Narrative Therapy

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
― Dan Millman

Narrative therapy pays attention to how people make sense of their experiences and assists in changing their relationship with problems affecting their lives. Best known for “externalizing conversations” that separate a person from a problem, and for letter-writing practices, this approach is guided by its philosophical foundations, interviewing practices, and range of playful possibilities. In addition to guiding counseling conversations, these principles and ways of working offer tremendous possibilities in community, organizational, and coaching contexts. For this reason, the term “narrative practice” is sometimes used instead of “narrative therapy.” Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault the approach was developed during the 1970s and 1980s, largely by Australian Social Worker Michael White and David Epston of New Zealand.[5]

Narrative Therapy Origins

Narrative Therapy originated in New Zealand and Australia where the original inhabitants have a profound sense of place and connection to their land. In the following brief video clips Maggie Carey describes several key concepts in rich story development: the metaphors of story and landscape; stepping out of the problem story, and practices of inquiry and listening.