Narrative Therapy

Australian social worker Michael White and David Epston of New Zealand. developed Narrative Therapy in the 1970s and 80s according to several sources.

Patients are encouraged to identify their values and the skills and strengths they already have and use the combination to confront the challenges and problems they are seeking to address.  Within narrative therapy, identity is seen as primarily social that can be changed as choices are made.

Narrative therapy employs externalizing conversations, and “The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem.”  Both cognitive therapists and psychoanalytic practitioners might disagree on the efficacy of full externalization of the problem.  Others may feel like the externalization enables blaming others or externalities for problems that are best solved through changes in behavior or thinking by the patient.

While it is clear that a person’s beliefs, skills, principles, and knowledge can be used effectively to help them solve problems in their life, it’s not yet clear that the narrative model is the best form of therapy to empower change.  The mental health community is still waiting to see clinical and empirical studies to validate the claims made by practitioners of Narrative Therapy.

To schedule an appointment with one of CTA’s therapists in the NY or CT, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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