What is Narrative Therapy?

Narrative Therapy
involves all members of the family (and sometimes community) to look respectfully at weighty problems, by making a distinctive separation between the person and the problem(s) at hand. Narrative therapists work to separate a person from their problems by creating an alternative story which accentuates qualities and attributes that are of importance to the client and the family consulting on the issues. This process of externalization is in line with the Bowen model (see Bowen Family Therapy section) which also looks at the function of “Anxiety” as a external emotional process within a system.·By looking at it in this context, as it’s own entity, ·anxiety (or depression, explosiveness, hyperactivity, etc.) can then be examined for how it is functioning, and also how it is NOT functioning. Adolescents can learn about the power of these emotions and behaviors, and examine the effects of them in their world. Through this process a family can begin to regain control and engage in a more preferred way of living.

·Narrative therapists work in collaboration with a person or a family.·The focus is more on the effects of the difficulties on a person’s life and well being versus on how to “fix” a person.·Questions about a person’s values and resiliency are paramount for creating healing. When working collaboratively with a family and a child or adolescent,·a narrative therapist may first try to distinguish the different perspectives and voices of the problem or difficulty. A person has values, beliefs, and often a story line that can often be juxtaposed against the trauma or difficulty and then strengthened in order to help combat the issue at hand, whether it be anxiety, depression, anorexia, or a traumatic life or event.· Language is a key component of narrative therapy and can often help communicate what is at the heart of the matter. A narrative therapist spends time defining language and strengthening the alternate story of strength and resiliency.

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