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Stories in Therapy

The significance of your ‘personal’ story in therapy can’t be underestimated as it defines who you are. The narratives we hold shape the beliefs we have about ourselves and can become the lens we see through; they will have an impact on how we respond to situations, to other people and also how we respond to our own needs.

If your client's story is one of always being the rebel and constantly breaking rules they might find it hard to agree with the suggestions that come out of therapy. Or, as their therapist, you might experience them as appearing to disagree with everything you say just for the hell of it!

While this kind of behaviour may get them some kudos with your mates, it probably doesn't do them any favours at work, or in their relationships. So it wouldn't be surprising for this story to repeat itself in the therapy room too.

Brendon Fraser Stories Therapy Typecase

Just as actors can be type cast within certain roles, so too can your clients. Brendon Fraser is a powerful, recent example of people being typecast within a certain role and how this affected his career, livelihood and mental health.

The risk is that as the therapist, you can become caught up in the 'story' as well, and miss the opportunity to explore where the clients' story has actually come from. Sometimes clients may have adopted these stories from their families, or from experiences they have had of growing up.

It may even be that they have modelled themselves on another person that they either admired or feared. It could even be a character from fiction or film.

Being unaware of the unconscious narrative, can dictate the way that we relate in every aspect of our lives and can become restricting and prevent us from developing and growing.

Therapy can help your client to realise that they no longer need to be restricted by the story of the rebellious child who needs confirmation even at the expense of trouble; and this can free them up to take a different role.


Perhaps this has sparked your interest in training as a Cognitive Analytic Therapist? If so, click below to find out more

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