Tag Archive for: Stories

Stories at Work

Narrative Therapy-The One (and a half) Page Introduction

Stories at WorkThese are notes from a presentation to North Harbour Living Without Violence (4 July 2014), an organisation based in Auckland, New Zealand working to end domestic violence.

  • NT is about the re-storying of people lives
  • People are “interpretive beings”-we actively make sense of our lives in terms of “stories” (or narratives) through which we understand both ourselves and the world.
  • These stories are “constitutive” of life-they are not separate to us, but are ways in which we organise our experience of life.
  • Stories are influenced by the social and cultural discourses that surround us. We do not invent most of the stories that influence us.
  • We are all “multi-storied”, in that we may understand events in many ways. Stories compete for dominance in a person’s life. This competition is heavily influenced by societal and cultural discourses (eg. Western culture has many discourses around what constitutes beauty in women, work of value for both men and women, the role of men in households etc).
  • Michel Foucault

    French Philosopher-Michel Foucault

    Knowledge and power (Foucault) are intertwined in constructing societal discourse. This includes judgements on what it is to be normal/abnormal, good/bad, sane/insane, gay/straight, etc.

  • Since the late 1700’s dramatic shifts have occurred in Western society as greater urbanisation and industrialisation occurred in Western Europe. This includes a shift from what has been called operations of “traditional power” (acting to repress, suppress people etc) to operations of “modern power” (engaging people in the understandings of their lives through systems of evaluation, normalising judgement etc)-ie an “internalisation” of power. Professional psychology since the late 1800’s has heavily complicit in this project.
  • The aim of this project (according to Foucault) is to produce “docile and useful bodies” (i.e. people who actively participate in the “policing” of their own and others’ lives, according to certain normative standards).
  • NT is about:

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