Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Deconstruction in Narrative Couple and Family Therapy

  • David MarstenEmail author
  • Laurie Markham
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_216

Name of Concept

Deconstruction in Narrative Couple and Family Therapy.


Narrative therapy draws upon the work of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault to question singular truth claims about human experience. While Derrida takes us beyond what is blatant to latent readings of an expressed word or phrase, Foucault destabilizes knowledge by situating taken-for-granted practices of the self in the historical contexts from which they sprang. Any truth claim about personhood has more to do with power than its inviolability. Once exposed as less than bedrock, it becomes possible to play with meaning rather than search for it, as if it were there all along, waiting in pristine form, unsullied by culture and untarnished by time. This does not make dominant truths wrong any more than they are right. Rather, they are to be taken as subjectively useful or useless depending on the user’s inclination. There is no shortage of truth claims for couples and families to live by. In narrative...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miracle Mile Community PracticeLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.USC Rossier School of EducationLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico