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. These stories are shaped and constrained by the stories that are carried in our social, political, and interpersonal contexts--the narratives of myths, movies, novels, TV ads, fairy tales, and family legends. The ideas in our culture that we take for granted as “reality” are carried in stories; we learn the standards by which we measure ourselves and each other through stories we see and hear and tell each other.
People often come to therapy when they have a sense of being stuck in stories in which they don’t measure up on some cultural scale of performance, or in stories that restrict the possibilities they can perceive for a better life. Our work is based in helping people experience of some of the alternative story lines that already exist in their lives that have been overshadowed or forgotten—stories with themes and plots that are in line with more empowering, more satisfying, more hope-filled futures. Such stories are always there if we look for them. When found and brought to life, they can let people experience and take credit for the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they 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.