What is narrative therapy?
Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses narratives and/or client’s personal stories to help people separate themselves from their problems, believing that the person isn’t the problem; the problem is the problem. Narrative therapy was developed by Michael White and David Epston in the 1980’s.
How does narrative therapy work?
In narrative therapy, you are the expert in your own life. The therapist is non-judgmental and respects you for taking the step to come for treatment. You are encouraged to analyze and find meaning in important events in your life. Through questioning and collaboration, your therapist acts as an “investigative reporter” who helps you to examine and evaluate your problem. By separating your problem from you, distance is created, which makes it easier to for you to investigate and assess the impacts the problem has had on your life.
When is narrative therapy used?
Narrative therapy has been successful in the treatment of:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Self-esteem issues
- Eating disorders
Narrative therapy is also often used in couple and family therapy sessions. Oftentimes, seeing a problem objectively helps couples and families to reconnect with the heart of their relationship, and sets the stage for positive and open communication.
This type of therapy may be used to treat other conditions and concerns in addition to those listed above. It may also be used in conjunction with other treatment methods. Your therapist will work with you to determine the best treatment method for your individual circumstances.
You should be aware that there is no treatment method that is successful for every person. What works for you, may not work for someone else.
What to expect from therapy
Put simply, you will get out of therapy what you put into it. It’s not a magic solution that will solve all your problems. It may involve you doing some real work and being completely honest with yourself and your therapist. Sometimes facing our truth is the hardest thing of all – but from that discomfort can come healing and growth.