Olga's Reviews > Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends by Michael   White
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's review
May 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, psychology
Recommended to Olga by: I picked up the reference from "Reviving Ophelia"
Recommended for: those interested in narrative or in therapy/counceling
Read in January, 2008

The wealth of the lived experience is immense. When we're constructing a story of our lives, we cannot possibly include all of it into a story. So, something always gets left out of the narrative. It's fine when it works. But what if it doesn't?

If one's life story doesn't work for them any more, it is time to get this story out and see what had gotten left out. We do not live out our story all the time; some experiences deviate from it. So, it's time to take these experiences and build a new, more suitable life story based on them.

The first part of the book discusses the discrepancies between narratives and lived experiences, the second one develops the ideas of power behind telling a story (based on Foucault, a very accessible rendition of his ideas!), and the third one is full of real life examples taken from family therapy. It was fascinating to read the narratives that led the family to a therapist and then read the therapist-aided alternative stories.

I don't remember whether there's a separate, fourth, part for them but the book also presents the examples of different genres of writing employed both by clients and the therapists.

Very informative and engaging as well as theoretically sound. Another proof that there's hardly anything more practical than a good theory!
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