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In Unit 7, we will explore the basic tenets of narrative therapy. The work of Michael White and David Epston discussed metaphors associated with narrative and social constructionism. These ideas revolve around the premise that narrative therapy is more of an attitude regarding reality in a therapeutic context. Some of the ideas posited by this approach to therapy are that realities are socially constructed, realities are constituted through language, realities are organized and maintained through narrative, and there are no essential truths (Freedman & Combs, 1996). Narrative therapy is also concerned with how we perceive the world and how we operate in the world. The issue is that we are born into a world that has a way of viewing, understanding, and accepting all of its basic “truths.” As such, we often find ourselves experiencing our ideas in the context of a dominant social culture. The therapist assists the “patient” in reassessing the “truths” and socially constructed realities in his or her everyday experience. Listening to the “patient’s” story is an important aspect of this therapeutic approach. Helping “patients” understand how their stories can be re-authored to reflect their needs and wants is an important aspect of the narrative approach.
Reference (Hopefully these will help)
Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Case Approach, to read the following:
Chapter 15, “Narrative Therapy,” pages 478–504.
González, R. C., Biever, J. L., & Gardner, G. T. (1994). The multicultural perspective in therapy: A social constructionist approach. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 31(3), 515–524.
Williams-Reade, J., Freitas, C., & Lawson, L. (2014). Narrative-informed medical family therapy: Using narrative therapy practices in brief medical encounters. Families, Systems, & Health, 32(4), 416–425.
Narrative Therapy and Ethnic Identity
For this discussion, respond to the following:
- How can narrative therapy be applied to our understanding of ethnic identity?
- Provide an example of how a narrative can be addressed in the context of therapy with a person of any ethnic identity.