What Is Your Life Story?
In many ways therapy is an opportunity to tell your life story. No one is a better expert on the story of your life than you, not even your therapist. Like telling any story, there are many ways in which that story can go, there are numerous threads that can be explored and developed. Also like any story, there is scope for it to be re-written. Life presents us with many challenging events, people and issues and how we look at these and interpret them will inevitably affect how we experience them; positively, negatively or somewhere in between. Therapy can help to re-interpret and re-evaluate life experiences and relationships so that they can be approached in healthier, more productive ways. While the past cannot be changed, we can work on how we look at our past and the lessons we take from it into our present and future. On the therapy journey, the therapist can become an editor and co-author of your story helping you to interpret it, understand it and in some cases re-define it. An important aspect of this is that ownership and power over your story remains with you, your therapist is your assistant, your confidant and sometimes your guide in weaving your way through the complex tapestry of your life story.
In the words of Alice Morgan, author of “What is narrative therapy? An easy-to-read introduction”:
“When I meet with the people consulting me, I sometimes think of the possibilities for the directions of the conversation as if they are roads on a journey. There are many cross-roads, intersections, paths and tracks to choose from. With every step, a new and different cross road or intersection emerges – forwards, back, right, left, diagonal, in differing degrees. With each step that I take with the person consulting me, we are opening more possible directions. We can choose where to go and what to leave behind. We can always take a different path, retrace our steps, go back, repeat a track, or stay on the same road for some time. At the beginning of the journey we are not sure where it will end, nor what will be discovered.”
What is your life story? Are you there any aspects of it that trouble you or that you would like to have a new perspective on? Would you like to take ownership of that story and decide how it impacts on your life from this point on? Therapy can be a very productive way of understanding and evaluating the events of your life so that you can move forward with greater awareness, fresh perspectives and a new outlook.