Michael White & David Epston

Michael White & David Epston

David collaborated with Michael White for more than 25 years. He gave the speech Remembering Michael White at The Family Therapy Centre in Auckland, New Zealand on 23 May, 2008. Subsequently, it was published as Saying Hello Again: Remembering Michael White  in The Journal of Systemic Therapies, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2008, pp. 1–15

“Michael was a very humble and unassuming person. I am quite sure wherever he is now watching over these proceedings he would be very discomfited by the outpourings of shock, grief and mourning over his death on the one hand and the reverence in which he has been held and tributes paid to him from Quito in Ecuador, to Seoul in South Korea, from Moscow in Russia, to Cape town in the Republic of South Africa. Michael’s worst fear was of hagiographies. I remember when he told me how worried about this he was, I had to go and look up the word. It is the literary genre to do with the lives of the saints I learned. In fact, I suspect that out of respect for Michael, many of us deferred to his wishes for anonymity and only spoke of such matters in private or at least far away from Michael’s hearing. I know I certainly was one of those but I expect there were many like me. He cringed in the face of what became a version of celebrity in the world of psychotherapy in which he came to be regarded as one of the most significant influences on his generation. I guesstimate the books he either co-authored or authored have sold well over 100,000 copies in 11 languages and once again I guesstimate well over 30 separate translations.

Now that Michael is not here to censure us, I wanted to speak in the merest outlines of his life’s work and do so by way of celebration and honour. No one I know was readier to honour others than Michael and made ‘honoring’ a catchphrase.

Let me give you one of a thousand possible stories from our friendship……”(To read on, download the full PDF Remembering Michael).

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