What is Narrative Therapy?

A respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives.

It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.

-What is Narrative Therapy? An Easy-to-Read Introduction — Alice Morgan

Possibilities for conversations

“When I meet with the people consulting me, I sometimes think of the possibilities for the directions of the conversation as if they are roads on a journey. There are many cross-roads, intersections, paths and tracks to choose from. With every step, a new and different cross road or intersection emerges – forwards, back, right, left, diagonal, in differing degrees. With each step that I take with the person consulting me, we are opening more possible directions. We can choose where to go and what to leave behind. We can always take a different path, retrace our steps, go back, repeat a track, or stay on the same road for some time. At the beginning of the journey we are not sure where it will end, nor what will be discovered.The possibilities described in this book are like the roads, tracks and paths of the journey. Each question a narrative therapist asks is a step in a journey. All the paths may be taken, some of the paths, or one can travel along one path for a time before changing to another. There is no ‘right’ way to go – merely many possible directions to choose from.” – Dulwich Centre, What is Narrative Therapy

Collaboration

“Narrative therapy maes collaboration between the client or family and the therapist to help clients see themselves as empowered and capable of living the way they want. In the face of crisis or trauma, NT helps clients achieve a “This too will pass” attitude, while positioning the therapist as an appreciative ally in the process. NT is useful with individuals and is used extensively with families due to its ability to separate clients from problems and unite families against problematic patterns. NT also lends itself well to joining with families because it stresses strengths and achievements over problems. “ -Robert H. Rice, Narrative Therapy

A Summary of Narrative Therapy

“Curiosity and a willingness to ask questions to which we genuinely don’t know the answers are important principles of this work. There are many possible directions that any conversation can take (there is no single correct direction). The person consulting the therapist plays a significant part in determining the directions that are taken. It seems appropriate to begin any exploration of narrative therapy with a consideration of what is meant by the ‘narratives’ or ‘stories’ of our lives.” Dulwich Centre, What is Narrative Therapy

Further reading

“Every time we ask a question, we’re generating a possible version of a life.”

– David Epston



Dulwich Centre, a gateway to Narrative Therapy

What is Narrative Therapy?

What is Narrative Therapy? An Easy-to-Read Introduction

by Alice Morgan