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Narrative Therapy Explained

Understanding Narrative Therapy

Imagine that you are told to sit in front of a keyboard and asked to write the story of your life. What would you write? Would you write to yourself as a hero or as a victim? What values would you write into your character? How would you view events? These are the questions that narrative therapy poses to the patient.

Narrative Therapy is a form of psychotherapy. It seeks to help people understand the values and skills ingrained in them and use that knowledge to confront problems in the present or future, find peace with events from the past and create the kind of life they desire. It is associated with both pers on-centred and collaborative therapy. It helps people in the process of becoming and learning to embrace being an expert in their lives, gently nudging them towards personal development and healing.

Emphasis is laid on stories. It believes that we develop stories throughout our lives. Some of these stories may stay with us forever. As the events take place, we develop a meaning for them, and these meanings go on to influence our views of the world and ourselves. Narrative therapy is to help the patient realise that there are always underlying stories to every story. Within these underlying stories, we can find hope, values, resistance, and other factors that give strength to overcome.

Narrative Therapy was developed by David Epston and Michael White between the 1970s and 1980s. Michael White was an Australian family therapist and social worker. David Epston is a therapist from New Zealand. Michael Foucault’s philosophical works had a great impact on the development of narrative therapy.

The techniques employed by counsellors in implementing narrative therapy are,

The techniques employed by counsellors in implementing narrative therapy are,

The patient is encouraged to find their voice and tell their story to help them find purpose and meaning in their experiences.

This involves the patient creating an alternative storyline that gives them more positive identification. It is a method of affirmation. The patient might discover that what appears as a huge issue in one storyline is only a small detail in another.

The patient begins to view the problem as an external factor instead of an internal, unchangeable problem. It helps the patient develop a sense of control over his actions.

The patient learns to view the world as having no inherent meaning in itself. Everyone is free to make their meanings for their life. The patient develops a sense of purpose and control over their own life.

Problems can appear to be larger than life and overwhelming to tackle. This technique involved breaking down the problem, so it doesn’t seem overwhelming, and the patient can discover the root.

The storytelling can be done in written, spoken or done artistic form. Depending on which one the patient is more comfortable with.

A study done on the effectiveness of narrative therapy in children showed that children who received the intervention showed significant importance in good decision-making, self-management, social awareness, self-awareness, etc.

Electro stimulation in physical therapy to a young woman
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