As a Registered Counselling Therapist, I use Narrative Therapy as the foundation of my therapeutic work.
"Counselling Therapy is the art and science of assisting clients to grow toward a better sense of well-being. It is a client-centred process of active engagement and the skilled use of interpersonal relationship to facilitate improvement in psychological, social, spiritual, physical or cognitive functioning. Counselling Therapy is a recognized health care profession in the province of Nova Scotia under the Department of Health and Wellness."
Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists, 2018
Narrative therapy sees people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, beliefs, values, and abilities that can assist them to reduce the influence of pressures, concerns, or issues in their lives.
In our work together, we'll identify the values, skills, and knowledge you possess that you can use to move toward outcomes that are important to you. Often, our work together will explore the effects of messages and feedback coming from others around you that may be unhelpful and that hinder your ability to create change.
In narrative therapy, events that happen over time in your life are seen as stories. Some of these stories stand out as more significant than others. These significant stories, usually created from negative events, can ultimately influence how you see yourself and the decisions you make. As a narrative therapist, I see you as multi-storied and full of possibilities that are just waiting to be discovered.
Part of our work together will be to help you to explore your stories about yourself, that are a part of your identity and that are helpful to you. We'll call this "re-authoring identity" through exploring your values and identifying the skills and knowledge you have to live these values. Together, we'll co-author a new story about you that stands up against the pressures, concerns, or issues that are a part of your and that brought you into therapy.
Externalizing the Problem
Related to the idea of identity is my belief that the problem accompanying you into therapy is the problem, not you. Using a narrative therapy approach supports me in seeing your identity as separate from the concerns or issues you're facing. Together we'll use externalizing conversations to highlight your relationship with the problem and the "unique outcomes" (exceptions) that stand against the problem. Our motto will be: "The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem." Through identifying your strengths, we'll focus this on the problem to create your preferred identity.
In our therapeutic work together, I'll work with you collaboratively, rather than imposing ideas on you by giving you advice. I believe you are the expert of your world. You have valuable knowledge, skills, and wisdom to solve the pressures, concerns, and issues you face.