What is “Narrative Therapy”?
“Narrative approaches to counselling centre people as the experts in their own lives and views problems as separate from people. Narrative approaches assume that people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments, and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives. The word ‘narrative’ refers to the emphasis that is placed upon the stories of people’s lives and the differences that can be made through particular tellings and retellings of these stories. Narrative approaches involve ways of understanding the stories of people’s lives, and ways of re-authoring these stories in collaboration between the therapist and the people whose lives are being discussed. It is a way of working that is interested in history, the broader context that is affecting people’s lives, and the ethics or politics of this work.”
(For an easy-to-read introduction to narrative therapy, Alice Morgan’s book “What is narrative therapy?” is a fine place to start. Click here to get to Dulwich Centre Publications.)
“Narrative approaches to counselling invite clients to begin a journey of co-exploration in search of talents and abilities that are hidden or veiled by a life problem… The narrative therapist draws on his/her own patient and thoughtful persistence to help the client rediscover the remnants of favoured experiences in his/her life. In some instances, these experiences will open up avenues by which clients can bypass the problems that have stalled them on their journey. In other instances, they may be the cornerstones with which persons seeking respite from their pain reconstruct their lives”
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