The Art of Narrative Therapy
Narrative Therapy is based in the notion that we make meaning of our lives through the stories we live out as we interact with each other.
People often come to therapy when they have a sense of being stuck in stories in which they don’t measure up on some cultural scale of performance, or in stories that restrict the possibilities they can perceive for a better life.
Our work is based in helping people experience of some of the alternative story lines that already exist in their lives that have been overshadowed or forgotten—stories with themes and plots that are in line with more empowering, more satisfying, more hope-filled futures.(EVANSTON FAMILY THERAPY)
Narrative Therapy is a Post-Structuralist Therapy
Rather than seeking to classify individuals in terms of general classes or types, we seek specific details of each person, family, or community's identity.....
Rather than valuing the knowledge of "experts," we value your knowledge...We emphasize the power you have to define yourself according to your own knowledge of the details of your life and lay claim to a meaningful life...
EVANSTON FAMILY THERAPY)
Characteristics of the Narrative Worldview
We work with meaning, and we believe that the meaning of life events comes from the stories that people tell themselves and each other about those events.
The same events can be storied in a variety of ways and these different ways will make a difference in how life is experienced.
The dominant discourses in our society powerfully influence what gets "storied" and how it gets storied.
A discourse is a system of words, actions, rules, and beliefs that share common values. Particular discourses sustain particular worldviews. We might even think of a discourse as a worldview in action.
Discourses tend to be invisible, that is, they are taken for granted as part of the fabric of "reality."
In narrative therapy, we seek to identify the discourses that support problematic stories.
Locating problems in particular discourses helps us see people as separate from the problems that beset them.
We locate problems in discourses, rather than in individual minds or in "dysfunctional families."
When we succeed in this perceptual shift, we see a whole different world, one in which the discourses that support problems become more visible.
In this world, we can more easily oppose, undermine, or alter the influence of those discourses, making robust, viable non-problematic life stories more possible.
EVANSTON FAMILY THERAPY)