Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy aims to help people to become, and embrace being, an expert in their own lives. There is an emphasis on the stories that we develop and carry around with us. As we experience various events and interactions throughout our lives, we attribute meaning and significance to them which influences how we see the world and ourselves. These stories and narratives can impact our sense of self.

Narrative therapy is based on the following principles:

  • Reality is socially constructed: The way we interact with others impacts how we experience reality. These experiences with others become our known reality.
  • Reality is influenced by (and communicated through) language: People interpret experiences through language and people can have different interpretations of the same event or interaction.
  • Having a narrative can help us maintain and organise our reality: The development of a narrative or story can help us to make sense of our experiences.
  • There is no “objective reality.” People can have different realities of the same experience. What might be true for us may not be true for someone else.

A narrative therapist focuses on these stories, particularly those that are problematic and works collaboratively with you to explore these stories and challenge them. Through narrative therapy you can begin to identify alternative stories that offer you the chance to challenge the status quo, opening your mind to new ways of living that reflect a more accurate and healthy story.

Within narrative therapy, there is a strong emphasis on separating the person from their problem. By doing this, the person begins to understand that they are capable of something new. Old, unhelpful meanings that have been woven into our stories over time can be challenged.

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