Narrative therapy, sometimes referred to as narrative treatment, is a counseling approach that focuses on understanding and reshaping the stories individuals tell about their lives. It aims to help people view their problems from a different perspective and develop more empowering narratives.

It recognizes that people construct their identities and make sense of their experiences through storytelling. In narrative therapy, the therapist collaborates with the client to explore and understand the stories they tell about themselves, their problems, and their relationships.

Narrative therapy also emphasizes the importance of exploring alternative or preferred narratives. This involves identifying and amplifying the strengths, values, and resources that individuals possess, as well as envisioning and co-creating new stories that align with their preferred identities and goals. Through this process, individuals can gain a greater sense of agency and authorship over their lives.

Overall, narrative treatment is a collaborative and empowering approach that respects individuals’ experiences, perspectives, and cultural contexts. It offers a creative and flexible framework for exploring and transforming the stories that shape people’s lives.

How Does Narrative Psychotherapy Work?

One of the key concepts in narrative psychotherapy or therapy is externalizing the problem. This means separating the person from the problem and viewing the problem as something outside of themselves. By externalizing the problem, individuals can gain a new perspective and feel empowered to challenge and change the negative effects of the problem on their lives.

Another important aspect of narrative treatment is the exploration of alternative or preferred narratives. This involves identifying and amplifying the strengths, values, and resources that individuals possess, as well as envisioning and co-creating new stories that align with their desired identities and goals.

The therapist’s role in narrative therapy is to ask questions, listen actively, and facilitate the process of storytelling to make meaningful connections. The individual plays an active role in choosing the direction of the therapy and the topics discussed. 

The therapist helps clients deconstruct dominant or oppressive narratives that may be limiting or harmful and supports them in constructing more empowering and liberating narratives.

Working together with their therapist, individuals can gain insight into their experiences, challenge limiting beliefs, and develop more adaptive ways of thinking and behaving.

Who is Narrative Treatment For?

This is a useful approach for anyone that is feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts, feelings or emotions. Some of the key principles of narrative psychotherapy are that people are treated with respect, you are encouraged not to place blame on yourself or others, and you are the expert of your life and your stories. 

It can be helpful to treat a variety of conditions. Some of the mental health conditions that it may work well for are:

Is it Possible To Do Narrative Therapy Online?

Narrative therapy online works very similarly to in-person counselling sessions. Online narrative therapy sessions typically follow a similar structure to working with a therapist face to face. You and a therapist can engage in discussions, storytelling, and collaborative exercises to explore your narratives, identify strengths and resources, and work towards desired outcomes.

While some aspects of in-person therapy, such as non-verbal cues or physical presence, may be different in an online setting, narrative therapy can still be effective when conducted online. Therapists can adapt their approach to accommodate the unique challenges and opportunities of online therapy, ensuring that clients receive the support and guidance they need to explore and reshape their narratives. For many individuals, online therapy provides an opportunity to work with a therapist they may not be able to or that better fits with their schedule or circumstances.

Book Narrative Therapy In London, Toronto or Online in Ontario

Overall, narrative treatment is a flexible and empowering approach that honors individuals’ unique experiences and perspectives. It offers a creative framework for exploring and reshaping the stories that shape people’s lives. A narrative therapist can help you to find your voice. Book online or contact us to match you with one of our experienced and qualified therapists.

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