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Story Telling Therapy

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For this ds106 assignment I decided to pick the one about storytelling and how it’s a new, experimental, “method” of Psychotherapy. My initial thought, while going through the website, was it sounded a bit redundant. There are many different “methods” of psychotherapy (drawing, counseling, acting it out) and I believe the key to all them is the relationship between the client and the therapist, which this website made sure to mention. For those who don’t know, psychotherapy is basically talk therapy. The client and therapist build a relationship in order to help the client with whatever problem they are having. What I thought it was interesting and kind of funny was that they mentioned, “Storytelling Therapy is difficult to distinguish from ordinary conversation.” And that made me think, this is true because I’m always telling my friends/family about what happened in my life that day (stories) and so on.

Now, the basic problem I have with this kind of therapy is that it’s like projective testing. This means that when the client is talking (telling a story) they will express their “unconscious attitudes and motivations that are beyond or hidden from conscious awareness.”(wiki). An example of one of these tests, which this website reminded me of, are the Rorschach test (inkblot) and the Thematic Apperception Test. The TAT is where the therapist shows pictures to the client, one at a time and the client is asked to tell a story of what they think is going on in the picture. And personally, I’m not a big fan of these open ended question method because they’re not really reliable and they’re not very valid. And from my understanding, projective tests aren’t really used. Now, I’m not saying this storytelling technique/method is a projective test. It just reminded me of projective testing. Basically, I really don’t think it matters which method of psychotherapy is used because it’s known that psychotherapy works.

Overall, this website reminded me of Carl Rogers Client Centered Therapy, which is very much used. This is where the therapist makes a no-judgment zone for the client and the client can talk about whatever they like with the help of some guidance from the therapist. Interesting enough, it’s shown to work best for young (college) people and wealthy people; I wonder if this storytelling method would work the same way or be different. Overall, this was an interesting read but in the end, I think it’s important that the client is comfortable and that they pick which “method” works best to talk/communicate; drawing, stories, acting. It also very much depends on the client because psychotherapy isn’t right for everyone. The client needs to be comfortable and they need to believe in what they’re doing because what really matters is getting better and getting better has a lot to do with the relationship between the client and therapist not the “method” in which this takes place; storytelling or not.

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