Narrative Family Therapies
PY 526 9115SUOL
July 17, 2015 The Narrative therapy approach was developed by Michael White and David Epston in the 1980’s and has been integrated into many therapeutic settings as a philosophy-based means of therapy (Skovholt, T., & Ronnestad, M. (1992)). “This approach is a method of therapy that separates the person from the problem and encourages people to rely on their own skill sets to minimize the problems that exist in their everyday lives” (White, M., & Epston, D. (1990)). Encompassing a style of externalizing problem situations, narrative therapy can be used for individuals, couples, or families (Beels, C. (2009)). By looking at situations from an objective viewpoint, families can confront the challenges that have compromised their relationships and construct new ways to overcome them. In this way, an ideal environment of converting negative interactions into positive, nonjudgmental, accepting, and meaningful ones is created.
Narrative therapists assist in the progression of a client’s telling and retelling their stories. Unlike other therapeutic approaches that may view a person’s external environment as part of the situational problem, narrative therapy views the client’s network of acquaintances as a beneficial means to support the client in meeting their problematic situation head-on (Carr, A. (1998)). Looking at the story from an external vantage point, the therapist investigates alternative avenues of the client’s current narrative and helps the client to reframe it in a more positive way. This allows the client to accomplish the separation of judgement and belief that the problem at hand is, in fact, their reality.
The outmoded idea of the therapist scrutinizing clients for a diagnosis has been replaced with their working together as a team (Beels, C. ((2009)). In the earliest phases of the therapeutic relationship, client and therapist work together to label problems in such a way in which they...