Michael White dies at 59, a practiti0ner of narrative therapy. He was a social worker and therapist who worked with "storytelling" in his therapy in Australia. For all intensive purpose, and from what I gather in the article, "narrative therapy" is akin to "bibliotherapy". Now, why is this distinction important to me? Because I just spent over a year of my life laboring over defining, redefining, and editing my thesis on bibliotherapy. Literally no less than ten minutes of being finished I read this article, and the funny thing is it only further proves one of my points.
One of the questions I ran into by many professors and adults in the field of psychology and education was, isn't the field a little small? The scary thing is, no, books and stories as therapeutic aids is an intensely large and scattered field of studies. There is a whole website dedicated to narrative approaches that I never encountered in my study of bibliotherapy. In fact, each day as I worked I would find a new source I would want to read, but there is only so much you can do in a year long thesis. One 1983 book I read highlighted the disparate nature of bibliotherapy studies, where some are in psychology, some education, and some library journals. These studies are further complimented by literary analysis, reading the books themselves, and what I find to be key, making the therapeutic books. How do you bring the field together in a way that makes it accepted by the greater world? Where every theorist from a different background is holding hands skipping and singing about books and stories as therapeutic aids...I don't know how yet, but I'm not giving up.