In this course we examine the basic assumptions, concepts, and techniques of the postmodern-feminist-constructivist approach that is narrative therapy, showing how it leads to greater empowerment of clients through a shift from problematic stories to more adaptive ones.
About this course
The 1980s and 1990s began to see a general movement, expressed in many disciplines, away from strict adherence to empiricism (an objective reality “out there” waiting to be discovered) toward an understanding that human beings negotiate meaning and thus create their own subjective realities together in a socio-cultural context. Michael White and David Epston helped birth the expression of that movement in psychological and therapeutic circles with their work developing narrative therapy, a way of working with clients which drew on sources such as family therapy, postmodern philosophy, social psychology, feminist theory, and literary theory. By hearing clients’ stories – which are distressing them and are often very “problem-saturated” – narrative therapists can help clients find evidence to co-construct alternative narratives: stories which can help clients to manage their lives with greater empowerment and happiness. This course explains the basic assumptions and concepts of narrative therapy, and delineates the processes and techniques that narrative therapists use.