Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy seeks to help people deconstruct the dominant, problem saturated stories that have negatively impacted their sense of self. Narrative therapy assists the client to re-author these dominant stories and elevate alternate stories of resistance, courage, connectedness and perseverance.

Honouring the individuals response to his/her lived experience is key to narrative practice. Unnoticed and unacknowledged principles and intentions inform the steps we take through life, narrative practices engage people in a journey of making explicit these subordinate preferred stories and highlight principles and values that are held dear. These are the stories that link to our future dreams and possibilities.

Narrative Therapy was developed by Michael White and David Epston in the 1980s. They believed that separation of person and problem was a key to treatment and resisting the effects of the problem. The Dulwich Centre provides many articles about narrative therapy and its history (

Narrative Therapy holds to Three Main Ideas:

  1. Narrative therapy respects the agency and dignity of every client.
  2. It is non-blaming - narrative therapy separates people from their problems, viewing them as whole and functional individuals who engage in thought patterns or behaviour they would like to change.
  3. The client is the expert - only the client knows their own life intimately.

Narrative Therapy holds to Four Principles:

  1. Reality is socially constructed.
  2. Reality is influenced by and communicated through language.
  3. Having a narrative can help us organise and maintain our reality.
  4. Everyone constructs stories according to the way they see the world. 

"The most powerful therapeutic process I know is to contribute to rich story development." 

- Michael White -


Defining Stories

PO Box 480 Clifton Hill VIC 3068