Narrative therapy is a psychotherapy treatment introduced by David Epston and Michael White, both believed that it is necessary to see people as different from their problems. It is an empowering and non-blaming approach that works to help people become aware of their potentials gained through experience and to use these potentials as a driving force for bringing change in their life. It helps the people to shun away from their problems and externalize personal sensitive issues.
Narrative therapy involves the objectification of the problem which allows people to counter the problem more mindfully.
What is Narrative Therapy
Narrative therapy is the method of helping clients get rid of their problems. It helps people get empowered and use their inner skills to solve their issues. Everyone carries experience and a personal story. What a person lives through becomes his life story and these life stories form the identity of the person. Narrative therapy considers this approach and therapists help the clients to discover their identity and purpose of their life. This is done by allowing the clients to play the role of “NARRATOR” of his story.
When It is Used
Any individual, couple or family can use get help from narrative therapy. Anyone who is depressed has anxiety problems and negative thoughts can take this therapy, which would help them to look into their problems and things and not the part of their personality.
It induces positivity in the people and let them see problems as something that they can easily sort out.
How it Works
This therapy considers the events that happen in the life of any client not as a part of his personality but as a story. Some of the stories are beautiful and some are un-fateful. There are actually these stories that shape the personality and hence the identity of the person. If the stories are not good enough, they create a negative aspect of the personality. Moreover, this therapy looks into human life as full of possibilities that need to be discovered.
The therapist does not play the role of an expert, rather allows the client to look into themselves as an expert to narrate their own stories, to tell their dreams, their goals, and their values. As actually these things and not their issues define them. These are the stories that can be reproduced again in the future.
There are a lot of practices that are used in narrative therapy to help people overcome their issues. Some main techniques include
- Putting Together Narrative
In this technique, narrative therapists allow the clients to put their narratives on the issues that they faced earlier in life. This technique gives the clients their voice and helps them to identify themselves as something beyond just problems. This helps the clients to put value to the past events and narrate them to explore the self.
This is an especially helpful technique for the people who are not aware of what has happened in their life that has turned them to think from a negative perspective and that is abstaining from living a quality life and making good decisions for themselves. When such people narrate their story, it gives them the chance to look into it as a critic and therapist and allow the client to spot out the problem.
Narrative therapy helps the clients to do externalization. When the clients narrate his story, he is looking for the issue and loopholes, actually critically observing himself. This allows the client to differentiate between themselves and their problems, a practice known as externalization. When the client looks at the problem as something different from his self, he tries to get rid of unwanted behaviors without feeling themselves rejected. This uplifts self-esteem and allows the person to start the healing process by working on the negative aspects of their life.
This is a practice of narrative therapy in which a client gain a clear image of their story. This is actually a point when a client feels like he can never get out of his story, as the story seems to be something bigger than it is.
When a condition persists for a long time, people give general statements for justifying their point which puts them in-doubt in their own eyes. Narrative therapy helps the clients to look into the story as a combination of small stories for clarification of the problem, as it is easier to spot a problem in shorter events.
When someone considers his story a giant one and thinks that they can never get out of it. They start living in it even after it has been completed. Such a story impacts the future life and person see everything in the perspective of it and does not allow any better story to replace it (as they don’t believe that any better can happen).
Narrative therapists help the clients to get over such a miserable story and allow them to look for some better alternative, by challenging their problems, as this is the only way to widen the spectrum of their thought process.
Therapists help the clients to explore themselves and unhide their potentials and empower themselves to create new, happy, and strong stories to create their identity, define their goals, and identify their relationships.
How It Helps
The goal of narrative therapy is to not change the person but to change the effect of any problem.
It works to mark a prominent difference between the two entities, their personality, and problems encountered by the personality. This gives them the confidence to do something new and create a new story.
It helps the clients to broaden their view spectrum and look into the issues from some other point of view.
Narrative therapy empowers the person and makes them aware of their potentials and helps them build positive relations, have a good thought, and do good deeds.
It does not change the person rather it makes the person an expert in his life.