E1142Mental Health7 Recovery and self advocacy7.1 Approaches to practice7.1.5 Narrative approachesA narrative approach views problems as separate from people and assumes that people havemany skills, abilities, values, commitments, beliefs and competencies that will assist them tochange their relationship with the problems influencing their lives.This approach was developed in Australia by Michael White and David Epston. After meeting at aconference in the 1970s, they started a cooperation that would last several decades and led tothe development of this well-regarded approach to practice (White, 2009).The essence of NT is the understanding that people make meaning about things in their lives:they tell themselves and others stories about themselves, the world and problems (Sween,1998). The task of NT is to identify the stories/narratives the person is telling themselves and tobring them into awareness. This then allows for a re-telling of stories in a more helpful way.Stories do not happen at random, they are part of the wider social context, including societalNarrative Therapy (NT) is a collaborative and non-pathologising approach to counsellingand community work which centres on people as the experts of their own lives.Source:narrativetherapycentre.com[http://narrativetherapycentre.com/], accessed on 30/3/2016.“attitudes and power relations.One of these stories is that people usually identify with problems in their lives which means thatthe problems become part of their identity. NT aims to separate the person from the problem:“The person is never the problem, the problem is the problem” (Sween, 1998, p.2). This meansthat practitioner working with the narrative approach needs to help people to understand thatthey are not the problem and this is done by externalising the issue at hand.NT also differs from individualistic approaches where the person simply creates their identity asan internalised process. In NT, identity is seen as a co-creation between the person and others intheir social environment. One of the questions practitioners need to ask is how well the “sociallyconstructed identity fits for that person” (Sween, 1998, p.5).The key techniques of NT are:externalising the problem: the problem becomes the antagonist of the story, rather thanpart of the person’s identityunique outcomes: stories are often full of negatives, so the practitioner empowers theconsumer by attempting to identify positive outcomes, even if they are exceptionalalternative narratives: a new story is built around unique outcomes, focusing on positiveaspects rather than problems.| Topic – 2 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.Activity 44574What’s the story?Think about a problem in your life (maybe it is the same problem you thought about when lookingat Solution Focused Therapy and/or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, maybe it is a different one).What story do you tell yourself about the problem? What if you could see the problem as anantagonist in your story, rather than as part of you?What would change? Would you be able to see your situation and the problem in a morepositive way?HintsRemember that the Miracle Question is used in combination with other questioning techniques.ACTIVITY 44574 TYPE ContributeSCENARIO What’s the story? Reading 44577A one-minute question of narrative therapyThis article,The one-minute question: What is narrative therapy?[http://www.narrativetherapylibrary.com/media/downloadable/files/links/g/9/g982sween.pdf]provides a brief overview of key concepts of NT.ACTIVITY 44577 TYPE ReadingSCENARIO A one-minute question of narrative therapy 1 2| Topic – 3 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.This video provides you with an overview of NT and a roleplay of a therapy session.[https://youtube.com/watch?v=nrTkPGbyRMA]Activity 44578Helping Jacob| Topic – 4 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.What stories is Jacob telling himself?How might you be able to create alternative narratives with Jacob?Choose one problem that you could externalise when working with Jacob.HintsRemember that every story needs a hero/a heroine!1 2| Topic – 5 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.ACTIVITY 44578 TYPE ContributeSCENARIO Helping Jacob| Topic – 6 / 6© Open Colleges Pty Ltd, 2020.
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