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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The stories we tell ourselves create our reality. Narrative therapy works by charting your unique story, understanding the context, influences, other characters, and key moments. This therapy is a collaborative process between therapist and client, who work together to find a new alternative storyline to support healing. Here we consider the problem as a character your story, separating the person from the problem, to empower your identity as more than just "depression" or "anorexia."

— Chloe Cox, Psychotherapist in Irvine, CA

Rather than playing the expert and objectively prescribing client’s motives, needs, drives, ego strengths, or personality characteristics; I value and respect differences between myself and my clients/families; I aim to collaborate with patients giving what they have to say equal privilege, and helping them to consider alternative stories. I help my clients identify their own strengths and wisdom to make positive change, and treatment is always customized to meet their unique needs.

— Tatum Santacasa, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

Individual people and communities of all sizes understand their identity and purpose via the stories they tell. Narrative theory is about unpacking the stories we tell about ourselves and where they come from, societal stories, family stories, community stories. It's about actively choosing what stories we want to tell in the future. My practice of narrative therapy is informed by the work of Black feminists like The Combahee River Collective, Octavia Butler, and Toni Morrison.

— Renya NeoNorton, Marriage & Family Therapist

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 find narrative therapy to be one of the most powerful tools we have. Whether you are grieving the death of someone or are a survivor of abuse, telling our story can be one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences. I never ask clients to share this immediately - I always first want you to feel safe in our therapeutic relationship - but when the time is right, I will likely ask you to write your story to be read, sometimes for several sessions, until you feel you are reclaiming your power.

— Amy Ruesche, Social Worker in Colorado Springs, CO

I use narrative strategies to explore the stories that you tell yourself and that world tells you about how things “should” be. We then work to update these stories to be more freeing and true to who you are.

— Leah Murphy, Marriage & Family Therapist in Silver Spring, MD

It's easy to get caught up in whatever struggles you are facing. The story we tell about ourselves is that something like anxiety or depression are integral parts of who we are. I strive to separate the person from the strife they are dealing with. You have the power to tell your own story. I'll help you break down your story into manageable chapters, discover the choices you can make, and put the struggles in front of you, rather than within you.

— Matty Blanc-Paul, Counselor in Boulder, CO

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

You’re not coming in as a blank slate — your strengths and insights from everything you’ve already navigated are a big deal. We’ll celebrate those and build on them. And if it’s hard to see the strengths within you, I promise they ARE there and we will find them. When you bring a struggle, we’ll unpack it and when you bring a victory, we’ll fully harness the win and use it to keep moving forward.

— Halina Brooke, Therapist in Phoenix, AZ

With Narrative Therapy. I assist you creating a new narrative and story for your life. With Narrative Therapy, my space will allow you an ability to tell your story, Furthermore, we work on self talk and empowerment based language. The things we tell ourselves and others DO guide the way we view OUR story (aka our lives). This modality also allows for exploring existentialism based thinking. This means you are free and responsible to determine your own development.

— Rachael Jordan, Counselor in Puyallup, WA

Narrative Therapy allows room for the client's full life in the therapy room. Narrative therapy realizes that the client is the expert on their own life, and it is the therapists job to ask good questions that help thicken the story line and increase the client's own agency. Narrative therapy was my introduction to trauma therapy and I weave the principels of it into all the work I do.

— Kori Hennessy, Addictions Counselor in minneapolis, MN

Narrative therapy is effective at helping clients who have experienced trauma. Mild traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that affects people who have been exposed to a severe or life-threatening event. Narrative therapy helps clients to process their experiences and work through the trauma they've faced. It uses storytelling as a way to heal, which allows the client to use their own voice and create meaning from their experience.

— Katie Robey, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Gatos, CA

I use narrative therapy techniques to recreate and rewrite the internal story if you have of yourself in relationship to other, your community and the world.

— Kieran Mcmonagle, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Bainbridge Island, WA