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About the Video:
In Narrative Therapy, Dr. Lynne Angus demonstrates her approach to psychotherapy. Researchers and practitioners from many backgrounds have identified client narrative expression as the common ground of social discourse in psychotherapy. Narrative therapy focuses on the client's understanding of his or her own story and how the client's emotions, actions, and problems fit into the context of the story. This approach seeks to reach one of three goals: to put "untold" aspects of the client's past into the life narrative, help clients emotionally enter and reauthor their own stories, or help clients construct new meanings in relation to stories that may emerge in therapy.
In this session, Dr. Angus works with a client suffering from depression who has boundary issues with her family. Dr. Angus helps the client to "own" her story and recognize her own agency in improving her life.
Running Time: Over 100 minutes; closed-captioned.
About the Approach:
Drawing on the assumptions of a dialectical–constructivist model of therapeutic change (Greenberg & Angus, 2004), Dr. Angus views productive client narrative expression as arising from a dialectical interplay of autobiographical memory storytelling, emotional differentiation, and reflexive meaning-making processes. Each of the three narrative process modes also have a corresponding therapeutic goal.
About the Therapist:
Lynne Angus, PhD, CPsych, is a professor of clinical psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is the immediate past-president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, North American Chapter. She is the senior editor of the Handbook of Narrative and Psychotherapy: Practice, Theory and Research (with J. MacLeod, 2004) and has published more than 40 research articles and chapters relating to the contributions of narrative expression and metaphor in psychotherapy. In addition, her research interests have focused on the empirical assessment of narrative organization and emotional expression in effective therapeutic treatments of depression.
She is the originator of the Narrative Processes Coding System (NPCS) that was codeveloped with Heidi Levitt and Karen Hardtke. The NPCS has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Finnish, and German, and is currently being used in several international psychotherapy research initiatives. Both her approach to therapeutic practice and ongoing research program are centrally concerned with understanding the importance of client narrative expression for experiences of significant self-change in psychotherapy.