Narrative therapy is grounded in post modern thought where each individual is seen as the expert of their own lives, privileging and recognizing our own voice in the creation of the stories we tell of our experiences and recognizing the influence of Other's in how we understand our self concept and make meaning from our life experiences.
According to Michael White who is generally seen as the Father of Narrative therapy, heralding from Australia: “Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.”
Rather than viewing the therapist as “the expert” Narrative is more of a collaborative approach where the therapist is listening to the possibilities in conversations and expanding the landscape of a story that originally may have a single focus as “victim” or “bad”. Through curious exploration together the client and therapist find the tributaries and oasis that originally were not visible; to include alternative themes that then lend space to an alternative way of understanding Self.
Narrative conversations are guided and directed by the interests of those who are consulting the therapist. The therapist keeps a mind of curiosity and openness to asking questions we genuinely might not know the answers to.
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