It can feel overwhelming when your daughter is in pain and you aren’t sure how to help. Knowing the many types of treatments that are available, however, will help you make the best decisions for her. Clearview Girls Academy strives to offer the best and most effective forms of therapy. One of these is a treatment method called narrative therapy. The goal of narrative therapy is to find a way to help your daughter reframe what she is going through.

Narrative therapy can transform a girl’s perspective, especially in the context of a trusting therapeutic relationship. For true healing, girls need to establish relationships built on trust. This is why we aim to provide all-encompassing one-on-one mental health care. This allows each relationship to grow so that your daughter feels welcome and safe to open up. When that happens, deep healing can begin. Narrative therapy can facilitate deep healing by helping your daughter rewrite and understand the traumas and stories of her life.

What Is Narrative Therapy?

A study on narrative therapy published by Kalyani Vishwanatha, Ph.D., and Uma Hirisave, Ph.D., states, “Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to intervention, which centres people as the experts in their own lives.”

Narrative therapy is the process of talking and “re-authoring” or “re-storying” moments of trauma or difficult memories and feelings. This is done to reframe trauma in a way that is more manageable or easier to understand. The therapy can help your daughter work through memories and reclassify or reframe them.

Some narrative therapy techniques include putting together a narrative verbally with the therapist or writing the stories down. With younger children, narrative therapy can also include play therapy as they talk through their own stories. This method allows your daughter to observe and see her place in the story or her life.

Externalizing Issues and Creating New Endings

Narrative therapy’s process can also force people to observe themselves and externalize their issues. This helps people separate themselves from their traumas or illnesses to see what behaviors they want to change. This can involve something like giving a name to one’s anxiety or frustrations and seeing them as separate from oneself. In this way, narrative therapy helps eliminate the idea that people are their issues or problems.

A narrative therapist also works to get someone to see “alternative endings” to the story they are telling. This may mean that they are letting the storyline of their illness or issues push them forward toward growth. Narrative therapy can force someone to take control of their story and get a “desired ending” or make empowered changes. This therapy can also rewire how the brain sees traumatic memories that someone may be holding onto. Narrative therapy can allow someone to talk about things they weren’t able to talk about before and move forward.

How Narrative Therapy Reframes Trauma

As mentioned before, narrative therapy can assist with processing trauma through reframing and rewiring the way that the brain experiences it. Making changes and discussing trauma with a therapist may be difficult, but doing it through creative or narrative means allows deep healing. It also fosters experimentation and a chance to consider and implement new strategies and behaviors.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), narrative therapy (sometimes called narrative medicine) is a potent way for people to feel more empowered. This therapy is also a way to make meaning of the events in one’s life. A VA webpage explains how writing can change someone’s perspective and affect their healing. The VA also discusses how one veteran succeeded in his fight against post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by writing about his story.

Regarding writing and storytelling, the VA “sees the art of storytelling as imperative to healing because it enables people to express themselves, tell the truth, emote, and connect with others.” Writing can directly affect the recovery process by serving as a tool for healing.

The Impact of Narrative Therapy on Recovery

This process can greatly affect the outcomes of the recovery journey. If your daughter can reframe her pain and struggles, this can allow her to take control of her healing. Those who are in control of their healing and their actions can take active roles in avoiding relapse and triggers. At Clearview Girls Academy, students are expected to take charge of and be active participants in their healing and therapy. This empowered stance is incredibly helpful for long-term recovery and wellness.

When girls understand the nuances of their pain, this allows them to realize how to avoid experiencing it in the future. As your daughter separates herself from her illness or issues, this will allow her to see the ways that she can live better. This is especially important with adolescents as they are learning how to gain control of their own lives. If they are struggling with trauma or their mental health, narrative therapy can make a difference in their recovery.

Narrative therapy is a process that helps people understand and rewrite their life stories. When your daughter sees herself as a character in a story, this allows for changes to take place. When she can insert her own ending to the story, she can feel more hopeful and empowered. Narrative therapy is a trauma-informed modality best used within the context of a trusting relationship between a caring practitioner and a willing student. This therapy can place the power back into your daughter’s hands to create the healthy changes she needs. If your daughter is struggling with mental health or trauma, narrative therapy can help. Contact Clearview Girls Academy to learn more about our therapeutic offerings at (888) 796-5484.