David Epston is a New Zealand therapist, co-director of the Family Therapy Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, Visiting Professor at the John F. Kennedy University, an honorary clinical lecturer in the Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne, an affiliate faculty member in the Ph. D program in Family Therapy at North Dakota State University. Epston and his late friend and colleague Michael White are known as originators of narrative therapy. David Epston was born in 1944 in Peterborough, Canada, where he grew up, he began studies at the University of British Columbia, but left Canada in 1963 when he was 19, arriving in New Zealand in 1964. He completed a BA degree in Sociology & Anthropology at Auckland University in 1969, he earned a Diploma in Community Development from Edinburgh University in 1971. He earned an MA in Applied Social Studies from Warwick University in the United Kingdom in 1976, received a Certificate of Qualification in Social Work in 1977. In New Zealand Epston started working as a senior social worker in an Auckland hospital.
From 1981 to 1987 he worked as consultant family therapist at the Leslie Centre, run by Presbyterian Support Services in Auckland. From 1987 to the present he has been co-director of The Family Therapy Centre in Auckland. In the late 1970s Epston and Michael White led the flowering of family therapy within Australia and New Zealand. Together they started developing their ideas, continuing during the 1980s, in 1990 published Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends, the first major text in what came to be known as narrative therapy. In 1997 following the publication of Playful Approaches to Serious Problems Epston, along with his co-authors Dean Lobovits and Jennifer Freeman, initiated the website Narrative Approaches; the website included the publication of a series of authored and co-authored papers and poetry in the form of an "Archive of Resistance: Anti-Anorexia/anti-Bulimia." Epston was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1996 by the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, John F. Kennedy University, in Orinda and the Special Award for Distinguished Contributions to Family Therapy from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy.
1989. Literate Means to Therapeutic Ends. With Michael White. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications. 1990. Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. With Michael White. W. W. Norton. 1992. Experience, Contradiction and Imagination: Selected papers of David Epston & Michael White, 1989-1991. With Michael White. Adelaide, South Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications. 1997. Playful approaches to serious problems: narrative therapy with children and their families. With Jennifer Freeman and Dean Lobovits. W. W. Norton. 2004. Biting the hand that starves you: inspiring resistance to anorexia/bulimia. With Richard Linn Maisel and Ali Borden. W. W. Norton. 2008. Down under and up over: travels with narrative therapy. Edited by Barry Bowen. Karnac Books. ISBN 978-0-9523433-1-8 2016. Narrative Therapy in Wonderland: Connecting with Children’s Imaginative Know-How. With David Marsten. W. W. Norton & Company. 2016. Re-imagining narrative therapy: A history for the future. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 35, 79-87. Narrativeapproaches.com Remembrance of Michael White by David Epston
Emotionally focused therapy
Focused therapy and emotion-focused therapy are a family of related approaches to psychotherapy with individuals, couples, or families. EFT approaches include elements of experiential therapy, systemic therapy, attachment theory. EFT is a short-term treatment. EFT approaches are based on the premise that human emotions are connected to human needs, therefore emotions have an innately adaptive potential that, if activated and worked through, can help people change problematic emotional states and interpersonal relationships. Emotion-focused therapy for individuals was known as process-experiential therapy, it is still sometimes called by that name. EFT should not be confused with emotion-focused coping, a category of coping proposed by some psychologists, although clinicians have used EFT to help improve clients' emotion-focused coping. EFT began in the mid-1980s as an approach to helping couples. EFT was formulated and tested by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in 1985, the first manual for focused couples therapy was published in 1988.
To develop the approach and Greenberg began reviewing videos of sessions of couples therapy to identify, through observation and task analysis, the elements that lead to positive change. They were influenced in their observations by the humanistic experiential psychotherapies of Carl Rogers and Fritz Perls, both of whom valued present-moment emotional experience for its power to create meaning and guide behavior. Johnson and Greenberg saw the need to combine experiential therapy with the systems theoretical view that meaning-making and behavior cannot be considered outside of the whole situation in which they occur. In this "experiential–systemic" approach to couples therapy, as in other approaches to systemic therapy, the problem is viewed as belonging not to one partner, but rather to the cyclical reinforcing patterns of interactions between partners. Emotion is viewed not only as a within-individual phenomena, but as part of the whole system that organizes the interactions between partners.
