Narrative Therapy

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

In Narrative therapy, problems are viewed as separate from the people experiencing them. For example, 'The Worry,' 'The Anger,' 'The Fights.' The problem's tricks, tactics and triggers can be playfully exposed, it's purposes and effects on the person's life, explored and the beliefs and ideas that feed the problem uncovered. Despite usually trying to be helpful, protective or supportive, these problems are often unhelpful and over-protective.

 

They typically present a different version of the individual, inviting misinterpretation and unhelpful labels which can hide the individual's resources from both themselves and others. In exposing and richly exploring these resources, alongside the beliefs and values that are implicit in the individual's actions, the individual is enabled to take action against the problem, reduce its power and influence over their lives and make decisions that represent their unique giftedness and what they truly believe and value. 

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I integrate Neuroscience, ACT and CBT to enhance this work where needed.

Session Structure:

Session One - 1 hour

  • Problems have an uncanny way of trying to define us and can hide our skills, gifts, hopes, values and the many facets of us that make us who we are. In this first session after acknowledging why your child is here, we will put the problem to the side so that we can discover your child's uniqueness and resourcefulness in all its beauty.

Session Two - 1 hour

  • Having established your child's resources and unique qualities, we can now explore the difficulties or problem(s) that your child is experiencing without the problem trying to define them.

  • Together we will playfully develop an understanding of what the problem looks like, when it arrives, how it works, it's tricks and triggers, what feeds it and the influences and the effects it has on your child's life.

  • Your child will get to stand back and decide whether its ok for them that the problem has so much influence over their life or whether they would rather live a life in a way they want to?

  • This helps develop a sense of motivation and courage to stick up for what it is that they want for their lives and to take action against the problem. 

Session Three - Six -1 hour

  • These sessions will be about exploring, storying and developing the unique resources and knowledges that your child has which could be particularly helpful in influencing the presence of the problem.

  • Together we will discover the tricks and tactics that your child has discovered or those that they think could be useful in influencing the problem.

  • We might need to educate the problem using your child's knowledges, wisdom and experiences and demonstrate to the problem that your child has got what it takes to live life without the problem trying to take control.

  • We might use the help of the special people, pets or toys in their life who know them well and can vouch for these skills, values and knowledges they have.

  • We will look at what life could look like if their own values, beliefs, skills and desires were at the centre of their decision making rather than those of the problem.

 

Benefits: 

An opportunity to work on...

  • Establishing unique strengths, resources, skills, values, beliefs, ideas, hopes and dreams that can get hidden by the challenges and problems that arise.

  • Making decisions and choices (including behavioural choices) and working through conflicts and difficulties, guided by the above.

  • Improved self-awareness, self-esteem, resilience, belief in ones self - a clearer sense of 'this is the me who I choose to be' - establishing a preferred self. 

  • Improved emotional regulation - ability to reduce the negative influence of problems that arise and improved self control.

  • Opportunity to establish support networks and acknowledge those who would stand with them in what they believe and value.

  • Improved relationships

  • A normalisation of the effects of the problems they might encounter.

  • A sense of empowerment and an increased drive, interest and curiosity in life.

 

Helen Huston Therapy, Whangaparaoa, 021 422 045

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