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Flashcards in Narrative Family Therapy Deck (16)
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Michael White

Founder of the narrative moment living in Australia. He and his wife Cheryl Wife were based out of the Dulwich Center. Under the influence of Bateson and Foucault, White developed Narrative Family Therapy out of his belief that problems happen to and affect people, but are not a part of them.


David Epston

Second most influential leader of narrative movement. Introduced narrative metaphor to White and convinced him that it was more useful than cybernetics. Emphasized that clients need supportive communities to maintain their new narratives and developed several self-help "leagues" to help with this


Dulwich Centre

Epicenter for Narrative Therapy founded by White and his wife.


Theoretical Formulations (Narrative)

Our lives can be shaped by the stories we tell ourselves and people attempt to fit their stories into their existing schemas and social expectations Experience that don’t fit are distorted to fit, leading people to live an inauthentic life


Problem development (Narrative)

Problems arise because people are indoctrinated into narrow and self-defeating views of self and the world Life stories function as filters that screen out/distort experiences that don’t fit our plotlines
So if we have a negative self-story, we don’t notice the positives in our life or the exceptions to our story


Healthy family development (Narrative)

Healthy families avoid: judgements about what is normal; categorizing; and the idea of general principles of what causes or resolves problems


Assumptions of people (Narrative)

Narrative assumes the following about people:
they have good intentions and do not need or want problems; they are profoundly influenced by the disclosures around them; they are not the problem and their problems are separate from them; and they can develop alternative empowering stories if separated from their problems


Development of Problems (Narrative)

The stories people tell themselves interpret their experience in unhelpful ways and then they only see the evidence that reinforces their negative stories. Problem-saturated stories take hold and encourage people to respond to each other in ways that perpetuate the story (self-sabotaging to prove you're a screw up)


Goals of Narrative Therapy

Separate the problem-saturated stories and open space for new and constructive views of themselves; look for unique outcomes


Sparkling Events

Times when a client revisited the problem or behaved in ways that contra-indicted the problem story. AKA unique outcomes


Problem-saturated stories

Patterns of tunnel vision that encourage people to respond to each other in ways that perpetuate the problem story


Conditions for Change (Narrative)

a. Deconstruction, or viewing problem as an external entity to start challenging its influence
b. Unique Outcomes showing a client's resistance to the problem’s influence which opens room for counter stories


Assessment (Narrative)

a. Obtain the family’s story, their experience, and their assumptions about the problem; often times, each family member has a different story about the family
b. Map the influence of the problem on the family and influence of the family over the problem
c. Move clients towards knowing they already have some power over their problems by highlighting exceptions/sparkling moments


Deconstruction and Reconstruction

Techniques in Narrative. Deconstruction entails questioning assumptions and Reconstruction involves creating new and more optimistic accounts of experience.


Effects questions

Questions Narrative therapists ask to externalize the problem. Examples include asking a client how the problem affects them, their attitudes, their ideas about themselves, etc. Helps client to identify areas in which the problem is not as powerful and find unique outcomes.


Externalizing conversations

Narrative therapists use externalizing language to separate the clients from the problem, making its destructive effects apparent and establishing a sense of partnership with the client