In 1986, Greenberg chose "to refocus his efforts on developing and studying an experiential approach to individual therapy". Greenberg and colleagues shifted their attention away from couples therapy toward individual psychotherapy, they attended to its role in individual self-organization. Building on the experiential theories of Rogers and Perls and others such as Eugene Gendlin, as well as on their own extensive work on information processing and the adaptive role of emotion in human functioning, Rice & Elliott created a treatment manual with numerous outlined principles for what they called a process-experiential approach to psychological change. Elliott et al. and Goldman & Greenberg have further expanded the process-experiential approach, with detailed manuals of specific methods of therapeutic intervention. Goldman & Greenberg presents case formulation maps for this approach. Johnson continued to develop EFT for couples, integrating attachment theory with systemic and humanistic approaches, explicitly expanding attachment theory's understanding of love relationships.
Johnson's model retained the original three stages and nine steps and two sets of interventions that aim to reshape the attachment bond: one set of interventions to track and restructure patterns of interaction and one to access and reprocess emotion. Johnson's goal is the creation of positive cycles of interpersonal interaction wherein individuals are able to ask for and offer comfort and support to safe others, facilitating interpersonal emotion regulation. Greenberg & Goldman developed a variation of EFT for couples that contains some elements from Greenberg and Johnson's original formulation but adds several steps and stages. Greenberg and Goldman posit three motivational dimensions— attachment, identity or power, attraction or liking—that impact emotion regulation in intimate relationships; the terms emotion-focused therapy and focused therapy have different meanings for different therapists. In Les Greenberg's approach the term emotion-focused is sometimes used to refer to psychotherapy approaches in general that emphasize emotion.
Greenberg "decided that on the basis of the development in emotion theory that treatments such as the process experiential approach, as well as some other approaches that emphasized emotion as the target of change, were sufficiently similar to each other and different from existing approaches to merit being grouped under the general title of emotion-focused approaches." He and colleague Rhonda Goldman noted their choice to "use the more American phrasing of emotion-focused to refer to therapeutic approaches that focused on emotion, rather than the original more English term focused." Greenberg uses the term emotion-focused to suggest assimilative integration of an emotional focus into any approach to psychotherapy. He considers the focus on emotions to be a common factor among various systems of psychotherapy: "The term emotion-focused therapy will, I believe, be used in the future, in its integrative sense, to characterize all therapies that are emotion-focused, be they psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, or humanistic."
Greenberg co-authored a chapter on the importance of research by clinicians and integration of psychotherapy approaches that stated: In addition to these empirical findings, leaders of major orientations have voiced serious criticisms of their preferred theoretical approaches, while encouraging an open-minded attitude toward other orientations
Analytical psychology called Jungian psychology, is a school of psychotherapy which originated in the ideas of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist. It emphasizes the personal quest for wholeness. Important concepts in Jung's system are individuation, the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, complexes, the persona, the shadow, the anima and animus, the self. Jung's theories have been investigated and elaborated by Toni Wolff, Marie-Louise von Franz, Jolande Jacobi, Aniela Jaffé, Erich Neumann, James Hillman, Anthony Stevens. Analytical psychology is distinct from psychoanalysis, a psychotherapeutic system created by Sigmund Freud. Jung began his career as a psychiatrist in Switzerland. There, he conducted research for the Word Association Experiment at the Burghölzli Clinic. Jung's research earned him a worldwide reputation and numerous honours, including an honorary degree from Clark University, Massachusetts, in 1904. In 1907, Jung met Sigmund Freud in Austria. For six years, the two scholars worked together, in 1911, they founded the International Psychoanalytical Association, of which Jung was the first president.
