This chapter presents the first of the theoretical maps belonging to the third wave of counselling; unlike approaches described in previous chapters, it is more interested in clients’ futures than their pasts, in potential rather than pathology. The term narrative refers to the differences that can be made through particular tellings and retellings of clients’ stories of their lives (developing alternative stories), but the term has been developed further than the story-telling involved in psychodynamic or cognitive behavioural approaches. Narrative therapy shares the solution-focused notion (addressed fully in Chapter 9) that there are no fixed truths but, additionally, emphasises that some ‘truths’ are more powerful than others. Narrative therapy involves ways of understanding the stories of people’s lives, and ways of re-authoring these stories in collaboration between the counsellor and the clients whose lives are being discussed. It is a way of working that is interested in history, the broader context that is affecting people’s lives and the ethics or politics of therapy (Morgan, 2000).
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