What is Narrative Therapy?

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Narrative Therapy utilizes storytelling to engage people in therapy. People’s lives are a collection of stories. When you stop to examine these stories, you can pay closer attention to key characters, themes, symbols, and, ultimately, make meaning of your life experiences.

Narrative Therapy’s goal is to empower people by identifying how your experiences, or your stories, shape who you are as a person.

Counselors use Narrative Therapy for individual, couples, children’s, or group counseling. It can benefit individuals with various mental health concerns, including depressive disorders and anxiety. Counselors also use it to help children develop empathy and social skills.

Your therapist will use various techniques during counseling. They might ask you to begin by telling your story. Your story includes your life experiences and your perspective on how these experiences shaped you. By examining your life story, you and your counselor might work to identify important characters, symbols, and themes present within your narrative.

Narrative Therapy also uses externalization to help people, which is when you view your life as an outsider. This approach can help you develop a different perspective on your life’s story and experiences.

Your therapist might also use alternate narratives, or deconstruction, to help you identify ways you want to change your story. Imagining different outcomes can be a helpful way to think about the future and highlight ways you want to change.

Therapists Who Specialize in Using Narrative Therapy