Narrative therapy is a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling. It views people as the experts in their own lives and sees problems as separate from people.
This is very consistent with the values of the social work profession. I love narrative therapy and its belief that people have many skills, talents, core values and abilities that will assist them in reducing influence of problems in their lives.
What does this really mean?
We all have a story we tell ourselves about ourselves to make sense of our lives. These are stories that we believe to be true about oneself and our abilities based on interactions, influences and experiences in our past that we have assigned meaning to. Over time, these stories become stronger and stronger as our brains look for evidence to support these “problem saturated stories”.
The reason we maintain these stories and reinforce them with our behavior is because we get a false reward from them. Things like not having to take responsibility for our actions, getting attention from others, or it allowing ourselves not to make changes or to control situations. These stories protect us from going out of our comfort zones and digging into the messy parts of our life that we are afraid to unravel.
In therapy, we encourage re-writing the story you tell yourself. You are never defined by your past experiences and these false rewards are just that, false. They are not serving you. You get to be your own author. We all have more power to change than we believe. You can learn to draw on your inner strengths and experiences, and live in line with your values.
As therapists practicing this approach, we work together with people to explore the stories they have created about their lives and relationships, their effects, their meanings and the context in which they have been formed. We help them to separate their struggles from themselves. Let us help you write an alternate story.
Book an appointment with any of our therapists either in person or virtual sessions are being offered. ~ Laura
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