How Can I Make My Story Meaningful?

There is a less often known therapy by the name of Narrative therapy. This therapy proposes the idea that our reality is in direct relation to our stories. In other words, we can perpetuate a change in the story by re-authoring the event in light of information gathered from another party – friend, spouse, parent, sibling, neighbor, therapist. This is a very natural approach, as people want to talk about what is bothering them. However, talking isn’t always enough. They need a “sounding board” or someone who can help them make sense of their reality. In terms of this theory, it’s a matter of replacing the dominant discourses (the way they think things are) with the subjective dialogue (the things we don’t talk about much). We often get stuck in our own dialogue so by having another trusted person to stand in as “sounding board”, we can be pointed to what we aren’t seeing so that together we re-author the event with new information we were unable to see before.

Narrative therapy also helps create a story of our events. This story draws upon knowledge from perhaps different vantage points. This knowledge gives us power to take control of events rather than allow the events to control us. It helps provide meaning to us while helping others to gain understanding through our stories.

On that note, I have agreed to join another author in a new book venture – telling his story as a spouse of someone who struggles mentally and emotionally with mental illness. Our hope is that together we can share his story in a meaningful way…