Colin James Sanders


Narrative Poetics of Resistance: Towards An Aesthetics of Engagement

Tilburg University

My dissertation describes the multiple philosophical, theological and theoretical influences, relationships, and enchantments which ultimately inspired the co-creation of innovative, non-traditional, practices within a residential program for young persons’ struggling with substance use dilemmas in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, known as Peak House. These influences, relationships and enchantments additionally, over the course of about forty-five years, generalize and migrate into all of my therapeutic and pedagogical, collaborative and relational practices. Over time, I came to refer to my practice as a poetics of resistance (Sanders, 1999, 2007) and have referred to the overall aesthetics of such a practice as being a narrative poetics, largely in recognition of the considerable influence of ideas flowing from Michael White and David Epston, beginning with their first publications (White & Epston, 1989, 1990), and continuing to this day.

Keywords: Harlene Anderson; Gregory Bateson; David Epston; Michel Foucault; Emmanuel Levinas; Sheila McNamee; Michael White; narrative therapy, collaborative practices; relational practices; youth residential substance.