The book Narrative Therapy; The Social Construction of Preferred Realities is an excellent primer on this therapeutic modality. Thanks to Frank Baird, LMT, LPCC for the succinct description of Narrative Talk included here. This is the model and process I use in my work with clients, whether in solution-focused consultation, a tarot reading, in family history and stories development/editing, and, with styling & design clients as well.
Conversations like this often lead to possibilities and opportunities that had not been in clear view before. Curiosity and questions are the mainstay.
“The process of co-research considers narratives a source of discovery. The talk is a way to define future actions that lead to preferred outcomes.”
Every individual has a unique story of value worth telling and hearing. The characters, plots, themes, and action of the story are created by the individual. Throughout life we have adopted stories told to us by others, by the culture, and by past experiences. Sometimes those stories do not match the life stories we hope to develop for ourselves. We get caught up in the problem and forget all the things we know and have acheived, our successes and talents. Within a trusting relationship, based on respect, honesty, and cooperation, it is my aim to assist individuals, couples, families, and groups to explore and understand their own personal stories – especially their preferred stories. Often, problem stories blur and negate the value, strength, possibility, and potential of one’s essence and his or her unfolding life story. Telling, hearing and understanding both kinds of stories is important to the process.
Narrative co-research offers a context wherein a person has the opportunity not only to free himself or herself of the constraints of the story authored by others, but to appreciate ways he or she can free himself or herself of these constraints in other contexts as well. Narrative co-research can be helpful not only in the pursuit of symptom alleviation, but also in affecting personal growth. It invites clients and therapists to notice who they are, who they want to be, what they want to do, and the context in which each and all of these considerations occur. It focuses on personal competency and authorship rights. It is expansive and appreciates the lived experience of clients, preferring their stories and their evaluations of their stories even in the context of the dominant story and objective reality.
In the context of Narrative co-research, people can co-create an environment wherein they can notice and harness their own powers, capabilities and competencies, heal themselves, and provide new contexts for their experiences of themselves and in their lives.”