The Client (or family member) is not the problem…the Problem is the Problem

I am not interested in labels that describe individuals and families like: dysfunctional, resistant, high-risk, chaotic, co-dependent. As Narrative Therapists, we view all people as multi-storied and remain focused on those ways of being that clients are most interested in activating in their lives and relationships. Traditional family and individual therapy is often framed in terms of problems that need to be addressed, with a consistent focus on what needs to be changed. Such a singular focus, however, does not help an individual or family develop a sense that things could be different. When individuals and families experience themselves as separate from the problem, a sense of relief is often experienced that diminishes the problem’s power and promotes personal resourcefulness. By identifying and engaging the ways in which these problems can be collaboratively challenged, space opens up for experiences that enrich the lives of individuals and families who come to consult with me.

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