What is Narrative Therapy?


In Narrative Therapy

You are the not the problem, the problem is the problem

I am not the expert on your life, you are the expert on your life

Narrative Therapy is strength-based, non-threatening, and even playful in its approach to dealing with problems in people’s lives. A meeting with a narrative therapist is much like a conversation or interview, as opposed to seeing the counselor in a role as expert. Problems are treated as separate from the person and everyone works together to shrink the negative effects of problems in one’s life. This is accomplished through images, metaphor, and descriptions of the problem in order to understand the motivations, goals, and effects of the problem. Once the problem is named and more fully understood, people can take a stand against it and reduce its negative influence.

Narrative conversations relieve the pressure of blame and defensiveness, which makes this type of therapy appealing to those who may be wary of seeing a counselor. Often therapy can be short and focused, with fast, favorable results. It is also ideal for working with entire families and children because of its open nature and ability to safely and comfortably involve multiple people in the conversation.

My role as the counselor in Narrative Therapy has me doing the following…

  • I ask questions, like I’m interviewing you. This takes the pressure off of
    you to fill up our time with talking, or to feel that you have to know
    exactly what to talk about all the time.
  • I help us externalize problems by helping you give them a name, find
    out what their effects are, and help you take a stand against them.
  • I assist you in reclaiming who you are, what you stand for, what
    matters to you, and what your hopes are for your life.
  • I help you feel connected to the ideas and people that matter to you
    most, and reduce the influence of problems or thoughts that go
    against your preferences for your life.
Who can benefit from Narrative Therapy?

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