Rescripting: An experiment related to encouraging young people to design their own lives

I have started a private google+ community ( ) as an experiment for an inquiry about encouraging young people to design their own lives (associated with a “Collaborative Exploration”: The specific emphasis on rescripting (=the name of the community) is loosely informed by narrative practices of Michael White, David Epston, and others ( ).

Contributions to the google+ community take three forms:
1. Post an episode in an actual or fictional young person’s life;
2. Read the episodes and use the comment feature to “rescript” a story–take it in a positive direction that departs from the way things seem to you to have been going. The pathways need not be fully realistic; or
3. Comment and pose questions about the original episode or the alternative pathways that stimulate more thinking about guiding young people to design their own lives.
This is an experiment in that it remains to be seen whether and how it will illuminate the idea of guiding young people to design their own lives.

Please note, before requesting to join, the following expectations:
1. No passive members: a. You should post something quite soon after joining; and b. You should make additional posts from time to time.  (Recognize that it can take time to think through how you would rescript an episode).
2. The community is private.  No sharing of what is posted outside the community except with explicit permission of the author, who sets the terms.  Note that, although pseudonyms are used, some posts may be quasi-autobiographical and be readable in that light.


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (

One Response to Rescripting: An experiment related to encouraging young people to design their own lives

  1. Some thoughts on the experiment thus far (as presented to a Collaborative Exploration (CE) group this week,

    The CE topic involves a) encouraging young people to “compose” their own lives
    => Alternative paths to the one they are on
    & b) Develop a story or storyboard
    Together, this led me to focus on the idea of Rescripting, i.e., shifting from the dominant story of one’s life to an alternative.
    But, this made me anxious: Can I write stories? …connect with being a young person?
    Resolution: Conduct a Collaborative activity, thus (a private site)
    • It takes considerable thought to rescript
    • Focus so far is on people as having problems
    • Needed to make expectations clear: = Not passive. Confidential.
    • Invite more participants, or not?
    • Islands for a “W” story (with permission)? (see
    • Other? (suggestions welcome)

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