Friday, July 17, 2015

Narrative Family Therapy

Techniques

● Externalizing the problem: the person is not the problem
o Narrative therapists begin by asking clients to tell their problem-saturated story.
o Make the destructive effects apparent.
■ Ask about the problem’s effect and not its causes, which usually lead to attributions of blame.
■ Map the influence of the problem
o Problems always personified
■ Portrayed as unwelcome invaders that try to dominate people’s lives.
■ What feeds the problem?
■ What starves it?
■ Who benefits from it?
■ By standing up to the problem and not allowing it to affect them, the client cuts off the problems “life support system”

● Who’s in charge, the person or the problem?
o Relative influence questions
■ Explore how the problem has managed to disrupt or dominate the family vs. how much they have been able to control it.

● Reading between the lines
o Listen for unique outcomes when the client was able to avoid the problem’s effects and then ask for elaboration on how that was done.

● Re-author the whole story
o Use evidence of competence relative to the problem from client’s history to start a new narratives regarding what a kind person the client is.

● Reinforce the new story
o Find an audience to support the client’s progress in constructing new stories for themselves
■ Have client contact people from past who can authenticate the new story
■ Letter writing from the therapist to reinforce new story
■ At the end of the session, summarize what happened, using externalizing language and emphasize any unique outcomes

● Deconstruct destructive cultural assumptions
o Explore where clients get their beliefs from and whether they are accepting them because of culture or they truly believe them.
o Challenge assumptions