Narrative Therapy is a constantly evolving tradition of knowledge and practices for addressing problems that affect individuals, families, and communities. Narrative practitioners focus on skills and abilities rather than deficits, and we pay careful attention to the larger political and cultural contexts in which problems arise. We believe that social factors are as important as individual psychology or physiology.
Narrative therapy is based in the notion that we make meaning of our lives through the stories we live out as we interact with each other moment by moment. These stories are shaped and constrained by the larger stories that are carried in our social, political, and interpersonal contexts--the stories told by conventional history, by our religious traditions, by fairy tales, by movies, by elders and community leaders. Such stories set the standards by which we measure ourselves and each other.
People often come to therapy when they have a sense of being stuck in stories that restrict the possibilities they can perceive for a better life. Our work involves facilitating experience of some of the alternative stories that already exist in their lives, but have been overshadowed or forgotten. Stories that are in line with more empowering, more satisfying, more hope-filled futures. Such stories are always there if we look for them, and they can highlight the skills and abilities that people have used, but have forgotten about or taken for granted.
Click here for a quick overview of the narrative worldview as it affects practice and ethics.
The video below, devised by Will Sherwin, gives a simplified overview of how narrative therapists work with stories.
At Evanston Family Therapy Center, we offer workshops and supervision that provide experience in these new ways of thinking and working. Participants consistently describe the atmosphere of our trainings as respectful, fun, and challenging. View our current offerings for workshops and trainings, sign up to receive e-mail updates, or contact us with any questions or comments about narrative trainings you would like to see come to EFTC.