Narrative Therapy: Storytelling our Personal Journey
Narrative therapy is all about stories. In telling the narrative of our lives, we are able to take a step back from living the storyline and see our problems as separate from us. We can analyze our role as a supporting character in the lives of others, as well as how to become the main character that we want to be in our own story. Through narrative therapy, we can rewrite our life stories to one that reflects our values.
Narrative therapy is also about shining a light on the strength-filled stories in our past that often get forgotten in a barrage of challenges and failures. It provides an open platform to discuss any situations that may be troubling to you, and sometimes, the mere act of storying our lived experiences allows the space needed for healing. By telling our stories, we are able to pull meaning from them (by analyzing the themes and patterns) and direct future stories towards our purpose and values.
We are all intersectional beings, living many stories at once. What we all share is the soul-crushing effect of dominant stories (ie. body image beliefs from pop culture, messages from politicians and global leaders, etc.). Nobody lives in a vacuum. Part of the narrative therapy experience is identifying which stories are your own, which stories will you let define your life, and which societal stories do you need to let go of in order to be more wholly and authentically you.
There are lots of tools and exercises that I use as part of my therapeutic process, but in the background, always, is a general desire to hear your stories and identify the strengths within them that might help you vanquish your monsters.
For More Information:
The Dulwich Centre “What is Narrative Therapy”
Narrative Therapy Centre “About Narrative Therapy”