Narrative Therapy Case Study

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Narrative Therapy: A Brief Overview
Narrative Therapy (NT) is a post-modern approach to Family Therapy (FT), derived from French post-structuralist theory, in particular Foucault’s concepts on dominant and subjugated discourses. This represents a major departure from more traditional FT models (i.e. Structural Therapy, Strategic Therapy, Transgenerational FT etc.) which, due to their overtly modern worldview, frames familial interactions as mechanistic processes and prescribes correspondingly rigid interventions. The post-modern principles on which NT is based, gives it its distinct position and flavour. Post-modernism is a notoriously difficult concept to define, with multiple versions and no singular consensus amongst scholars. A common
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She has availed herself to therapy because her relationship with her mother has become “intolerable”. She loves her family, especially her mother, with whom she is very close. However, in the past months, Lily’s mother has been giving very strong suggestions that Lily should find a husband and settle down soon. Lily faces conflicting emotions within her- on one hand she would like to honour her family by marrying and settling down. On the other hand, Lily is deeply insecure about her attractiveness and her womanhood due to several past break-ups which she is unable to communicate with her mother. Lily resents the fact that her mother could not appreciate the love she has shown to the family in other ways. She feels her model behaviour as a filial daughter all her life counts for nothing. Also, despite grappling with issues about her identity and self-worth as a woman which surfaced after her recent break-up, Lily has also begun to consider single-hood as very plausible. Her success as a teacher and a professional has of course contributed to this- Lily enjoys her vocation and feels empowered to make a difference in the lives of her students, and leads an active, independent life both within and outside school. The role of therapy in Lily’s case, via the above mentioned NT practises, should help Lily and her mother re-author the following personal narratives into more positive alternative, preferred ones: (1) filial piety is reflected in marital status or only uncertain acts, (2) failing in a relationship means than the person is permanently unlovable and (3) remaining single is a very undesirable

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