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What is true of narrative therapy and solution-focused therapy?

The client is an expert on his own life.

A major goal of narrative therapy

Invite clients to describe their experience in new and fresh language, and in doing this open up a new vision of what is possible.

Narratlive therapy is...

viewing problems in a sociopolitical and cultural context; assisting clients in developing an alternative life story; creating a therapeutic relationship that is collaborative; recognizing that clients know what is best for their life and are experts in their own life.

Techniques used in solution-focused therapy

scaling questions, the miracle question, formula first session task, exception questions.

A major strength in both solution-focused and narrative therapies

is the use of questioning

Two of the major founders of solution focused therapy are...

Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer

Two major founders of narrative therapy...

Michael White and David Epston

The therapeutic process in solution focused brief therapy involves ...

the notion of creativing collaborative therapeutic relationships; of asking clients about those times when their problems were not present or when the problems were less severe; that clients are the experts on their own lives; that solutions evolve out of therapeutic conversations and dialogues.

Basic assumptions guiding solution focused therapy

Individuals who come to therapy have the ability to effectively cope with their problems; There are advantages to a positive focus on solutions and on the future; clients want to change, have the capacity to change, and are doing their best to make change happen.

Customer-type relationship

Solution focused therapy relationship characterized by the client and therapist jointly identifying a problem and a solution to work toward.

Pretherapy change is a solution focused therapy

that asks clients to address changes that have taken place from the time they made an appointment to the first therapy session.

The Miracle Question

Solution focused therapy techniques involving asking clients to describe life without the problem.

The search for unique outcomes

In narrative therapy, the process of finding evidence to bolster a new view of the person as competent enough to have stood up to or defeated the dominance or oppression of the problem.

Creating alterative stories....

constructing new stories goes hand in hand with deconstructing problem-saturated narratives; The therapist works with clients collaboratively by helping them construct more coherent and comprehensive stories that they live by; the development of alternative stories is an enactment of ultimate hope' the narrative therapist listens for openings to new stories.

unique outcome

aspects of lived experience that lie outside the realm of dominant stories or in contradiction to the problem-saturated story.

totalizing descriptions

a categorical description of people that constricts them to a single dimension that purports to capture their identity.

solution focused brief therapy

a postmodern approach to therapy that provides a context whereby individuals focus on recovering and creating solutions rather than talking about their problems.

social constructionism

a therapeutic perspective within a postmodern worldview that stresses the client's reality. Social constructionism emphasizes the ways in which people make meaning in social relationships.

scaling questions

a solutions focused technique that asks clients to observe changes in feelings, moods, thoughts, and behaviors. On a scale of zero to 10, clients are asked to rate some change in their experiences.


a process in narrative therapy in which client and therapist jointly create an alternative life story

problem saturated story

people often come to therapy feeling overwhelmed by their problems to which the are fused. Narrative therapists assist clients in understanding that they do not have to be reduced by these totalizing descriptions of their identity.

pretherapy change

at the first therapy session, solution focused therapists often inquire about presession improvements, or anything clients have done since scheduling the appointment that has made a difference in their problems.


a believer in subjective realities that cannot exist independently of the observational processes used. Problems exist when people agree that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.


a philosophical movement across a variety of disciples that has aimed at critically examining many of the aassumptions that are part of the extablished truths of society. The postmodern worldview acknowledges the complexity, relativity, and intersubjectivity of all human experience.

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