Narrative Therapy

This section is to give an overview of different models, different therapeutic orientations and techniques
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2338
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:00 pm

Narrative Therapy

Post by maven »

The use of narrative psychology can be quite strong. It utilises a preventative strategy and employs the use of stories, narratives, this is combined with working within a solution focussed model. It can also be used as a therapeutic intervention with some adaptation.

This method of therapy is particularly useful when working with communities and families. However it can be adapted to work with individuals. These are the main assumptions that are held when working within the narrative framework:

• Our identities are shaped by the accounts of our lives found in our stories or narratives. Our narratives are constructed from our experiences that occur through our lives, therefore these can be both personal and general.
• Communities/Families/Individuals have a stock of knowledge about life and the skills of living that are relevant to addressing the concerns and predicaments faced by them.
• Due to a variety of circumstances, the relevance of these knowledges and skills to individuals are often thinly appreciated or are invisible to people. It is possible to arrange conditions in which these devalued knowledges and skills will be identified, rendered more visible, richly described and honoured. This opens up a range of culturally and community sensitive appropriate options for action.

The following assumptions are not held:
• We don't assume that the people that approach us are lacking in solution knowledge, and we do not assume we possess knowledge that is appropriate to the culture and circumstances of these communities, and relevant to their specific concerns and predicaments.
• We do not have the assumption that communities function as a system. Nor do we assume that any other belief of community will be relevant to our participation in community assignments.
• We do not engage with the idea that there exist special qualities that are possessed by communities that are true to the very nature of that community, with the idea that this is the reason for bringing people together as a community.

Identity statements and behaviours are indicative of the dominance of a problem-saturated narrative. Problem narratives gain their dominance at the expense of preferred alternative stories that are often located in marginalised discourses. These marginalised discourses and knowledges are often disqualified by discourses that have gained dominance and prominence through their acceptance as guiding cultural narratives. Examples of these narratives include: capitalism; psychiatry/psychology; patriarchy; heteronormativity; and Eurocentricity.

This approach shares a lot with other models of therapy. For example the narrative therapist helps clients examine, evaluate and change their relationship to a problem by acting as a private investigator. Inextricably linked to this is the uncovering of values and hopes, providing a platform to support and provide an alternate direction later on in life should problem influences arise.

The narrative therapist relies on the assumption that although a problem may be severe, it has not yet completely destroyed a person. (With a nod to solution focussed approaches) There is also the assumption that there is space for questions about a person’s resilient values, and related nearly forgotten events.

The therapist is a collaborator with the client in the process of discovering a richer alternative narrative, that emerges from disparate descriptions of experience, thus destabilising the hold of the negative narratives. Very similar to positively reframing a persons experience, however it relies on the person doing this themselves, telling their own story of what they would like their alternative story to be like. Going forward in looking at how they can achieve this alternate narrative.

The method of doing this will hopefully be added later.

Note: If you have a suggestion about how to improve or add to this wiki please post it here. If you want to discuss this post please post a new thread in the forum. There is information about the structure, rules and copyright of the wiki here.

Content checked by qualified Clinical Psychologist on DATE and ell on 26/02/12
Last modified on 26/02/12
Post Reply