Narrative Therapy

Be The Agent of Change

By  | 

Narrative therapy helps you understand that you are not fully responsible for the creation and maintenance of your issues. Actually in the history of western thought it is a recent development that an individual is the primary culprit for dysfunction. In the Middle Ages insanity, health issues, and all other problems located within a person were considered proof that societal conditions needed to be changed or that rulers were not effectively ruling the population. These days, the suggestion that you are not the primary captain of your ship is viewed with skepticism. Western society places the value on the individual. People are rewarded based upon personal achievement. Our economic system is supposedly the great equalizer where anyone with gumption, ability, and hard work can achieve financial and personal success.

These days if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol it means you are not exercising enough or not eating correctly or not taking care of your body. If you develop a psychiatric disorder it means there is probably something wrong with the wiring of your brain, or you are neglecting some important factor for you mental health. If you fail in school it means you did not study enough or maybe you are not smart enough. Everything that happens to you seems to be directly related to your internal state and you should have the ability to influence it.

Whether you blame forces outside of yourself or forces within yourself for your issues you are missing the complicated interplay between the two. The narrative viewpoint takes the pressure off of your shoulders for a while and shows you how you are not fully responsible for your problems. This is a good thing in our society since we are so strongly biased towards viewing all problems as personal and centered within the individual. You get to take a step back and see how society and your peer group have played their parts.

Ultimately you have to be your own agent of change. Whatever narrative you decide upon that reflects the real you, you have the ability to start living your life based on that narrative and help others to recognize it. After briefly taking the pressure off of yourself to see your problems clearly you return to yourself and take even more responsibility over the course and direction of your life than you did before.