NARRATIVE THERAPY


INTRODUCTION

Change your life by becoming aware of and changing the stories you tell yourself and see yourself in.

The meaning of the world is contained in stories. Of course, the world is made of things, but the meaning of those things, their connections and purposes, are revealed in stories. Our lives are meaningful to the extent the stories we see ourselves apart of are meaningful.

The human person relates on a psychological-spiritual level to stories. Humans encapsulate our core truths and find our meaning and place in the world with the help of stories and their accompanying scripts. The human person is a story-telling, metaphor-loving, symbol-making being for whom narrative encapsulates information regarding fundamental, existential meaning.

Gaining a deeper, more accurate understanding and awareness of the narratives, stories, and scripts we live by and tell ourselves can help us heal and improve our lives.

THE NARRATIVE THERAPY PROCESS

The narrative process uses storytelling, personal plot mapping, and forms of art therapy as valuable and powerful tool for understanding root narratives and unconscious beliefs, while accessing new information to support restorative healing. The process follows these steps:

  1. Establishing the Dominant Narrative(s). The client is guided in the telling of their life story to help uncover inherent plots, unconscious motivations, and internal scripts that affect the client’s behavior and self understanding. Understanding the wider context of a problem can help the client understand the root causes of the issue as well as gaining new insights into potential solutions.
  2. Deconstructing Problematic Dominant Stories. Once the client’s personal stories are understood, they are then deconstructed, an analytic process of locating problems, negative plots and scripts, and tracing the history of various problems. This process allows the client to situate their problem(s) in context and discover unique possible outcomes.
  3. Reauthoring Problematic Dominant Stories and Making Plot Changes. The heart of the narrative therapeutic process involves helping clients retell their personal story, this time changing the plot and scripts for healthier outcomes and solutions. The client is then encouraged to embrace the more positive, alternative narrative and find their place and meaning in the story.
  4. Remembering Conversations. The therapeutic process concludes with the client reinforcing the new narrative using various creative techniques, including story and letter writing, personal rituals and celebrations, and drawing and artistic expression.

Narrative Therapy is person-centered, focusing on the importance of the counselor-client relationship as a vehicle of constructive change, especially the development of empathetic understanding, congruence (transparency), and unconditional positive regard (unconditionally accepting the doer although not necessarily the deed).

It often complements other forms of treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In this way, Narrative Therapy may be a beneficial, supplemental approach for these behavior and talk-based treatments.

READ MORE ABOUT NARRATIVE THERAPY

Narrative Therapy – Wikipedia Overview

What is Narrative Therapy? – Dulwich Centre

An Overview of Narrative Therapy – Good Therapy

 

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

– Steve Jobs
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