Narrative therapy is a therapeutic approach which is interested in the stories we hold about ourselves. There are different stories about our lives and experiences and other people that we can pay attention to. With time and our experiences some stories become more salient and get reinforced by us and others, and we often follow the path we are most familiar with, whilst other paths and aspects of ourselves can go unnoticed. Narrative therapy helps people to choose their preferred stories about themselves.
One of the characteristics of narrative therapy is that it does not consider problems as part of us. They see problems as attempts to get closer to things that are important to us, although they might not work out the way we would like them to.
Through the therapeutic conversation, narrative therapy explores significant relationships, values and skills that people have developed in order to respond to difficulties in their lives. Narrative therapy helps to find new paths which allow us to be the person we want to be, and live by the values that are important to us.
Narrative therapy is less structured than CBT and ACT. In therapy, I use narrative therapy principles with some influence from CBT and ACT. For example, we will work towards specific areas that you’d like to focus on and we will practice and learn new strategies that you can use when you face challenges and difficulties.