
notion that realities and meanings are created in language, de Shazer speaks of the construction and action of problem-talk
and solution-talk as language games. Solution-focused therapists prefer to play
the solution-talk game with its focus on solution
Etiology of Clinical
Problems from a
Solution-Focused perspective are related to language: the way that people talk
about and attribute meaning to what they call problems. The talk about the
events, circumstances, and people in clients’ lives defines a problem as a
problem. In de
words (1993)[ETS45] “There are no
wet beds, no voices without people, no depressions. There is only talk
about wet beds, talk about voices without people, talk about
depression (p. 89). From this perspective, information about the problem
such as its root and cause, its patterns, or its frequency are not important. To
the contrary, as mentioned earlier, Solution-Focused therapists want to avoid
talking about the problem.
Assessment is not a component of solution-focused therapy in the traditional
sense. De Shazer challenges the relationship between
problem and solution, making assessment of problems irrelevant. In his words,
“The problem or complaint is not necessarily related to the solution” and “The
solution is not necessarily related to the problem” (p.
xiii, de Shazer 1991).
[ETS46] Again, they hold
a strong belief that neither therapists nor clients need to know the problem’s
etiology or to even understand the problem. Looking for causes and grasping for
meanings of problems are viewed as little more than problem-talk. And,
problem-talk can perpetuate the clients’ obsession with and immersion in their
problems, risk reifying problems, and obstruct the development of solutions.
This is believed to the true for both the therapist and the client.
Solution-focused therapists do
want to know or assess the client’s goal. They also want to know the exceptions
to the problem, for these exceptions hold the seeds for solutions. Although
historically they have maintained a strategic stance, some now strive for a
collaborative construction of goals and solutions.
in the development of solution-focused therapy de Shazer used what he called “formula tasks”
1985[ETS47] ) and later
included specific kinds of questions to help move people from problem-talk to
solution-talk, to discover and create solutions. With the tasks and questions,
therapists aim for specific concrete behavioral information and instructions.
The approach is manualized in the sense that all
questions and tasks are based on the assumption that the solution to client’s
problems already exist in their lives and are constructed to achieve the desired
outcome: solutions. In spite of the manualization,
early on solution-focused therapists believed in the value of cooperative
relationships with clients. The most popular questions and tasks
Establishing exceptions to the problem is intended and believed to be an
important part of orienting people toward solutions. Exception questions search
for, identity, and confirm times in the past and present when the problem was
not as problematic. This is a way of deconstructing the problem without
searching for causes and understandings of it and constructing the solution.
Another way to consider this process is to think of the therapist as helping to
deconstruct an unsatisfactory reality, and when the problem is no longer a
problem, the therapist constructs a satisfactory one.
Miracle questions. Miracle questions are “hypothetical
solution questions” (Walter & Peller,
1993, p. 75-85[ETS48] ). They help
people set goals by coaching them to imagine what their life would be like if
the problem were solved. As with other solution-focused questions, the intent is
to focus on the solution and defocus on the problem. The miracle question is
“Suppose that one
night there is a miracle and while you were sleeping the problem that brought
you to therapy is solved: How would you know? What would be different? What will
you notice different the next morning that will tell you that there has been a
miracle? What will your spouse [for instance] notice? (de
1991, p. 113)[ETS49]
Scaling questions. Scaling questions are used by
solution-focused therapists much like they are used by other therapists; that
is, to help clients be more specific and concrete and be able to quantify and
measure problems and successes. They can note how and where the client perceives
him or herself and give the therapist clues for questions that can reinforce
improvement as well as suggest the possibility of or nudge extenuation of the
improvement. For instance, a therapist might ask questions such as: “On a scale
from one to ten with one being the lowest, where would you place your depression
when you first came in?; Where are you now? How did you move from a 1 to a 3?
What would it take to move from a 3 to a five?”
Coping questions. DeShazer
and Berg also use what they call coping questions. These are questions to help
clients who fail to see any exceptions or forward movement. Such a question
might be, “I’m curious to know why you’re doing as well as you are?” Again,
striving for any kind of difference.
