Drawing on narrative and developmental theory and numerous psychotherapies, this workshop offers a unique and comprehensive introduction to understanding and utilizing story in psychotherapy. As humans, narrative is central to our communication, our cognition, and our memory. Even our understanding of our self is storied. As a result, the coin of psychotherapy is narrative. Despite the ubiquity of narrative, most of us receive very little education in the structure of narrative and its application to psychotherapy. Through explanation, exercises, discussion, and demonstration, this workshop will incorporate an introduction to narrative theory, including the parts and patterns of story, the developmental psychology of story, and change processes in narrative and psychotherapy. Case examples and opportunities to practice are offered throughout. Read More
Participants will practice recognizing the parts of narrative in clinical vignettes. With an understanding of the parts and dynamics of story we will turn our attention to life stories, foundational stories, and their relationship to the self. Through explanation and brief exercises, participants will also gain an introduction to the developmental psychology of narrative.
All of our life stories have evolved in a family crucible; and family is a microcosm of culture. Each of us clinicians have our own foundational and life stories. We will examine the underpinnings of these in an exercise of mapping family influences on our own narrative, then using that map in self supervision.
Given our storied organization, all psychotherapies must deal with narrative. Only a few do so directly. Most therapies do so implicitly, focusing on only a limited number of aspects of story. With an understanding of narrative theory and of narrative development, we will then discuss the narrative scaffolding that connects diverse theories and modes of psychotherapy. From here we will turn to an understanding of universal processes of change. We will examine ways to change stories; and we will broaden our understanding and use of different therapies to impact differing aspects of both foundational and life stories. We will then apply what we have learned about change processes and narrative to an introduction to the psychotherapy of trauma. The result allows attendees to expand their own approach; or to craft an integrative approach based upon narrative. Participants will come away with greater ease and more tools to help clients change the problematic stories they live.