Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a therapeutic approach that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The narrative therapy approach views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, abilities, values, commitments, beliefs and competencies that will assist them in changing their relationship with the problems influencing their lives. A therapist who specializes in narrative therapy will help their client co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy is a respectful, non-judgmental, social justice approach that ultimately helps individuals to externalize their issues rather than internalize them. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s narrative therapy experts today.

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We all strive to be the hero of our own story. Sometimes, changing the narrator, or widening the lens to see the influence of other factors in our lives gives us an alternative perspective that can empower our journey and give us the confidence to confront our challenges with a newfound strength.

— Nathan Robbel, Therapist in Chicago, IL

Narrative ideas include the externalization of problems such that one can see oneself and one's values as separate from the problem, letting go of ideas like "I am an anxious person," and shifting to "I am actually from anxiety's influences at specific times and it impacts my life in these specific ways... Therefore, I am able to get the upper hand on it when it is harassing me." Dominant ideas that are oppressive can be deconstructed and we can come out from under Normal's damaging gaze.

— Thomas J. Pier, Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Rather than playing the expert and objectively prescribing client’s motives, needs, drives, ego strengths, or personality characteristics; I value and respect differences between myself and my clients/families; I aim to collaborate with patients giving what they have to say equal privilege, and helping them to consider alternative stories. I help my clients identify their own strengths and wisdom to make positive change, and treatment is always customized to meet their unique needs.

— Tatum Santacasa, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Aurora, CO

Helps you to rewrite your story to fit who you are today and who you want to be in the future!

— Marc Campbell, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,

I trained in Narrative Therapy at the Evanston Family Therapy Center, and Narrative concepts underpin all my work with clients. The single most powerful idea in Narrative work is that the problem is the problem, and the person is the person. In other words, YOU are not the problem. I use Narrative Therapy to collaborate with people in examining the effects problems have on their lives. We look at the dominant cultural stories that support those problems and work together to shine a light on the dreams, values, skills, and hard won knowledge that allow you to stand up to problems.

— Kathryn Stinson, Counselor in St. Louis, MO

I use narrative therapy help people to identify their values and the skills associated with them. It provides the knowledge of their ability to live these values so they can effectively confront current and future problems. Is a style of therapy that helps people become—and embrace being—an expert in their own lives. In narrative therapy, there is an emphasis on the stories we develop and carry with us through our lives.

— Julie Williams, Counselor in Royersford, PA

I'm trained in narrative therapy, which is an approach that recognized that just telling your story can be a healing act-but that it's even more powerful when you get to re-author your life. You don't have to keep living the same story.

— Jessica Foley, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Waltham, MA

I want to collaborate with you in reauthoring your story. Instead of emphasizing the problems, we will build space for solutions to be highlighted in your story. This allows us to reflect together on the elements of your journey you may have missed but don't want to forget. Together we can rewrite a story that centers the people, values, and strengths that have helped and guided you all along so you can reconnect with the relationships and community most important to you.

— Red Galura, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

This therapy approach helps clients identify their values and use them to confront present and future problems. I believe that clients are the experts in their own lives and the problem is the problem (not the person). For example, instead of someone being “a depressed person” I see it as someone who “lives with depression”. Narrative therapy is especially empowering for BIPOC communities and LGBTQIA+ because it navigates systems steeped in racism, homophobia, white supremacy, and patriarchy.

— Samantha Schumann, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I embrace narrative therapy to facilitate your child's healing. By exploring their personal stories and experiences, we can separate them from the problems they face. Together, we'll uncover their strengths, values, and resources, reshaping their narrative towards growth and resilience. Through conversations and creative activities, we'll co-create alternative narratives that empower your child, promoting a sense of agency and hope.

— Melanie Bikis, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

I use a narrative approach to help you explore stories you tell themselves about your life, where those stories come from, and whether they are serving you. Our work may also include journaling, tracking expereinces, reading, and other ways of exploring narrative if those seem like a good fit for you.

— Cat Salemi, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in ,

Everyone has a story, and we have power over it! Maybe you've been telling yourself the same story about yourself and the world around you, and you're ready for new pages. I take my time to get to know my clients and explore their life stories to help foster clarity. Together, we will work through the narrative you've developed and help you find healthier meaning.

— Beatriz Orozco, Therapist in Fort Smith, AR

writing can be a cathartic/therapeutic process by releasing thoughts and feelings onto paper. I often provide written prompts/exercises (upon clients' requests) to help motivate them to explore and process their inner thoughts both inside and outside of their sessions.

— Rachel Relkin, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

Individual people and communities of all sizes understand their identity and purpose via the stories they tell. Narrative theory is about unpacking the stories we tell about ourselves and where they come from, societal stories, family stories, community stories. It's about actively choosing what stories we want to tell in the future. My practice of narrative therapy is informed by the work of Black feminists like The Combahee River Collective, Octavia Butler, and Toni Morrison.

— Renya NeoNorton, Marriage & Family Therapist

In narrative therapy we are not the problem, the problem is the problem. The stories we tell ourselves have a way of rooting themselves in our thoughts and behaviors. Let's work to uncover your innate strengths and resources and begin to tell a fuller story of who you are.

— Robin Roemer, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Society, our families of origin, and negative relationships can create narratives that people can inadvertently retain as self-talk and otherwise truth. Narrative therapy helps to look at other ways people can write the stories of their lives -- those they tell themselves and share with others. There are fun insightful and empowering activities (not all written) to encourage people to see their strengths and positive experiences in life, so they can make decisions to lead the lives they desire.

— Kate Mageau, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA