Insights from Narrative Counselling

As a professional involved in student development in a post-secondary setting, I was recently intrigued when a colleague outside my organization told me he had started exploring narrative counselling in his work.

He said individuals are often stuck because they have created unfavourable story lines of how their lives are playing out. They are unaware that there are infinite story lines that can be created for their lives. This caught my attention because one, I like stories, and two, I like talks of infinity.

To begin my exploration of narrative counselling, I read Narrative Counseling in Schools. It was powerful and brief.

Book by John Winslade and Gerald Monk.
Cover of book Narrative Counseling in Schools. Photo by M. Fleming

Everyone can benefit from some of the ideas highlighted in the book.

First, we can realize that everyone has gifts and abilities. When we interact with others, we can approach conversations with a respectful curiosity, look for hidden talents, and help construct appealing story lines.

Second, we can encourage and inspire others to write different scripts for their lives. The authors of the book write:

For most of us, it is not possible to make radical changes in our lives without somebody cheering us on.

I’m excited to help people craft their stories, and I’m excited to cheer them on. I’m also excited that others can help me craft my story. And I hope they cheer me on too.

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