In counseling with children and youth who are suffering mental health problem, Narrative Therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach. It centers people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.
Michael White and David Epston, the originators of what has become known as Narrative Therapy, questioned locating problems within people, of classifying people and consequently came to elaborate a practice known as “externalizing” (White, 1988, 2007). Externalizing is a practice of objectifying or classifying problems rather than people. Through the externalizing conversation, the narrative therapists are interested in discovering, acknowledging and deconstructing the beliefs, ideas and practices of the broader culture in which lives that are serving to assist the problem and the problem story. The therapists attempt to trace the history of unique outcomes, make them more visible and link them in some way with alternative stories. The alternative stories are usually ‘anti-problem’ and bring forth people’s skills, abilities, competencies and commitments. Sometimes, narrative therapists create processes in which audience members act as witness. These processes are known as definitional ceremonies. These can be powerful rituals in assisting people in the reclamation or redefinition of their identities (Morgan, 2000).
Introductory Course on Narrative Therapy 2016
- Introduce the knowledges and skills of narrative ideas and thoughts;
- Invited the participants in reflecting of self and the effects of dominant culture on people’s lives
- Invited the participants to put the narrative ideas into their practice.
- The philosophy of Narrative Therapy.
- Introduce the idea of post-modernism and post-structuralism
- Externalization and Re-authoring conversation
- Re-membering conversation and therapeutic documents
- Outsider-witness practice and Collective narrative practice
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