However, early in the collaboration, Jung observed that Freud would not tolerate ideas that were different from his own. In 1912, Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious was published; the work's innovative ideas contributed to a new foundation in psychology as well as the end of the Jung-Freud friendship in 1913. The two scholars continued their work on personality development independently: Jung's approach is called Analytical Psychology, Freud's approach is referred to as the Psychoanalytic School, which he founded. Unlike most modern psychologists, Jung did not believe that experiments using natural science were the only means to gain an understanding of the human psyche, he saw as empirical evidence the world of dream and folklore as the promising road to deeper understanding and meaning. That method's choice is related with his choice of the object of his science; as Jung said, "The beauty about the unconscious is that it is unconscious." Hence, the unconscious is'untouchable' by experimental researches, or indeed any possible kind of scientific or philosophical reach because it is unconscious.
Although the unconscious cannot be studied by using direct approaches, it is, according to Jung at least, a useful hypothesis. His postulated unconscious was quite different from the model, proposed by Freud, despite the great influence that the founder of psychoanalysis had on Jung; the most well-known difference is the assumption of the collective unconscious, although Jung's proposal of collective unconscious and archetypes was based on the assumption of the existence of psychic patterns. These patterns include conscious contents—thoughts, etc.—from life experience. They are common for all human beings, his proof of the vast collective unconscious was his concept of synchronicity, that inexplicable, uncanny connectedness that we all share. The overarching goal of Jungian psychology is the attainment of self through individuation. Jung defines "self" as the "archetype of wholeness and the regulating center of the psyche". Central to this process is the individual's encounter with his/her psyche and the bringing of its elements into consciousness.
Humans experience the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits. Essential to this numinous encounter is the merging of the individual's consciousness with the collective consciousness through this symbolic language. By bringing conscious awareness to what is not conscious, unconscious elements can be integrated with consciousness when they "surface". "Neurosis" results from a disharmony between his higher Self. The psyche is a self-regulating adaptive system. Humans are energetic systems, if the energy gets blocked, the psyche gets stuck, or sick. If adaptation is thwarted, the psychic energy stops flowing, regresses; this process manifests in psychosis. Human psychic contents are complex, deep, they can schism, split, form complexes that take over one's personality. Jung proposed that this occurs through maladaptation to one's internal realities; the principles of adaptation and compensation are central processes in Jung's view of psyche's ability to adapt.
The aim of psychotherapy is to assist the individual in reestablishing a healthy relationship to the unconscious: neither flooded by it or out of balance in relationship to it. To undergo the individuation process, individuals must be open to the parts of themselves beyond their own ego; the modern individual grows continually in psychic awareness through attention to dreams, the exploration of religion and spirituality, by questioning the assumptions of the operant societal worldview, rather than just blindly living life in accordance with dominant norms and assumptions. The basic assumption is that the personal unconscious is a potent part — the more active part — of the normal human psyche. Reliable communication between th
Social work is an academic discipline and profession that concerns itself with individuals, families and communities in an effort to enhance social functioning and overall well-being. Social functioning refers to the way in which people perform their social roles, the structural institutions that are provided to sustain them. Social work applies social sciences, such as sociology, political science, public health, community development and economics, to engage with client systems, conduct assessments, develop interventions to solve social and personal problems. Social work practice is divided into micro-work, which involves working directly with individuals or small groups. Social work developed in the 19th century, with roots in voluntary philanthropy and grassroots organizing. However, the act of responding to social needs have existed long before primarily from private charities, religious organizations; the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression placed pressure on social work to become a more defined discipline.
Social work is a broad profession. Social work organizations offer the following definitions: “Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing." International Federation of Social Workers "Social work is a profession concerned with helping individuals, families and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems. Social work is concerned with individual and personal problems but with broader social issues such as poverty and domestic violence."
- Canadian Association of Social Workers Social work practice consists of the professional application of social work values and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human behavior; this may be helping to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse or supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people, act as advocates and direct people to the services they may require. Social workers work in multi-disciplinary teams alongside health and education professionals." - British Association of Social Workers The practice and profession of social work has a modern and scientific origin, is considered to have developed out of three strands. The first was individual casework, a strategy pioneered by the Charity Organization Society in the mid-19th century, founded by Helen Bosanquet and Octavia Hill in London, England. Most historians identify COS as the pioneering organization of the social theory that led to the emergence of social work as a professional occupation.
