“When we deny the story it defines us; when we own the story we can write a brave new ending.” ~ Brene Brown
Our lives are a mosaic of many different stories, all of which comprise our worldview, beliefs and values. These stories define us—or at least we think they do—but what if the story we believe about an experience we had, or who we are, isn’t accurate?
What if a shift in perspective changes everything?
There’s my truth and there’s the truth, and the two can be vastly different.
In my work as a counsellor I use writing as a foundational tool for healing. The model of Narrative Therapy is about redefining the stories we tell ourselves and each other. Every single decision we make about the past the present and the future is rooted in those stories. Some of those stories are wonderful; others keep us angry, stuck in the past, too hurt to be vulnerable and too afraid to be emotionally intimate in relationships.
Narrative Therapy is also about separating the person from the problem. How much of the negative parts of who you believe yourself to be is based on failures from the past? We all mess up, but then we make a choice: we either do our best to make amends and accept our flawed humanity, or we internalize the behaviour and decide we aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or worthy of love and belonging. Those choices change everything.
I help my clients to reframe self-destructive stories and shift perspective, exploring what they believe about who they are right now. When a person is able to internalize the truth, they can begin to heal.