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.

Meet the specialists

Viewing the client as the expert in their own life, narrative therapy offers the opportunity to examine the meaning clients make of their life experiences. As the client guides the conversation to areas of interest, the therapist supports them to explore, expand, and deepen their understanding of themselves.

— Chelsea Newton, Clinical Social Worker in Golden, CO
 

I have a background/MA in journalism/writing & have found the practice of truly looking at the stories we tell about our lives can be deeply insightful & helpful when working towards a greater quality of life. Putting the stories our minds tell us down on paper, journaling, even writing in a stream of consciousness can be enlightening & empowering by allowing us to clearly see these stories we tell, so we can edit them, rewrite them or even throw them out as we grow.

— Lara Plutte, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

If we see ourselves as the authors of our own lives, able to create and recreate new versions of ourselves, we clearly hold the keys to the door of healing. I work with you to make sense of your story and look at ways to make adjustments to the way you see yourself and present yourself to others.

— Leah Rockwell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mercersburg, PA
 

I believe we all story our lives against the backdrop of our personal discourse, family discourse, and societal discourse. Some of the stories we identify with have been beneficial yet others have been less helpful or even hinder us to reach the goals and contentment we seek. I work from a strengths-based approach to work collaboratively with clients to create change and to coauthor their stories and strive for the change they are seeking.

— Dan Schmitt, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Eugene, OR

Narrative Therapy helps individuals understand that the way that they think about and talk about their life story is based on a particular set of perspectives. IF we shift these perspectives we can see the same story from a different orientation which changes the tone and mood of the story. Often people think about and talk about themselves in a way that is saturated with problems. IF they look at their stories from a different perspective, they often find strength and success.

— Mark Best, Clinical Social Worker in Vancouver, WA
 

Narrative Theory is a hope-based approach to counseling that actively works to empower you. The goal is for you to take an active role in how you live your life and understand the challenges you face. This is accomplished by exploring you and your experiences to find and leverage strengths that you possess that are either hidden, forgotten, or haven't been discovered yet. Through Narrative theory, you take an active part in becoming the best version of yourself.

— Jacob Santhouse, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Nampa, ID

Your story matters and you get to decide how you want to tell it. I do work with clients to look back at their past as well as forward to the future in a way that helps them think about how they are storying their life and how they want to continue to tell that story. We are constantly telling ourselves a narrative of how and why things happen. We tell a narrative that has been influenced by multiple people in our lives. I help you examine these influences and find your own inner truth teller.

— Emily Stone, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
 

I use a narrative approach to therapy which is non-blaming and separates problems from people. I am collaborative.

— Rachelle Miller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Spokane Valley, WA

We all make up stories about the meaning of our actions or the actions of others; often they are distorted, negative and limiting narratives. I work with you to realize your historic/reflexive narratives. Then we work on changing the narrative to something that serves you. Changing the narrative is how we shift from the victim of trauma to the survivor/thriver of trauma. Failure or one step closer to success?

— John Buscher, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

"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." From Therapy Den

— Andy Dishman, Licensed Professional Counselor in MARIETTA, GA

Narrative therapy is my favorite therapeutic orientation. It's the treatment that I study the most and find very compelling. I often observe the most improvement in clients when I use this type of counseling. Introducing new ways of thinking and believing can be a tricky thing but with the training and passion I have for it I often times see success.

— Jeff Guenther, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Life is a series of experiences that we catalog as stories. These stories hold a collection of ideas and beliefs that we have observed from others and that we have been taught. Some of these stories center around problems that we are experiencing. So we explore the stories, remove the problem, examine if it still serves your goals and purposes, and rewrite it in a way that makes sense for you.

— Crystal Clark, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, 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 Oakland, CA
 

I trained for a year with the Narrative Therapy Initiative (NTI), earning a certificate in Narrative Therapy. This worldview endorses the belief that you are the expert on you, and nothing about you is a problem. The problem is the problem. We explore a new way to relate to old stories (example: "being good enough" or "I'm too ----- ") that are no longer serving you. This type of therapy can be effective for folx seeking to understand their identity or "make meaning" of life events.

— Jenna Maxfield, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Denver, CO

Together we identify and engage the incremental steps leading in the directions you want to go, diminishing the power of problem narratives in the process. Todays climate is very difficult and Im hoping to accompany you along your path wherever it takes us.

— Eric Katende, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

Having read original sources from developers of this model, I find Narrative Therapy is the best compliment to my feminist identity. This model prompts us to challenge our concrete understandings of the world, and invites nuance into our interpretation of stories. I practice NT as a way to access traumas and triumphs in life, a way to identify problems in your life that are not inherent to who you are. NT gives us the opportunity to look at the origins of beliefs that cause upset emotions.

— Ginelle Krummey, Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC