How Can Narrative Therapy Help You in Dealing with Stress

Updated on December 23, 2020

Narrative therapy helps you understand your life better. It emphasizes the stories you develop and carry with you throughout your life. If you are still confused about what is narrative therapy, this post will guide you.

As you experience events and interactions, you give meaning to those experiences, and they, in turn, impact how you see yourself and your world. You can carry many stories, such as the ones related to your self-esteem, your relationships, your abilities, and your work.

Narrative Therapy Gives a New Pattern for Your Life 

Narrative therapy is a type of counseling that views you as separate from your problems. The treatment permits you to get some distance from your issue to see how it may be helping you or guarding you more than it is harming you. 

The therapy identifies and permits the possibility of multiple stories co-existing in you. It can be a relief to recognize that your life does not need to be dominated by a single story or idea, and those different realities can be accurate simultaneously. 

What you do with a story later will differ as per your preference. But from the start, you are the storyteller. You are in charge. If you feel a lack of control over your circumstances, narrative therapy can be a great way to ground you and give back some of that control. 

With such a new perspective, you feel empowered to change your thought patterns and behavior. It helps you “rewrite” your life story for a future that reflects who you are. This way, you can know what you are capable of separating from your problems.

When Can You Use this Therapy and For What?

Still not sure about what narrative therapy is? Relax, whether you are an individual, a couple, or a family, you can benefit from it. If you define yourself by your problems or stress factors, narrative techniques can heal you.

Techniques of Narrative Therapy

Several techniques can help you understand your story and discover your goals. Once you find out your goals, you get rid of your anxiety. During this therapy, you and your therapist must start from the beginning of the story. 

Right from the beginning of narrative therapy, you share your full story and experiences and inform the therapist of your current understanding of your account. In this stage, the therapist actively listens to the language and tone you use to understand the story from your perspective thoroughly. 

Externalizing the Story from Your Identity

Once the therapist understands your story, they will take steps to recognize your account separately from your identity. Therapists will ask you open-ended questions. They aim to understand your goals and reframe that back to you to confirm you are both on the same page before moving ahead.

In this way, you can know about your real story and what triggers anxiety in you. Once you can see your language patterns, how you think about the language you use will alter. After all, inner monologues are powerful, and the influence of sharing your story can help you use more empowering speech.

How Can Narrative Therapy Help You?

Narrative therapy can help you manage and treat a vast array of mental health concerns, including:

  • Depression
  • Family and couples counseling
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Acute trauma
  • Complex grief 
  • Complex trauma
  • Attachment issues

Narrative Therapy for Stress and Anxiety 

When you deal with depression, anxiety, or stress, self-talk inclines to be negative. The repetition of discouraging thoughts worsens depression; however, narrative therapy can change that story. 

Through narrative therapy, you can re-narrate your account with more positive interpretations and challenge your inner monologue to consider substitute language.

This narrative therapy concept is an effective intervention for practically anybody dealing with anxiety, stress, and depression. In a study to examine the impact of narrative therapy for adults dealing with stress and anxiety, the research found that people who received narrative therapy expressed great feelings of hope and positive emotions. Adults were able to develop a healthier identity and feel empowered to talk to themselves with stronger self-affirmations.

Impressive Outcomes 

When your story feels concrete, as if it may never change, any idea of alternate stories sounds meaningless. You can become stuck in your story and permit it to impact different areas of your life. It impacts your decision making, your behaviors, your experiences, and your relationships.

Here, a narrative therapist helps you to not only challenge your problems but to widen your view by considering alternate stories. Hence, you end up with less stress in your life and experience peace of mind.

Since you now know what is narrative therapy and how you can make the most of it, adopt it for the best outcomes. Whether you are an individual, a couple, or even a family with different stress and mental issues, this therapy can help.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.