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Unread May 22nd, 2006, 07:49 PM
Artaide Artaide is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Montréal, Quebec
Posts: 4
Post Re: is narrative therapy an arts' therapy

This is an interesting question as it confronts our definitions and the boundaries we draw around disciplines.

Martin, you are collapsing the narrative therapy approach with some of its tools when you assume narrative therapy IS expressive writing.
"Most art school now have MFA in Writing programs, since prose or verse is considered an art medium, and the writing process is now understood to be as creative and complex as any other artistic process."
It's not a priori. Narrative therapy is first a way of understanding how people make sense of their lives: through stories. It is just as much a TALK (conversational) therapy approach, in that it takes into account the way people 'story' their lived experience. Hoda does mention something similar in an earlier posting.
" Narrative therapy consists of understanding the stories or themes that have shaped a person's life. Out of all the experiences a person has lived, what has held the most meaning? [...] Therefore, narrative therapy focuses on building the plot which connects a person's life together."
Narrative therapy is very much about re-authoring or re-storying (what other psych approaches call reframing) the problematic areas of a client's life. The tools that are used can be journaling or other writing or picturing exercises informed by a narrative understanding of therapy.

A very good article by a psychotherapist can be read here:

Maria asks if Narrative Therapy is an 'art therapy', my answer is not a priori. It is however a theoretical understanding that informs arts therapists (just like feminist therapy does) who add creative tools such as visual and textual journaling to their narrative toolbox. Hope this helps.

NOTE: Martin you bring up a thorny question that is worth exploring. How do we define professions? ours seems too often defined by our tools, when it should in my opinion be defined by the psych and social healing processes linked to CREATING AND CREATIVITY, instead of our paint brushes. Thoughts?
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