COS had its main focus on individual casework. The second was social administration, which included various forms of poverty relief –'relief of paupers'. Statewide poverty relief could be said to have its roots in the English Poor Laws of the 17th century, but was first systematized through the efforts of the Charity Organization Society; the third consisted of social action – rather than engaging in the resolution of immediate individual requirements, the emphasis was placed on political action working through the community and the group to improve their social conditions and thereby alleviate poverty. This approach was developed by the Settlement House Movement; this was accompanied by a less defined movement. All had their most rapid growth during the nineteenth century, laid the foundation basis for modern social work, both in theory and in practice. Professional social work originated in 19th century England, had its roots in the social and economic upheaval wrought by the Industrial Revolution, in particular the societal struggle to deal with the resultant mass urban-based poverty and its related problems.
Because poverty was the main focus of early social work, it was intricately linked with the idea of charity work. Other important historical figures that shaped the growth of the social work profession are Jane Addams, who founded the Hull House in Chicago and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Social work is an interdisciplinary profession, meaning it draws from a number of areas, s
Paul-Michel Foucault known as Michel Foucault, was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, literary critic. Foucault's theories address the relationship between power and knowledge, how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Though cited as a post-structuralist and postmodernist, Foucault rejected these labels, preferring to present his thought as a critical history of modernity, his thought has influenced academics those working in communication studies, cultural studies, literary theory and critical theory. Activist groups have found his theories compelling. Born in Poitiers, into an upper-middle-class family, Foucault was educated at the Lycée Henri-IV, at the École Normale Supérieure, where he developed an interest in philosophy and came under the influence of his tutors Jean Hyppolite and Louis Althusser, at the University of Paris, where he earned degrees in philosophy and psychology. After several years as a cultural diplomat abroad, he returned to France and published his first major book, The History of Madness.
After obtaining work between 1960 and 1966 at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, he produced The Birth of the Clinic and The Order of Things, publications which displayed his increasing involvement with structuralism, from which he distanced himself. These first three histories exemplified a historiographical technique Foucault was developing called "archaeology". From 1966 to 1968, Foucault lectured at the University of Tunis before returning to France, where he became head of the philosophy department at the new experimental university of Paris VIII. Foucault subsequently published The Archaeology of Knowledge. In 1970, Foucault was admitted to a membership he retained until his death, he became active in a number of left-wing groups involved in campaigns against racism and human rights abuses and for penal reform. Foucault published Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, in which he developed archaeological and genealogical methods which emphasized the role that power plays in society.
Foucault died in Paris of neurological problems compounded by HIV/AIDS. His partner Daniel Defert founded the AIDES charity in his memory. Paul-Michel Foucault was born on 15 October 1926 in the city of Poitiers, west-central France, as the second of three children in a prosperous and conservative upper-middle-class family. Family tradition prescribed naming him after his father, Paul Foucault, but his mother insisted on the addition of "Michel", his father, a successful local surgeon born in Fontainebleau, moved to Poitiers, where he set up his own practice and married local woman Anne Malapert. She was the daughter of prosperous surgeon Dr. Prosper Malapert, who owned a private practice and taught anatomy at the University of Poitiers' School of Medicine. Paul Foucault took over his father-in-law's medical practice, while his wife took charge of their large mid-19th-century house, Le Piroir, in the village of Vendeuvre-du-Poitou. Together the couple had three children – a girl named Francine and two boys, Paul-Michel and Denys – who all shared the same fair hair and bright blue eyes.
The children were raised to be nominal Roman Catholics, attending mass at the Church of Saint-Porchair, while Michel became an altar boy, none of the family were devout. In life, Foucault would reveal little about his childhood. Describing himself as a "juvenile delinquent", he claimed his father was a "bully" who would sternly punish him. In 1930 Foucault began his schooling, two years early, at the local Lycée Henry-IV. Here he undertook two years of elementary education before entering the main lycée, where he stayed until 1936, he undertook his first four years of secondary education at the same establishment, excelling in French, Greek and history but doing poorly at arithmetic and mathematics. In 1939 the Second World War broke out and in 1940 Nazi Germany occupied France. In 1940 Foucault's mother enrolled him in the Collège Saint-Stanislas, a strict Roman Catholic institution run by the Jesuits. Lonely, he described his years there as an "ordeal", but he excelled academically in philosophy and literature.
