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February 8th, 2021

Narrative Therapy for Children

Child Therapy

This model pulls on listening to and telling or retelling stories about people and the problems in their lives. During this therapeutic process, it is hard to believe that conversations can shape new realities. The idea behind this model is that these narratives (illustrations, artworks, verbal or written stories) build bridges of meaning and assist children to heal, furthering their individual developments to flourish instead of wither and be forgotten. 

Naturally, language plays an important role in aiding children in this healing narrative process. It can transform into stories (and experiences) of hope as sessions progress. This hope helps children organize, predict, and understand the complexities of our lived experiences. The meaning of these experiences is processed and often connected to events and options the child is considering. 

Young persons and their families may not have control over whether a certain problem is in their life, but how they “deal with it” is still their choice. 

A large component of this model is externalization. When children externalize, their identity remains exploratory and relatively fluid. This fluidity allows the child to explore variations of attitude, identity, and behaviour. Further, examining the child dealing with or facing the problem rather than being a problem is a start in making shifts in the child’s identity. Dynamic learning as well as creative play lend themselves well to narrative approaches.

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