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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Narrative therapy is my favorite therapeutic orientation. It's the treatment that I study the most and find very compelling. I often observe the most improvement in clients when I use this type of counseling. Introducing new ways of thinking and believing can be a tricky thing but with the training and passion I have for it I often times see success.

— Jeff Guenther, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Often times people have been telling a story about themselves that isn’t completely accurate. Narrative therapy offers the person the opportunity to rewrite how they see themselves and their story by focusing on the positive aspects of their past. Narrative therapy offers a more positive lens in which the person learns to view themselves.

— Mary Botte, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

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

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

Through narrative, strength-based approaches, I will encourage you to see beauty in the parts of your story that have gone unexplored. You will find new ways to make meaning and understand yourself more deeply and compassionately.

— Caleigh Balsamo, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

Your story matters and you get to decide how you want to tell it. I do work with clients to look back at their past as well as forward to the future in a way that helps them think about how they are storying their life and how they want to continue to tell that story. We are constantly telling ourselves a narrative of how and why things happen. We tell a narrative that has been influenced by multiple people in our lives. I help you examine these influences and find your own inner truth teller.

— Emily Stone, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

One of the basic tenants of narrative therapy is that people are not the problem. But, that the problem is the problem. We will work to separate you from your problems. I believe that people have relationships with their problems. Their problems do not need to define who they are as a person. Narrative therapy helps individuals to discover the meanings that they have internalized. These stories become the basis from which we see the world, ourselves, others, God, and more.

— Josh Foster, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in , MD

I help clients center their story. Unfortunately, we are unable to control all of what happens to us in life, but we can center our voice and choose what meaning we give those experiences. Using art materials, I help clients externalize their story in various ways, giving them the power to become an observer which in turn evokes capability and empowerment to approach lingering problems. The outcome of such art processes widens the clients perspective and possibilities.

— April Fitzpatrick, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in , FL

We all make up stories about the meaning of our actions or the actions of others; often they are distorted, negative and limiting narratives. I work with you to realize your historic/reflexive narratives. Then we work on changing the narrative to something that serves you. Changing the narrative is how we shift from the victim of trauma to the survivor/thriver of trauma. Failure or one step closer to success?

— John Buscher, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Narrative therapy is the center from which all my work flows. I help people identify their own values, strengths and skills. This changes the shame-based narratives that keep us stuck, and leads to new ways of thinking about and solving problems.

— Janae Andrew, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

I help my clients explore the stories of their lives, the stories they are telling themselves about their lives and how these all go together to affect our mental health, our self worth and how we see ourselves and the world. Sometimes we've developed stories that are based on fears and anxieties, not on how our life actually is. Taking time to look at these stories and transform these narratives can help improve overall mental health and wellness.

— Kylee Nelson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

I embrace each of the stories we choose to lead. Sometimes, our stories can shift from ones that are enjoyable to ones of survival. I am here to help you get your life back on track and slay the monsters in your way.

— BRIANA MESSERSCHMIDT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Alamitos, CA

Narrative Therapy has been a part of my approach to counseling since I started. I help clients to re-frame their life story and learn to walk in this new narrative. Trauma-focused Narrative Therapy can help clients move past the distorted self-beliefs that are the byproduct of trauma. Often, other therapies such as Art Therapy are integrated with Narrative Therapy.

— Jaclin Belabri, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,

I believe that people are the experts of their own lives, and they have the power to rewrite their story. I utilize Narrative Therapy to externalize problems (i.e. problems are outside of a person's identity) in order to reduce stigma and shame about emotional expression. Similarly to a systems approach, Narrative therapy considers how the dominant culture and family/local influences impact well-being.

— Coriann Papazian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Using narrative therapy, we will discuss your past, present, and future self in alignment with your therapy goals. This approach will allow us to talk openly about anything and everything as it relates to your life.

— Corey Nielsen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fort Collins, CO

Narrative therapy views people as separate from their problems and destructive behaviors. This allows clients to get some distance from the difficulty they face; this helps them to see how it might actually be helping or protecting them, more than it is hurting them. With this perspective, individuals feel more empowered to make changes in their thought patterns and behavior and “rewrite” their life story for a future that reflects who they really are and what they are capable of.

— Kristen Crowe, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in LA, CA

Narrative therapy looks at how we learn and create meaning within the stories of our lived experiences. It lets us differentiate our who we are from the obstacles we experience in order to see more clearly the abilities and relationships that can help us to persist or overcome them.

— Sara Smithson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Port Townsend, WA

I utilize Narrative Therapy while still embellishing the belief that you, the client are the expert in their own life. This core value is married with the belief that you are the author/ creator of your own story. When stories start to become more concrete and unchangeable, problems can start to appear. I will walk alongside you, the client, as your story is being un-authored, making space for a new one to be written.

— Diana James, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in San Antonio, TX

Explores significant events/"stories" that occur over time in one's life. Acknowledges how these "stories" may have shaped a person's identity. Challenges 'problematic stories/narratives' one carries of self which inhibit growth and limit one's sense of internal peace. Focuses on not labeling or viewing oneself as "broken". Aims to allow one to get some distance from their preconceived narratives in order to re-assess their perspective and messaging surrounding it.

— Lynette Cisneros, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Raleigh, NC