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What Is Narrative Therapy?

Woman learning about narrative therapy

When you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges, it can seem like your story is out of your control. Struggles with mental health, unresolved personal issues, and the scars of past experiences can often dictate how we view ourselves and our future. However, what if there was a way to rewrite your narrative? What if you could change how you engage with your troubles and reshape your life’s story? This is where narrative therapy can be a transformative tool, helping you to rediscover your strengths and rewrite the chapters of your life that no longer serve you.

Learn more about our narrative therapy program at 855.520.0531. Where the dedicated therapists at Rockland Recovery Behavioral Health are trained in the art of narrative therapy and are committed to providing a compassionate, supportive environment where you can freely explore and transform your life stories.

Narrative Therapy Definition

One possible narrative therapy definition could be the following, “An empowering and collaborative form of psychotherapy that centers around the stories we tell about our lives. ” This therapeutic approach centers around the concept that our identities are shaped by the narratives we construct about our experiences. Often, these stories can be negative or limiting. As a result, we are often cast in the role of a victim rather than a protagonist capable of overcoming obstacles.

In narrative therapy, the therapist, and client work together to identify these narratives, examining how they influence the client’s behavior, and self-image. The goal is not only to tell these stories but also to actively engage in re-authoring them. Consequently, new narratives emerge that promote personal agency and empowerment.

What Is Narrative Therapy?

So, what is narrative therapy? At its core, narrative therapy involves a process of identifying, exploring, and ultimately rewriting the negative narratives that dictate a person’s life. Through techniques such as:


The process begins with the technique of externalization, where clients are encouraged to talk about their issues as if they are separate from themselves. This creates a critical distance, allowing individuals to address their problems without feeling overwhelmed or defined by them.

For example, someone struggling with anxiety might begin to refer to their challenges as “the anxiety” rather than saying, “I am anxious.” This subtle shift in language helps to reduce the personal hold of the problem and increases a client’s ability to resist its influence.

Re-Authoring Conversation

Another pivotal technique is the re-authoring conversation, where therapist’s guide clients to identify and appreciate the moments in their life that contradict the problem-saturated narrative. This involves exploring untold or minimized stories about their lives that demonstrate their competencies, values, commitments, and achievements. By piecing together these overlooked narratives, clients can begin to construct a richer and more empowering story about who they are.


This technique helps clients to unpack the stories they tell about themselves, examining the origins and broader context of these narratives. It challenges the taken-for-granted truths and explores how certain narratives have come to dominate while others have been suppressed. By deconstructing these stories, clients can question the influence of cultural, social, and interpersonal factors on their lives and begin to see options for rewriting their stories in ways that open up new possibilities for action.

Unique Outcomes

Unique outcomes, another method used in narrative therapy, involves searching for life events that deviate from the dominant negative story. These are moments when the problem they are contending with was not in control. Highlighting these unique outcomes helps to illuminate potential and strength that the client may not have recognized, supporting a new narrative that emphasizes personal agency and resilience.

By engaging in these narrative therapy techniques, individuals can actively redefine their identities and stories in ways that foster healing, growth, and a proactive stance toward life’s challenges.

Narrative Therapy Benefits

Narrative therapy offers a unique approach to mental health. It empowers individuals to take ownership of their stories and, consequently, their lives. By re-framing and re-authoring the personal narratives that guide our behaviors and self-concept, clients experience a range of transformative benefits. Here are some key advantages of engaging in narrative therapy:

  • Enhanced self-esteem
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Improved problem-solving skills
  • Greater agency in life
  • Enhanced relationship skills
  • Trauma resolution

Through narrative therapy, clients can transform their self-perception and interaction with the world. By reshaping their stories, individuals move from passively enduring life’s challenges to actively managing their personal journeys. This not only eases symptoms but also boosts overall well-being and fulfillment. As a result, narrative therapy a potent tool in mental health care.

Join Our Narrative Therapy Program at Rockland Recovery Behavioral Health Today

At Rockland Recovery Behavioral Health, located in Sharon, MA, we offer a compassionate, evidence-based, and effective approach to narrative therapy. Our programs can accommodate your busy schedule, providing intensive care without requiring you to pause your life.

Don’t let your past dictate your future any longer. Call us today at 855.520.0531 or use our online contact form. Now is the time for a journey of self-discovery and renewal with our narrative therapy program. Remember, at Rockland Recovery Behavioral Health, we believe in the power of your story, and we’re here to help you tell it.