Reviews of The Art of Narrative Psychiatry

The Art of Narrative Therapy book cover w

The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is graceful and eminently practical. Hamkins reveals through clinical tales how she has translated narrative therapy from its sources in Family Therapy, Counseling and Social Work in to mainstream psychiatry. Her gracious practice inheres in these stories and comes alive both in the reading of them and her commentaries. This book returns to the historical concerns of psychiatry in regard to the human soul and as such provides a professional niche for those who wish to engage in such concerns rather than merely prescribe.”
David Epston, co-director, the Family Therapy Centre, Auckland, New Zealand and co-author of Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends and Biting the Hand that Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia
“Dr Hamkins is a wise and empathic clinician who deeply understands how the stories people tell about themselves not only describe their lives – but also shape them. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is an elegantly written and vital new book, which weaves insightful clinical examples with practical guidance, and ultimately shows how understanding the power of stories can lead to an energizing and creative collaboration with patients.”
Bradley Lewis, MD, PhD, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, NY and author of Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Can Shape Clinical Practice
“Dr. SuEllen Hamkins offers a fresh alternative to psychiatrists who wish to re-invigorate their commitment to alleviating suffering in their patients. By applying principles and practices of narrative therapy to psychiatry, Dr. Hamkins describes – and then beautifully illustrates- how psychiatrists can carefully attend to the critical problems facing their patients, while simultaneously engaging with their stories of sustenance, intentionality and meaning-making. I urge you to read this groundbreaking book if you believe in psychotropic medication as a compelling option, yet yearn to move beyond a hyper-focus on neurochemistry and diagnostic categorization.”
Peggy Sax, PhD Founder,, Middlebury, VT
“With this highly anticipated book SuEllen Hamkins provides a compelling account of narrative psychiatry. In drawing on the work of White and Epston’s Narrative Therapy and bringing in the role of human biology she builds a bridge between everyday psychiatry and post-modern practices. This hopeful work provides an antidote to the current hyper focus on neurochemistry and diagnostic categories. I highly recommend this book which rigorously details the skills of therapeutic work based on compassionate connection and engagement with life enriching stories of strength, capacity and meaning in the face of severe psychiatric challenges.”
Shona Russell, Co-Director, Narrative Practices Adelaide, South Australia