An Outline of the Basic Concepts of Narrative Therapy. Essay

2076 Words Aug 4th, 2013 9 Pages
An outline of the basic concepts of Narrative therapy.
Narrative therapy
Michael white and David Epston are best known for their use of narrative in therapy. According to white individuals construct the meaning of life in interpretive stories which are then treated as truth. Adopting a postmodern, narrative, social constructionist view sheds light on how power knowledge and truth are negotiated in families and other social and cultural contexts.
Key concepts
Focus
narrative therapy involves adopting a shift in focus from most traditional theories. Therapists listen respectfully to clients stories to search for times in the clients lives where they were resourceful, use questions as a way to engage clients, avoid diagnosing and
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A main task of the therapist is to help clients construct a preferred story. White and Epston both start with an exploration of the client in relation to the presenting problem. From there they would attempt to separate the client from the problem and in doing so objectify the problem as external to the client. Therapist adopts a not knowing attitude through language choice and avoids diagnosis and pathologising. There are no set formulas or recipes for the practice of narrative therapy. The process will vary with each client because each person (and their stories) is unique.
The therapeutic relationship great importance is placed on the qualities the therapist beings to the therapy venture. Some of the qualities considered essential to narrative therapy include:
• Optimism
• Respect
• Curiosity
• Persistence
• Valuing the clients knowledge
• Real power sharing dialogue
• Collaboration
• Compassion
• Reflection
• Discovery
Clients are often stuck in a pattern of living a problem saturated story that does not work. The therapist aims at providing support and optimism in order to create perspective however due to the ‘not-expert’ stance it is the clients responsibility to generate new possibilities and actualize them.
Application: therapeutic techniques and procedures the application is more dependent on therapist’s attitudes or perspectives than on techniques. In order to create

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