Any kind of narrative therapy training should give the therapists certain tools they should be able to use when treating patients. Below you can learn a bit about the things that a training therapist should learn in order to be able to properly use this technique.
Using the metaphor of the story during therapy sessions is one of the things therapists should learn. They should be able to understand the actions of people by looking at their own lives and their stories. They need to understand how their own stories are shaped and how they can use these stories to reshape their own lives.
Another skill which needs to be learned is that of externalization, which is something that can be done in different ways. They also learn how problems which are vague become manageable and concrete. Learning how to develop alternate stories is something that a good therapist should be able to do as well. Finding the hope even when the situation is dire is one other thing that is taught. Even when conversations appear to be hopeless, the therapist needs to be able to find something in them. They should know how they can move a conversation from something that is saturated with problems to something that solves problems.
The narrative therapy training will also teach therapists how to use the exceptions, how small things can be turned into big developments.
The therapist should also learn how to relate to the patients, in a way that is respectful and collaborative.
The skill of using small pieces of information in order to find out what are the big values of each person is another thing that can be learned. Once those are figured out, the therapist can use them together with events from the lives of their patients and they can give them a certain identity sense.
Structuring conversations is the next thing that should be learned by therapists. They have to be able to structure a conversation and how to guide one, plus knowing what questions should be used when the conversation gets into an area where it needs rescuing. Knowing what questions to use also allow therapists to make sure that patients don’t reply with “yes, but”. This is a skill that is very useful and the training in narrative therapy allows them to use it. In short, the training allows them to avoid the questions that will give them answers that kill the conversation.
Just because a norm is taken for granted, it doesn’t mean it should remain so. The therapist should know when to question them. Cultural norms often affect the way we live and the therapist needs to understand how that happens. The power of the cultural norms needs to be understood but the therapist shouldn’t be bogged down by them.
The life of the patient is often influenced by political, economic, cultural or social contexts and the therapist needs to understand them and to take them into account.
These are some of the skills that the narrative therapy training will teach therapists. They’re not the only skills, but it’s a good introduction.
Category: Narrative Therapy