Why is there hope with Narrative Therapy? Using stories to facilitate hopeful views of ourselves.
What are we if not stories? We as human beings have this inherent goal to understand all there is to be understood. Why have we said this, acted in that way, or misperceived something so obvious? Although we may spend most of our time trying to make sense of the mundane, we mostly want to understand ourselves. So we ask ourselves why? Why have I become the person I am today? What has happened in all that has preceded present time that has led to me (or you) being the person we now are? The simple answer is: Stories. Stories have been said, heard, challenged and absorbed. And all those words sometimes unspoken have been the many sketches of our ongoing self-portraits.
This is the central idea of Narrative therapy, proposed by Michael White, which hopes to use the power of the stories to help us to reconstruct the personal narrative we tell about ourselves in a way that promotes healing and well-being. The approach enables us to reflect, develop compassion for our own past stories and move on drafting more compassionate, resilient and helpful ones. In trying to answer the question of why have we become the person we are today, by exploring stories that have been construed about ourselves, Narrative therapy focuses on what values have shaped us. What are the things we most care about in life? In this way, what becomes even more important than answering the question of why have we become the person we are today, is thinking about what person do we want to be in the present and become in the future? Here we have multiple opportunities to be the authors of our own stories which I find immensely hopeful.
Just like a painter’s never-ending self-portrait, this is art work that will never truly be complete, as the stories we tell ourselves are never ending.Further information:
If you are keen to know more about Narrative Therapy, I would recommend the http://dulwichcentre.com.au/ which has a great amount of free resources you can access.