What is Narrative Therapy?
There are many types of therapy and sometimes it can become overwhelming trying to distinguish the differences, so today, we wanted to dive into narrative therapy! Firstly, we want to express the fact that narrative therapy helps with a wide array of mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, PTSD, attachment issues, etc!
Narrative therapy is also beneficial and inclusive for everyone including couples and families! This treatment model of psychotherapy consists of collaborative work that focuses to separate a person from their problem, so a non-blaming approach! Individuals who choose to do this type of therapy usually define themselves and their sense of worth by their problems, which is why narrative therapy encourages individuals to rely solely on their own skills to minimize problems that exist in their lives!
How does narrative therapy approach individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, and trauma?
When it comes to treating someone with depression, anxiety, and trauma, negative self-talk is a common symptom, and it consists of repetitive negative thought which can worsen depression. This is where narrative therapy can help by reshaping an individual’s thoughts and changing their interpretations to be more positive. Essentially, narrative therapy assists a person to rewrite their life stories in a positive light. Narrative therapists usually use the individual’s dominant stories and alternative stories, dominant plots and alternative plots, certain events being linked together over time that have implications for past, as well as present and future actions to assist them in analyzing their effects and meanings behind them and then changing the narrative so it no longer burdens them. By remolding negative memories, this helps individuals’ focus on their positive emotions about the event(s). This allows the individual to externalize their issues rather than internalize them. This not only allows the individual to have the opportunity to challenge their inner monologue, but it teaches them how to do it effectively long term so even after they finish therapy, they’re able to exercise these strategies to cope.
On another note, there are many other empowering parts of narrative therapy especially because it helps individuals to take initiative to reshape their own life. The major difference between narrative therapy and the more popular type of therapy such as CBT aka “talk therapy” is that narrative therapy is client driven. Individuals are seen as the leaders in their own mental health journey! Some other stable principles of narrative therapy are that it supports their personal decisions, their “preferred” story woven into reality, exploring the impact of relationships, deconstructing societal norms, etc!
Overall, narrative therapy gives individual’s greater feelings of hope and positive emotions, and it helps them to form a healthier identity and feel empowered to speak to themselves with stronger affirmations.
By learning different coping strategies in narrative therapy, this helps improve the individual’s quality of life and their overall mindset, which ultimately trains them to become experts in their own lives and to live in a way that reflects their goals and values.
So, if any of this information resonates with you and you are considering doing therapy, maybe try giving narrative therapy a shot. Our therapists at Relationship Matter’s Therapy Centre provide this type of support, stability, and much more!
To request an appointment at Relationships Matter Therapy Centre click here.