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Narrative Therapy 

We are constantly fed messages about what is right and acceptable based on what others think, believe, or do. We are flooded with others’ opinions every day from the moment we wake up and look at social media or turn on the TV. We receive opinionated messages when we go to work or school, spend time with family and friends, go to gatherings, and so on. We do not even realize it’s happening! It is easy to get swept up by the sea of influence and it can often lead us to question our own thoughts and beliefs or doubt who we are. We might even start to define ourselves or our lives by what we see or hear. This can be confusing, exhausting, and can put us down. 


When we get messages that who we are or what we are doing is not acceptable, then we can feel rejected, doubt ourselves, and even start to lose sight of our authentic selves. This is why it is so important to regularly take the time to reflect on who we really are or how we want to define ourselves and our lives. Narrative Therapy is a great tool to help you do this! 


What is Narrative Therapy? 


Narrative Therapy is designed to help people create new perspectives about their life in a way that provides meaning, purpose, and affirmation. In this approach, people have the opportunity to reflect on how they talk and think about their life stories or define themselves, and view a problem as an entity separate from oneself. For example, “I am anxious” instead of “I experience anxiety symptoms.” Externalizing a problem can help people remember that they are whole and this can make it much easier to figure out what the root of the problem is. Once the root of the problem has been discovered, then people can explore alternative stories or outcomes to find what has purpose and is meaningful. Narrative therapy helps people take ownership of their life stories and perceive themselves in an affirmative way.


Narrative Therapy Can Help a Range of Mental Health Symptoms and Concerns:


The great part about Narrative Therapy is that it can be helpful for many different symptoms and concerns. Here are just a few:


  • Defining yourself as a problem, “I am failure” or “I am a bad parent”

  • Talking about yourself or telling a story about your life in a way that leads you to feel sad, lost, angry, or hurt

  • Feeling like a victim in your own life

  • Confusion about your identity

  • Insecurity or doubting yourself

  • Living your life based on what others tell you 

  • Anxiety, worry, social anxiety

  • Depression, loneliness, low self-esteem


Narrative Therapy Can Help With Four Key Steps:


It can be confusing to receive messages from others that do not align with your authentic self, and it does not feel good to replay stories about your life that put you down. Narrative Therapy is a useful tool to cultivate the affirmations you need by:


  • Reflecting on what the problem or issue is that is causing negative thoughts, feelings, or behaviors

  • Externalizing the problem which helps to see the problem as separate from yourself

  • Learning about the problem and how it impacts your life

  • Exploring alternative perspectives that provide meaning and purpose


Narrative Therapy at Golden Vibes


Our Madison, WI based therapists are knowledgeable and skilled at drawing on techniques from Narrative Therapy. Our therapists can help people from all across the state of Wisconsin through telehealth services. 


Begin Your Journey with Narrative Therapy


You do not have to define your life based on what others say or believe! You can work towards building your own stories about your life, making new meanings about events that have happened in your life, and defining yourself in a way that is aligned with your most authentic self. If you think Narrative Therapy techniques might be helpful for you to try, then:


  1. Call our office at 608-571-0558 or e-mail us to make an appointment

  2. Talk with our Client Care Coordinator to find the right therapist for you

  3. Start taking ownership of your life’s story today!  


More Mental Health Services at Golden Vibes Counseling Center

At our Madison, WI therapy clinic, we want you to feel comfortable with your care. We know you are a multi-faceted person with a wide range of needs and concerns. That's why we have a lot of different ways to serve you. From therapy in our chic, contemporary counseling space to expert online counseling in Wisconsin, we are ready to meet you where you are. Our professional therapists can help you using a variety of approaches including CBT, EMDR, and Brainspotting. These methods can help with sexual assault recoveryanxiety therapydepression treatmentreproductive or maternal mental healthmulticultural counseling, and more. We also specialize in LGBTQAI+ counseling and poly-affirming therapies and can assist with gender-affirming care​. We truly look forward to meeting you and getting to know you as an individual.

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