Handbook of Narrative Psychotherapy for Children, Adults, and Families
Theory and Practice

Paper: 978 1 78220 299 8 / $66.95
Published: August 2017  

Publisher: Karnac Books
368 pp., 7 1/2" x 9 5/8"
The Handbook of Narrative Psychotherapy for Children, Adults and Families combines philosophical, scientific and theoretical insights in the field of narrative psychotherapy and links them to sources of inspiration such as poetry, film, literature and art under the common denominator "narrative thinking."

Sections on theoretical issues alternate with a large number of case histories drawn from different therapeutic contexts. The reader can browse at will through the many examples of therapeutic sessions, in some cases including literal transcriptions, in which narrativity in all its forms is the point of departure. What language does the body speak? What messages do seemingly random slips of the tongue convey? How can a painting help a client to find words for his or her story?

The discussion of the "logic of abduction" demonstrates the importance of metaphor, and special attention is given to the processes of creating a therapeutic context and defining a therapeutic framework.

The diversity of insights in this book will be of interest to the experienced psychotherapist as well as to therapists at the beginning of their careers, who will undoubtedly derive inspiration from the case histories.

Table of Contents:
About the Author
Foreword to the English Edition: Psychotherapy as a Craft—Peter Rober
Foreword: Voices of Many Sources of Inspiration—Wibe Veenbaas

Part I: Aspects of Narrative Thinking
1) Nomadic thought: thought on its travels
2) The house of language
3) The language of the body: the role of the body in narrative psychotherapy
4) Narrative space: the “third space”
5) Abduction and the logic of metaphor
6) Creating and structuring a therapeutic context
7) Developing a therapeutic framework

Part II: Narrativity in Action
8) Finding a therapeutic script
9) Stories from beyond the horizon: on dissociative attacks and on stories-as-yet-untold
10) Birth stories: listening to children
11) Blended families
12) Fatherly love


Reviews & Endorsements:
"Weaving together many decades of highly reflective lived clinical experience and the most innovative and ground-breaking traditions in our field, this handbook soars. In this day and age, when the commodification of therapy runs the risk of depriving it of real human encounter, Jan Olthof brings back the person of the therapist – the therapist whose expertise grows as he learns to be more comfortable in his position of thoughtful uncertainty, and whose mind allows itself to search unexplored avenues in ways that are both creative and disciplined. Reading the Handbook has felt like coming home – and learning afresh."
- Dr Peter Jakob, consultant clinical psychologist and systemic family therapist, and director of Partnership Projects
"This book shows us the close relationship between psychotherapeutic and literary or artistic ways of thinking and acting. It is an antidote against the technical emphases that threaten to dry up the profession. Together with Jan Olthof, we make a nomadic excursion into the fantastic world of our clients and the often no less fantastic world of our therapeutic reactions. I recommend it to all of us who feel the need to find an oasis in our work."
- Professor Haim Omer, psychotherapist, academic researcher and teacher, originator and developer of the New Authority paradigm, and tenured professor of Psychology at Tel Aviv University