In 1942 he entered his final year, the terminale, where he focused on the study of philosophy, earning his baccalauréat in 1943. Returning to the local Lycée Henry-IV, he studied history and philosophy for a year, aided by a personal tutor, the philosopher Louis Girard. Rejecting his father's wishes that he become a surgeon, in 1945 Foucault went to Paris, where he enrolled in one of the country's most prestigious secondary schools, known as the Lycée Henri-IV. Here he studied under the philosopher Jean Hyppolite, an existentialist and expert on the work of 19th-century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hyppolite had devoted himself to uniting existentialist theories with the dialectical theories of Hegel and Karl Marx; these ideas influenced Foucault, who adopted Hyppolite's conviction that philosophy must develop through a study of history. Attaining excellent results, in autumn 1946 Foucault was admitted to the élite École Normale Supérieure. Of the hundred students entering the ENS, Foucault ranked fourth based
Dialectical behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy that began with efforts to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT has been proven useful in treating mood disorders, suicidal ideation, for change in behavioral patterns such as self-harm, substance abuse. DBT evolved into process in which the therapist and client work with acceptance and change-oriented strategies, balance and synthesize them, in a manner comparable to the philosophical dialectical process of hypothesis and antithesis, followed by synthesis; this approach is designed to help people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions. A modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT was developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, to treat people with borderline personality disorder and chronically suicidal individuals.
Research on its effectiveness in treating other conditions has been fruitful. Research indicates DBT might help patients with symptoms and behaviors associated with spectrum mood disorders, including self-injury. Recent work suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivors and chemical dependency. DBT combines standard cognitive behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance and mindful awareness derived from Buddhist meditative practice. DBT is based upon the biosocial theory of mental illness and is the first therapy, experimentally demonstrated to be effective in treating BPD; the first randomized clinical trial of DBT showed reduced rates of suicidal gestures, psychiatric hospitalizations, treatment drop-outs when compared to treatment as usual. A meta-analysis found that DBT reached moderate effects in individuals with borderline personality disorder. Linehan observed "burn-out" in therapists after coping with "non-motivated" patients who repudiated cooperation in successful treatment.
Her first core insight was to recognize that the chronically suicidal patients she studied had been raised in profoundly invalidating environments, therefore, required a climate of loving-kindness and somewhat unconditional acceptance, in which to develop a successful therapeutic alliance. Her second insight involved the need for a commensurate commitment from patients, who needed to be willing to accept their dire level of emotional dysfunction. DBT strives to have the patient view the therapist as an ally rather than an adversary in the treatment of psychological issues. Accordingly, the therapist aims to accept and validate the client's feelings at any given time, nonetheless, informing the client that some feelings and behaviors are maladaptive, showing them better alternatives. DBT focuses on the client acquiring new skills and changing their behaviors, with the ultimate goal of achieving a "life worth living", as defined by the patient. In DBT's biosocial theory of BPD, clients have a biological predisposition for emotional dysregulation, their social environment validates maladaptive behavior.
Linehan and others combined a commitment to the core conditions of acceptance and change through the principle of dialectics and assembled an array of skills for emotional self-regulation drawn from Western psychological traditions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and an interpersonal variant, "assertiveness training", Eastern meditative traditions, such as Buddhist mindfulness meditation. One of her contributions was to alter the adversarial nature of the therapist-client relationship in favor of an alliance based on intersubjective tough love. All DBT can be said to involve 4 components: Individual – The therapist and patient discuss issues that come up during the week and follow a treatment target hierarchy. Self-injurious and suicidal behaviors, or life-threatening behaviors, take first priority. Second in priority are behaviors which, while not directly harmful to self or others, interfere with the course of treatment; these behaviors are known as therapy-interfering behaviors. Third in priority are quality of life issues and working towards improving one's life generally.
