Personal Narrative Therapy

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Narrative therapy is used by many therapists as a basis for various interventions such with individuals, families and communities. Narrative therapy is viewed as a collaborative form of therapy which works to identify the competencies, skills and expertise that a client shares in their personal narrative. Clients are considered separate entities from their problems. The strategy is to lower resistance and defenses and allows clients to address these issues in a more productive and creative manner. Externalizing the problems helps set a positive therapy discourse moving negative communication to more accepting, non-judgmental, and meaningful exchanges. Objectifying the problem helps clients look at what problems do to them and how the problem…show more content…
Michael White and David Epston observed and believed that the way people tell their stories reflects their emotions and motivations. A therapist must lead with a learner’s stance meaning from a place where the therapist learns from the client. With older clients encouraging the narrative and learning from their experience helps to identify values and histories of successful coping. Narrative therapy uses anti-hierarchal dialogues. The therapist facilitates the client as “expert in the room”. An important part of the work is to separate identity from the problem(s) in an individual life. As one works toward externalizing the problem(s) there is a focus on “social discourse”, that is questioning the way beliefs are formed from environmental and cultural beginnings which may or may not be true for an individual. The application of narrative approach to older adults suffering from the Substance Addiction Disorder reveals that when it comes to substance use addiction, younger people have different challenges compared to older adults. The narrative approach compartmentalizes problems in people’s lives in order for the individual to emerge from the merged view of disorders and this allows one to begin to see a new perspective. This is a drastic shift from the individual, which leads people to be seen as solely being responsible for their problems, allows someone to consider existing separate from their problem. (Gardner & Poole, 2009). The Narrative approach is most suitable for people with substance abuse disorders because substance abuse is a socially constructed problem and a problem many feel view as being merged with. The Narrative approach is helpful in dealing with addiction among older people because it deals with the social stigma attached to substance
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