Thickening Narrative Therapy Through Existential Psychotherapy


Then it’s here, now. The past is written from many perspectives, but the future is still empty and now it is a work of writing. Narrative therapy is a form of therapy that uses storytelling or a story in our way of looking at our life situations. We were looking for a crack in the lens that talked about an alternative way to recognize our problems. Not to change the story, but to tell it from a different perspective. Narrative therapy honors these stories and yet recognizes that every perspective is full of meaning, that family, society, culture are predetermined as the “right” meaning. Existential therapy tends to focus more on the individual approach and focus on the “present” instead of the past or the future. Instead, it examines limitations and scope. The four main components of analysis in existentialism are meaning (against nonsense), freedom (vs. imprisonment), death (ref. life) and isolation (against inclusion) (Yalom, 1980). Narrative therapy and existential psychotherapy can help fill the gaps left one by one. It includes past, present and future tenses and gives meaning to both individual and collective perspectives. The concept of definition has been avoided by philosophers for thousands of years. It has proved almost impossible to give a precise definition. The way we use the definition is a thread that runs through most major psychotherapeutic schools. The perspective of narrative therapy is that meaning is not given, nothing is full of meaning, but it is an interpretation of experience. This interpretation is through the theory of the social construction of reality. Accordingly (“Social Construction of Reality”, 2009):

The central concept of the social construction of reality chronic illness help is that individuals and groups interact in the social system, form concepts or mental representations of each other’s actions over time, and that these concepts eventually become accustomed to the reciprocal roles played by actors in their relationship. When these roles are available to other members of society to get involved and play, they interact with each other. They are said to be institutionalized. In the process of this institutionalization, the meaning is placed in the “People’s knowledge and concepts (and beliefs)) of what reality has become part of the institutional structure of society.”

A more general way of expressing this is that we give meaning to the experience through language, symbols and interactive dialogue. Experience comes first, and then that experience is filtered by these cultural transactions that create interpretation. Just because we see blue is “blue” just because it’s an assigned meaning that happens in a cultural context. A quick formula for the importance of narrative therapy is that experience and interpretation match the meaning.

One of the basic concepts of existential psychotherapy is Sartre’s often quoted expression “existence precedes essence.” Meaning is constructed personally, as opposed to socially constructed. When we all die, there are gifts we have to deal with. Within this framework, meaning is then personally constructed. Because sometime in the future we will die, what does the present mean? This meaning is assumed to come from the individual. We can be more honest than real people if we accept this limitation, but ask ourselves what we will do about it? At first there was only one, as in the present tense, and then we máy nén khí make it the essence. Significance in existential psychotherapy probably concerns more arched beliefs, such as the question “what is the meaning of life?”

An important theoretical movement in narrative therapy is to pay attention to the so-called sparking moment. When a client tells a story about what brought her to the therapist’s office, the therapist listens to the passage of the story as opposed to the main story. A story that tells a different picture the way we want, for example, when a client tells a story about depression and the therapist listens to events or times without depression. Telling this alternative story in narrative therapy is called “re-authoring.” The therapist can also help with this by initiating a so-called “memory” conversation, in which great emphasis is placed on the birth of a past important person who helped the client a lot in life. It can be a friend, a lover, a parent, a musician or even a writer. In order for a therapist to help a client in this way, he must remain the focal point and not be influenced. They can do this by helping the client “block” the desired storyline by stimulating the details of what is being said, instead of having a thin description of the event. For example, instead of just saying that the weather is nice outside, ask why the customer likes it outside. Whatever the scent, the air, the feeling makes you think, it is good for the therapist to recall the many histories of existential psychotherapy to help compact the desired way of life.

Existential psychotherapy has a long history of knowing how to use what Howard Gardner calls more sciences. According to Wikipedia, this is the intelligence of the body’s kinesthetic, interpersonal, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic, intrapersonal, visual-spatial and musical intelligence (“Theory of multiple intelligences”, 2009). Howard Gardner proposed that the ninth intelligence be existential intelligence. Existential intelligence includes the ability to challenge larger life issues such as death, life, and possible spiritual significance (“Theory of Multiple Intelligences”, 2009). Narrative therapy also incorporates this idea into many sciences, although it is unclear. The therapist is advised to explore with the client the best way of expression. This can be through music therapy, writing therapy or even art therapy. Existential psychotherapy combined with humanistic psychotherapy has historically promoted the concept of the whole self, even from the point of view of research. The therapist is not from the role of an expert, but from a genuine human interest or phenomenological approach. For this approach to be fully available, the intelligence that works best with the customer must be a research path for further development.

We are now in temporary eternity, but we always focus on future plans, worries, hopes or even dreams. Just as we do not focus on the future, we focus on the past. The past focuses on our worries, shame, and even our doubts. This is probably an area of ​​narrative therapy. This means that it links the sequence of events over a specific period of time and makes sense of it. Narrative therapy is currently experiencing difficulties. He puts the center like me in comparison with the Buddhist concept of selflessness. This own position is defined in the situation by an observer who examines or remembers the storyline. The notion of selflessness contradicts this position and there is no observer, but it is now in the time horizon. The concept of existence is presence or being (like a flower that opens up to what it is). Existential psychotherapy honors the past and the possible future, but the most important source of time is today. James Bugental calls it a living moment (Bogental, p. 20). While in the phase of rewriting and thickening the storyline in narrative therapy, this existential attitude may prove to be very informative. It can also be used in the problem-saturated phase of stories. If the client seems to be stuck in the effects or judgments of a particular event, ask what the current emotions, thoughts, smells, etc. are to remove the obstacle. Temporary retention today has many aspects that can be evaluated, such as current kinesthetic experience. This is a possible way to help with the jam problem.


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