Narrative and psychotherapy

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Sage Publications, 1997 - Psychology - 180 pages
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The core of psychotherapy can be seen as a process in which the client comes to tell, and then re-author, an individual life-story or personal narrative. The author of this book argues that all therapies are, therefore, narrative therapies, and that the counselling experience can be understood in terms of telling and re-telling stories. If the story is not heard, then the therapist and the client are deprived of the most effective and mutually involving mode of discourse open to them. Taking a narrative approach also requires thinking about the nature of truth, the concept of the person, the relationship between therapist and client, and the knowledge base of psychotherapy. John McLeod examines the role and significance of stories in psychotherapy from within a broad-based cultural and theoretical framework, drawing on research from psychology, anthropology and sociolinguistics, while fully integrating previous theory and research. The text is illustrated throughout with case vignettes and excerpts from therapy transcripts. At the cutting edge of developments in counselling and psychotherapy theory, research and practice, this book is relevant to a 'therapy' which encompasses not only counselling and psychotherapy, but also important aspects of social and community work, self-help and psychiatry. Narrative and Psychotherapy will be of particular value to students and practitioners in psychotherapy, clinical psychology and family therapy, as well as social scientists interested in narrative.

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The Nature and Function of Storytelling
Psychodynamic Approaches
Constructivist Narrative Therapies

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About the author (1997)

John McLeod is Professor of Counselling at the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, and previous Professor of Counselling Studies at Keele University, England. Originally trained in person-centered counseling and psychotherapy, he has shifted in recent years in the direction of a narrative-informed approach. Research interests include the development of qualitative methods for the hermeneutic narrative analysis of interview and psychotherapy transcript data, and the creation of practitioner-oriented research strategies. He has published six books, including An Introduction to Counselling, Second Edition (Open University Press 1998), which incorporates a chapter on narrative approaches, Narrative & Psychotherapy (Sage Ltd, 1997), which reviews recent developments in narrative-informed theory, research and practice, and Qualitative Research in Counselling & Psychotherapy (Sage Ltd, 2000), which includes a chapter on research into narrative and discourse in psychotherapy. He has also published over 30 chapters and papers on a range of counseling and psychotherapy topics.

In addition to their academic work, both Angus and McLeod are practicing clinicians who see clients, train and supervise clinical psychologists in psychotherapy and counseling skills and are engaged in psychotherapy process and outcome research. In their work, they attempt to fully integrate theory and research into practice, and they believe that each component of the process-practice, theory, evaluation/research-inform each other.


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