Friday, July 24, 2015

Narrative Family Therapy

Theory Summary

● Strategies fall into three stages
o Problem narrative stage
■ Recast problem as an affliction (externalizing) by focusing on it’s effects, not causes
o Find exceptions
o Recruit support

● These strategies involve a series of questions
o Deconstruction questions- externalize the problem
o Open Space questions- uncover unique outcomes
o Preference questions- make sure unique outcomes represent preferred experiences
o Story Development questions- develop new story from seeds of preferred unique outcomes
o Meaning questions- designed to challenge negative self images and emphasize positive agency
o Questions to extend story into the future

Strengths and Limitations

o The two most powerful ingredients of narrative therapy are narrative metaphor and the technique of externalizing the problem

o Narrative therapy repudiates the idea that families with problems have something wrong with them
■ Overlooks the fact that some families have real conflicts that don’t disappear because they join together temporarily to fight an externalized problem
■ Often views unhappy emotions (such as anger, fear, resentment) much like cognitive behaviorists do, as annoyances to avoid rather than explore
■ Rejects systems thinking, emphasizing its mechanistic elements while ignoring more humanistic versions.