`The text is a quick and easy read, yet achieves the goal of wetting the reader's appetite to use letter writing when working with children...an excellent addition for the library of any inspiring and strengths based therapist.'
-Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
`It is testament enough to Marner's belief in the impact of letters that the book itself takes the form of a series of letters to a friend and psychologist who is interested in narrative approaches and post-sessional letter writing. I will confess to having to suspend my initial scepticism about his literary device, but I was soon won over. The form of the book is very engaging and conveys a clear excitement in this therapeutic model that is at once inspiring, challenging and moving... A particular strength of this book is that family therapists of all persuasions will recognise elements of the work described. Marner's theoretical history is woven into his work, this and the conversational style in which it is presented, make the narrative ideas presented accessible. Marner succeeds therefore in inspiring and intriguing without demanding that all previous ideas be thrown away. As such I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to both experienced and recently trained therapists alike.'
- Jaime Craig, Journal of Family Therapy
As a post-sessional support to children in family therapy, Torben Marner writes letters to them. In this book he explains the theory behind this practice and how he incorporates it into his use of a narrative approach to family therapy. This approach uses stories as a means of making problems more manageable.
Letters to Children in Family Therapy includes the correspondence between Marner and a number of children who have presented with problems varying from nightmares to anorexia. It shows how the extra encouragement from the therapist helps the child to overcome his or her particular monster or problem externalized as a persecuting phenomenon. The book will stimulate therapists to be creative in their work with children, and provide an accessible and practical way of offering post-sessional support.
Torben Marner is a child psychiatrist who has also worked as a structural family therapist and a systemic family therapist. In the 1990s he adopted the narrative approach to treatment inspired by the works of Michael White and David Epston. He is currently Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Psychiatric Hospital in Hillerod, Denmark.
Introduction. Part One: My Point of Departure: The Works of Michael White and David Epston. Theory of Narrative Therapy. 1. Source of inspiration: Gregory Bateson. 2. Source of inspiration: Michel Foucault. 3. Source of inspiration: Narratology. Part Two: The Practice of Narrative Therapy. 4. Guidelines for the initial externalising dialogue. 5. Recruiting allies. 6. Registration of victories and defeats. 7. Celebration of success and advice to other children. Part Three: Letter-writing in Therapy. 8. The making of therapeutic letters. 9. Letters to, from and between children in family therapy. 10. My Epstonian letter. Part Four: Case Histories Told through Sequences of Letters. References.