Shazer suggests that therapist misunderstanding is
more likely to occur than understanding, so use misunderstanding to the
therapist’s advantage (de Shazer, 1991). For example,
what might be typically thought of as resistance is viewed as information or a
message that the therapist has misunderstood the client or erred in their
interpretation. This provides the therapist the opportunity to learn more from
the client and get back on the solution track.
Like Collaborative Therapy and Narrative Therapy, the
effectiveness of Solution-Focused Therapy is mostly found in anecdotal and
specific case reports. Solution-focused therapists have been prolific writers
and conference presenters. Berg and Dolan (2001) offer a collection of success
stories by clients and therapists on a variety of presenting problems. Miller,
Hubble, & Duncan (1996) offer a review of relevant outcome research and
reports of numerous applications of solution-focused therapy in action. Its
usefulness has been demonstrated with specific populations and presenting
problems such as alcohol abuse (Berg & Miller, 1992), child abuse (Berg
& Kelly, 2000), groups (Metcalf, 1998), adolescents
, 2002[ETS50] ), the elderly (Dahl, Bathel
& Carreon, 2000), marital therapy
1992[ETS51] ), schools (Osenton & Chang,
1999), and client-perspective. Qualitative research supporting its effectiveness
is reported by Miller (1996) and Gingerich & Eisengart (2000).
Developments and Directions of Postmodern/Social Construction
postmodern social construction therapies represent an ideological shift that has
slowly evolved over the last two plus decades and do not represent a trend that
will fade. A frequently asked question, however, is what are the limitations of
these therapies? Most therapists would respond that there are not across the
board limitations in respect to particular client populations, presenting
problems, or cultures. To the contrary, most of these therapists report that the
postmodern/social construction approaches permit them, more so than other
approaches, to engage and work with a variety of populations and problems even
if they have no or limited experience with the same. This freedom and competence
seems to be associated with the collaborative aspect of doing something together
and pooling resources, whether the therapist calls it that or not. It also seems
to be associated with therapists’ ability to be creative when not constrained by
diagnosing pathology and being the curing expert. Perhaps therapists limit
themselves when they fall into these essentialist modes.
The implications of this
shift stretch far beyond family therapy to other therapies and to contexts
outside the mental health discipline. Common among these therapies is their
continuous evolution. The so-called originators and their colleagues and other
thinkers and practitioners around the world continue to explore and extend the
vast possibilities for therapy, education, research, organizational
consultation, and medicine, as well as the complex social and cultural
circumstances that challenge the earth we inhabit.
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[i] Other therapies
that are sometimes placed under the postmodern umbrella are Constructivist
Therapies. The distinction is that they draw from constructivist rather or more
than social constructionist theory. These therapies are not discussed in this
chapter; for comprehensive reviews see Neimeyer, 1993 and (is there more, please
[ii] Anderson does
not suggest that “nothing exists outside linguistic constructions. Whatever
exists simply exists, irrespective of linguistic practices” (Gergen, 2001), Rather, the focus is on the meanings of these
existences and the actions they inform, once we begin to describe, explain, and
To be published in:
G. Weeks, T. L. Sexton & M.
Robbins (Eds.) Handbook of Family Therapy. New York: Brunner- Routledge
refs do not appear on reference list
[ETS3]No 1994 work on
[ETS5]Since there are
multiple Anderson references with different first names, please include first
initial on Anderson refs. Also since there are two Anderson, H. references with
1997 dates please label the (a) and (b) so we know which
Anderson on ref list also which ’97 ref?
1997b? Anderson, H. or Anderson, T.?
[ETS13]there is no
Anderson, T. 1991 on ref list
[ETS14]Anderson, H. a
or b, or Anderson, T.?
refs and make sure they match ref list.
[ETS16]What is MC? Is
this another author?
vs. ref list, also check date for Anderson &
ref list, check date vs. other Freedman and Combs
[ETS42]not on ref
list. Check date on Walter and Peller (ref list says
1992, is this an additional reference?
[ETS56]no (a) so
don’t need a (b), check to be sure this is cited in