Narrative Theory

3691 Words May 15th, 2012 15 Pages
Narrative Theory and Victims of Domestic Violence
Elena Murphy
San Francisco State University

Abstract
This paper examines online publications on narrative theory and therapy with domestic violence victims. It explores the history of narrative theory as well as what assumptions are made about individual and family clients when using the theory. The paper reviews the techniques that are used in narrative theory and then applies these techniques to a case study involving a victim of domestic abuse. The purpose of applying the use of narrative theory to a case is to examine how it is utilized in practice and how it can be used to empower a specific population.

Introduction Women who have experienced domestic
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This control takes power away from individuals and makes psychotherapy a very subjective practice. With these influences, along with the addition of strengths-based and solutions-focused approaches to therapy White and Epston were able to develop the narrative theory (Furlong, 2008).
Basic Assumptions Based on influences from Foucault and other scholars, narrative therapy assumes that the stories people tell and the language that they use play a role in their interpersonal and intrapersonal problems (Mattingly, 1998). The stories that cultures tell about such concepts as gender, class and race influence members views on the meaning behind these concepts. Because of external influences, when a client brings up a problem it is not the problem itself that needs to be examined. Instead, the client is being affected by their own framing of the problem. The stories that people tell themselves are shaped by society and can become problematic when a client feels that they no longer have control over their own story (Ross & Shapiro, 2002). It is also assumed that the act of telling a story can provide insight into past, present and future events (Espinoza, 1997). By going through this process, individuals can find the importance of certain events and assign roles to people who are a part of their story. This act can allow a client to find new meaning and understanding to their reality (Espinoza, 1997). Not only is a

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