Narrative Therapy Lingo

Narrative Therapy Lingo

Post structuralism– The idea that meaning, knowledge and concepts are socially constructed and changeable. In the same way, the idea that there is no, one true reality, reality depends on the perceiver. In fact, this construction of meaning or perception of reality, can and does change all the time in every moment. Nothing is essentially what it is, concepts are defined in how they relate to each other and by one’s frame of reference.

Discourse– All that can be said about a certain topic, including history, cultural implications, etc. Equally, the story of a topic. (i.e., gender discourse).

Identity conclusions –The labels by which people view themselves. They can be problematic or preferred. (i.e., I am…..a fat person, a loser, worthless; or caring, a fast learner, a good driver)

narrative therapy lingo absent but implicitThin – Opposite of a rich description, a single layer of description, leaving a multitude of things out.

Externalizing- Language that, in the conversation, invites the person to separate themselves and their identity with the problem. “I am a person who is depressed” or “the anxiety influence me to do (such and such)”

Recruited– How a problem comes in to our life.

Dominant story– A story that takes up lots of space in our lives. The story that influences us the most in terms of meaning making, often dwarfing other subordinate story lines to the point they might become invisible. Not always a problem, though is it usually preferable to experience one’s life as multi-storied.

Narrative Vocabulary

Local knowledges– Knowledge passed down by our families, cultures and communities.

Scaffolding-Asking questions that help a person get into other stories lines, or unpack a concept.

Unpack– Deconstruct a term, actually, by asking more details about it including its’ history and meaning in a given context. Establish a context for the meaning of a concept or idea.

De-centered – Therapeutic posture of keeping the client’s ideas, skills and meanings at the center of the conversation.

Map– Lines of inquiry. Set of questions.

Again, lots words tossed around in the narrative therapy world.

What other narrative therapy lingo do you know? 

2 thoughts on “Narrative Therapy Lingo”

  1. it’s very interesting. Answering some of these questions like the Dominant story, I realize that at different stages in life, the dominant story is different, but by “unpacking” it, it goes back to the same origins. Most of what we endure is linked to other things. amazing 🙂

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