What is Narrative Therapy?

Narrative Therapy is a respectful, collaborative and non-blaming approach to counselling and community work. This way of working is respectful of the knowledges people have about their own lives, their ways of facing challenges, and their hopes for themselves, their families and their future.

It is called ‘Narrative Therapy’ because this approach examines the stories we tell about ourselves and the stories others tell about us. These stories assist us to make sense of the world, and powerfully shape the way we are seen in our own eyes and the eyes of society. This shapes our current and future responses and actions.

The Narrative approach sees problems as separate to people and communities. Problems such as anxiety or depression are not the whole story of someone’s life, but often these labels impact identity and convince the person or their family that they do not have the skills to get through difficulties. During the therapeutic conversation, the impact of the problem is explored and acknowledged. In considering stories of skills, knowledges, hopes and values, new options for reducing the influence of the problem become more visible, and therefore, available.

Reference: Morgan, A. (2000). What is Narrative Therapy: An easy to read introduction. Dulwich Centre Publications: Adelaide, SA. See the Dulwich Centre website