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

Therapy that is focused on the language you are using to create your reality. Words have a lot of power because our words become our thoughts which become our emotions which become out behavior. The way we tell the story of the reality we live in affects how we make choices and move through the world in the future. This therapy focuses on changing the narratives your have about your life as well as identifying negative language and thinking patterns that keep your stuck in pain.

— George Goldston, Counselor in Beaverton, OR

"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

We are not our problems! In session we explore how Anxiety interferes with a client’s life. We focus on autobiographical information and how chapters in life are processed. By reframing the past, we see our strengths and our talents that may have been overlooked. And a new chapter is ready to be written!

— Amy Shore, Counselor in Sugar Land, TX

I'm trained in narrative therapy, which is an approach that recognized that just telling your story can be a healing act-but that it's even more powerful when you get to re-author your life. You don't have to keep living the same story.

— Jessica Foley, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Waltham, MA

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

Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counseling which places 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.

— Madison Alvarez Brunk, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Longwood, FL

Narrative approaches include an understanding that the Problem and the Person are separable, that the Problem is one created by the stories told about Problems and people who know them well, and that through exploring the other parts of one's experiences, the Person and small groups, with their strengths and beauty, can rise above. Problems are integrated with all the people who interact with a Problem, so this approach can include additional members of the community, advocacy and activism.

— Rae Blaisdell, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs, CO

Everyone is living a story. Sometimes several stories (imagine trying to juggle that)! Narrative therapy is like a collaboration between writer and editor. You, the writer, know the story inside and out. You've lived it, rehashed it, mulled over it until you can recite it backwards and forwards. I, the editor, have the expertise to help you iron out the details, catch the inconsistencies, and polish your story until it shines. If you are willing to share, I love listening to a good story.

— Meg Hrivnak, Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

Narrative therapy offers a collaborative approach that views people and problems as separate. A client reporting a relationship with depression would not be labeled as depressed, but rather, would be viewed as persons who are sometimes paid a visit by depression. We all have a one of a kind way to heal. I work with you to explore and discover that unique formula. I am open to all mediums, poetry, music and other holistic healing forms to find a way to heal your soul.

— Maile Grace, Therapist in Denver, CO

Narrative Therapy is my primary orientation. It is concerned with stories about who we are, who others see us to be, and who the world says we should be. Healing is seen as challenging oppressive narratives that hinder one’s ability to live fully and authentically. Problems are separate from the person. Depression may intrude on someone’s life, but it does not define who that person is. Narrative Therapy is about expanding our perception of the richness of our lives beyond the Problem.

— DeHeavalyn Pullium, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I believe you are the expert in your own life. I utilized narrative therapy as a guiding framework to help you re-write your personal story.

— Rhea Parks, Marriage & Family Therapist in Syracuse, NY

I have many hours of Narrative Therapy training, including attending international conferences. I am currently in a Narrative Therapy consultation group.

— Mariana Brunnett-Lazarte, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

Narrative Therapy is the answer for any person who identifies with BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or a religious minority. Narrative Therapy validates your personal reality and truth which likely doesn't match mainstream society. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I help transform the shame of being different into an appreciation for what makes you unique.

— Christina Tseng, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Germantown, MD

Life is a story, and few in our lives get beyond the surface of it. Yet, it's in the particularity of our stories that we most hunger for others to meet us. The places where our pain, fear, and shame is greatest. We need others to walk in the depth of our stories and witness our suffering. Wild Foxgloves' work, influenced by Allender Theory, is compassionate and trauma-informed, and we invite you to step into the depth of your story in the presence of kindness.

— Wild Foxgloves Counseling, PLLC, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Vancouver, WA

I attended an intensive Narrative Therapy training with Karen Young, which has informed my practice and allowed me to incorporate elements of this intervention where appropriate.

— Mary Soliman, Psychotherapist in Toronto,

Re-authoring our stories to tell stories of strength rather than weakness. We need to spend our time beating the bushes of our lives to round up all the stories of strength, heroism, recovery, passion, creativity, jubilation, etc. We get to choose which we want to live out of, and with a little effort we can find evidence to support a story that leads us on a heroic journey

— Mark Holcomb, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Fair Oaks, CA

I'm passionate about helping clients work towards re-authoring & taking control over our stories. Understanding how these have been constructed over time & deconstructing their power & the messages they carry, enhances the way we feel about ourselves, our locus of control, and the patterns we observe in our lives.

— MacKenzie Knapp, Marriage & Family Therapist in Tacoma, WA

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, Counselor in Asheville, NC

Narrative Therapy has long shaped the way I see our identity and the ways we make sense of our world. I see that we become the stories we tell ourselves but that building new stories out of old that better reflect who we want to be can be incredibly empowering. I feel this engagement in values and meaning making can move you into a life that feels more worth living.

— Craig Beeson, Psychologist in Santa Cruz, CA

We may have problems with which we’re struggling, but we are not those problems. Our story is much more than our problems. But, sometimes, that story is not reading the way we’d like. Fortunately, it’s never too late to do some rewriting and create our preferred story. And if we can do all that without actually have to write… whoa…

— Ryan Levin, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

So much of the way we experience the world is dependent on the stories we tell ourselves. Sometimes these are stories we were given by our parents, friends, or general culture. By examining those narratives, we gain the freedom to interpret the facts and define them for ourselves.

— Val Jones, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Mount Vernon, WA

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

We all make up stories to help us define and explain our life experiences. Often we connect data points that aren't correct (my father left when I was 5, and he always was critical of me). The story becomes if I can just get my sh*t together, then I'll have peace, happiness, etc. Overlay anxiety and sensitivity, and chances are the story you've created is full of things that prevent you from seeing the gifts you have to offer. We can examine that story and rewrite it!

— Patricia Young, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

Narrative therapy is a form of therapy that helps people separate their problems from themselves. It allows for clients to tell their stories, make sense of it so they have a deeper understanding and to create room for new stories. This is particularly helpful if you've experienced a pregnancy loss. Many clients find it healing to tell their whole story, not just parts of it, and be met with deep compassion, active listening and empathy.

— Kerri-Anne Brown, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Orlando, FL

One of my specialties is called Career Construction Interviewing (CCI), which is a narrative therapy designed to: 1) clarify your identity 2) direct your career direction 3) design a next-steps strategy 4) and build confidence CCI also helps you identify additional obstacles and neglected areas that need your attention in order to get the results you want. Wanting clarity, direction, and motivation for a major life change? Try out CCI.

— Rick Villarreal, Licensed Professional Counselor in Arvada, CO