During the individual therapy, the therapist and patient work towards improving skill use. A skills group is discussed and obstacles to acting skillfully are addressed. Group – A group ordinarily meets once weekly for two to two and a half hours and learns to use specific skills that are broken down into four skill modules: core mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance. Therapist Consultation Team – A therapist consultation team includes all therapists providing DBT; the meeting serves to support the therapist in providing the treatment. Phone Coaching – Phone coaching is designed to help generalize skills into the patient's daily life. Phone coaching is limited to a focus on skills. No one component is used by itself. DBT skills tra
Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts and criticism and that marked a departure from modernism. The term has more been applied to the historical era following modernity and the tendencies of this era. While encompassing a wide variety of approaches, postmodernism is defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward the meta-narratives and ideologies of modernism calling into question various assumptions of Enlightenment rationality. Common targets of postmodern critique include universalist notions of objective reality, truth, human nature, reason and social progress. Postmodern thinkers call attention to the contingent or socially-conditioned nature of knowledge claims and value systems, situating them as products of particular political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-referentiality and moral relativism and irreverence.
Postmodern critical approaches gained purchase in the 1980s and 1990s, have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy of science, linguistics, feminist theory, literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature and music. Postmodernism is associated with schools of thought such as deconstruction and post-structuralism, as well as philosophers such as Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson. Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, include assertions that postmodernism promotes obscurantism, is meaningless, adding nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. Postmodernism arose after World War II as a reaction to the perceived failings of modernism, whose radical artistic projects had come to be associated with totalitarianism or had been assimilated into mainstream culture; the basic features of what is now called postmodernism can be found as early as the 1940s, most notably in the work of artists such as Jorge Luis Borges.
However, most scholars today would agree that postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s. Since postmodernism has been a dominant, though not undisputed, force in art, film, drama, architecture and continental philosophy. Salient features of postmodernism are thought to include the ironic play with styles and narrative levels, a metaphysical skepticism or nihilism towards a "grand narrative" of Western culture, a preference for the virtual at the expense of the Real and a "waning of affect" on the part of the subject, caught up in the free interplay of virtual, endlessly reproducible signs inducing a state of consciousness similar to schizophrenia. Since the late 1990s there has been a small but growing feeling both in popular culture and in academia that postmodernism "has gone out of fashion". Structuralism was a philosophical movement developed by French academics in the 1950s in response to French Existentialism, it has been seen variously as an expression of High modernism, or postmodernism.
"Post-structuralists" were thinkers who moved away from the strict interpretations and applications of structuralist ideas. Many American academics consider post-structuralism to be part of the broader, less well-defined postmodernist movement though many post-structuralists insisted it was not. Thinkers who have been called structuralists include the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, the semiotician Algirdas Greimas; the early writings of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the literary theorist Roland Barthes have been called structuralists. Those who began as structuralists but became post-structuralists include Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze. Other post-structuralists include Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean-François Lyotard, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray; the American cultural theorists and intellectuals whom they influenced include Judith Butler, John Fiske, Rosalind Krauss, Avital Ronell, Hayden White.
Post-structuralism is not defined by a set of shared axioms or methodologies, but by an emphasis on how various aspects of a particular culture, from its most ordinary, everyday material details to its most abstract theories and beliefs, determine one another. Post-structuralist thinkers reject Reductionism and Epiphenomenalism and the idea that cause-and-effect relationships are top-down or bottom-up. Like structuralists, they start from the assumption that people's identities and economic conditions determine each other rather than having intrinsic properties that can be understood in isolation, thus the French structuralists considered themselves to be espousing Constructionism. But they tended to explore how the subjects of their study might be described, reductively, as a set of essential relationships, schematics, or mathematical symbols.. Post-structuralists thinkers went further, questioning the existence of any distinction between the nature of a thing and its relationship to other things.
Postmodernist ideas in philosophy and the analysis of culture and society expanded the importance of critical theory and ha