Recovery from storytelling – Psychological wellbeing through Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is a unique, specialized approach to counselling that seeks to help an individual identify their values and the skills associated with them. It takes a non-pathologizing, empowering, and collaborative approach that helps people become and embrace being an expert in their own lives. In narrative therapy, there is an emphasis on the stories that you develop and carry with you through your life.

Throughout life, an individual’s personal experiences become his/her personal stories. People give these stories meaning, and the stories help shape a person’s identity and self-concept. Narrative therapy uses the power of these stories to help people discover their values and themselves. This is often done by assigning that person the role of “narrator” in their own story. It allows people to address issues in a more positive way.

Narrative therapy does not seek to transform the person in therapy. Instead, it aims to transform the effects a problem has on the person’s life. The goal is to separate a person from their problem so as to make it possible to see how a certain concern is serving a person, rather than harming them. 

Narrative therapy helps people externalize the concern. This process can help people develop greater self-compassion. Self-compassion may help people feel more capable of change and having more control over their lives, thoughts, and feelings.

Narrative therapy is a psychological approach that seeks to adjust the stories one tells about one’s life in order to bring about positive change and better mental health.

The process of a narrative therapist might include:

Helping people objectify their problems

Narrative therapists view people as separate from their problems and strive to have clients view their problems that way too. That way a client no longer sees a problem as an unchangeable part of them, but as an external issue that can be changed

Framing the problems within a larger sociocultural context

Narrative therapists also help people view their problems in different contexts. These contexts may be social, political, and cultural. This can influence how we view ourselves and our personal stories.

Teaching the person how to make room for other stories

A narrative therapist works to help people not only challenge their problems but widen their views by considering alternative stories. This process can help people better understand how they experience life.

While narrative therapy is a relatively new treatment approach, there is some evidence that it may be helpful for a variety of conditions. Mental health conditions it might help include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment issues
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

This approach can also be useful for anyone who feels like they are overwhelmed by negative experiences, thoughts, or emotions. Narrative therapy allows people to not only find their voice but to use their voice for good, helping them to become experts in their own lives and to live in a way that reflects their goals and values. It can be beneficial for individuals, couples, and families. 

This type of therapy stresses the importance of people not labeling themselves or seeing themselves as “broken” or “the problem,” or for them to feel powerless in their circumstances and behavior patterns.

Written by Dhvani Thakkar

Add Comment