Madigan Narrative Therapy (theory and practice) Book

The American Psychological Association (APA) released Stephen Madigan’s book Narrative Therapy – theory and practice in 2011. The book was a best seller. The APA contracted Stephen to write a ‘Second Edition’ of Narrative Therapy – theory and practice that includes new ideas and highlights the future of narrative therapy theory and practice. Due out September 2018.

The 2011 book is listed as a BEST SELLER for the APA.

Purchase at or Amazon Kindle Store.

Professional book reviews

Vicky Dickerson, PhD

Marcela Polanco, PhD

Jefferson A. Singer

David Epston’s book review:

‘Stephen was virtually ‘there’ from the very beginning of narrative therapy (circa 1986) and was one of its first scholar/practitioners.  Within this book, you will be treated to two histories:  a history of the foundational ideas of narrative therapy along with that of the creation of his own versions of these ideas-in-practice for which he received the AFTA award for ‘Innovation in Family Therapy (2007).  The intertwining of these two histories makes for scintillating reading!’

David Epston MA – co-creator of Narrative Therapy and – co-author Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. Auckland, New Zealand

Vicky Dickerson’s book review:

‘Madigan’s vast understanding of a post-structural epistemology/ideology, the writings of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and others who contributed to the growth of this new way of therapeutic thinking, allows his book to do more than expound the theory and practice of narrative therapy. Stephen’s book details the underpinnings of what makes up an entirely new approach to understanding psychotherapy. I suggest you read Narrative Therapy – theory and practice  – simply because it’s an amazing piece of work!’

Vicky Dickerson PhD lives in Aptos, California and is the author of the narrative therapy  book “If Problems Talked”.

Imelda McCarthy’s book review:

Stephen Madigan loves a good question and here in this book he brings Narrative Therapy’s questions alive.   He is his parent’s son, he is Ireland’s son, he is Canada’s son with all the genius of the story teller from those contexts.    This book is also an apprentice’s tale, the story of a life-long learner in all situations and relationships.   It is full of rigour and imagination, tenacity and creativity.   Most of all it sparkles with humour and is an easy, compelling read.  Throughout, he privileges ethics, relationship and a post-structuralist re-citing.   The practices described are critical in all senses of the word.   By excavating and co-creating the ‘unique’ in all of us (‘service users’ and ‘professionals’) he provides vital and necessary countering practices to the intrusions of a globalised ‘expert’ stance  premised on profit motives, deficiency discourse and lowest common denominator knowledge   This ‘expert’ stance has the enormous potential for ‘dumbing down’ through the process of a normativising professional gaze caught in an oscillating and confusing dance of imagined perfections and projected deficiencies.    Thank you Stephen for this timely re-membering.

Imelda McCarthy PhD, Fifth Province Centre, Dublin Ireland

David Nylund’s book review:

Stephen Madigan has done a brilliant job of conveying narrative therapy in a manner that is accessible while maintaining the richness and complexity of the concepts and practices. He seamlessly connects the theories that inform narrative therapy and the interventions the flow from those ideas.  Dr. Madigan is to be admired for his commitment and passion for circulating narrative practices to the larger therapy community.  Bravo!

David Nylund, MSW, PhD, Professor Sacramento State University and Director Gender Health Alliance Clinic.

John Winslade’s book review:

Stephen Madigan gives us a guided tour of the house where narrative practice lives and breathes.  Along the way he points out the family photos on the wall. He lifts the rug on psychological practice and points out what often gets swept under there. He tells stories about the renovation work that has gone on. He then invites us into conversation with others who are gathered there.  These conversations are rich with energy, robust with critical sharpness and heady with hope.  Madigan is not at all naïve about what narrative practice is up against, particularly within the stifling climate of North American psychology. Instead he shows us his own craft, traces his apprenticeship and points us in new directions. It turns out that this house is still being added to, still being designed even. And yet it already stands out as a local landmark and a place worth visiting and lingering for more than passing hour. Enjoy your visit!

John Winslade, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean, College of Education at California State University San Bernardino and Associate Professor at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Mark Wylie’s book review:

This is a well-written introduction to some of the sophisticated and critically challenging ideas contained within narrative therapy. The scope of the book is fairly limited, as it mainly covers working with adults rather than children. However, the basic approach remains the same – separating the person from the problem. The depth to which the author covers the areas contained within the book is excellent. The theory chapter is one of the best explanations of Foucault’s complex ideas that underpin this approach that I have read.

As a practitioner working within a service by which access can only be gained following a medical relabeling of a child’s identity as having ‘autism’, I was particularly interested in the author’s writings towards the latter parts of the book on the challenges of using poststructuralist ideas within a dominant medical model context. Some interesting points were reported here that are potentially transferable to NHS work environments.

Overall, this is a very good general introduction to the area.

Reviewed by Mark Wylie, who is a clinical psychologist with Suffolk Community Healthcare

You can also order through : American Psychological Association, Order Department, Phone: (202) 336-5510; E-mail:; Internet: go to (in the US, Canada or International) – for 28% off retail price deal!


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