Narrative psychiatry brings the heart and agility of narrative therapy to the practice of psychiatry. What makes narrative psychiatry different from psychiatry-as-usual is that rather than focusing primarily on finding the source of the problem, narrative psychiatry also focuses on finding and cultivating sources of strength and meaning.
Narrative psychiatry combines narrative and biological understandings of human suffering and well-being. It’s is animated by the idea that we experience our lives and our identities through the stories we tell about ourselves and that we are embodied creatures fortified by and beholden to our biology. It relishes developing inspiring stories of a person’s resiliency and skill in resisting mental health challenges while dismantling narratives that fuel problems. It cultivates relationships, communities and resources that a person finds sustaining and examines what the doctor’s kit of psychiatry has to offer in light of the values and preferences of the person seeking consultation, authorizing them as the arbiter of what is helpful and what is not, including psychotropic medicines. Narrative psychiatry is a strengths-based, collaborative approach that offers myriad ways to provide person-centered, recovery-oriented mental health treatment.
Are you drawn to narrative practices and want to employ them more fully in your work with those who are dealing with challenging mental health problems? If so, this online course is for you. Designed for psychiatrists, psychotherapists and other clinicians who work in psychiatric contexts, the goal of this course is to enable participants to more fully apply the principles and practices of narrative psychiatry in their work. Through transcripts, videos, readings, practice suggestions, and online discussion, we will focus on:
- Developing collaborative, emotionally-attuned therapeutic relationships in psychiatric contexts
- Conducting therapeutic strengths-and values-based initial consultations that generate narratives of success in overcoming problems while also gathering information needed to clarify symptoms and plan treatment
- Externalizing and deconstructing problems, including psychotic experiences
- Cultivating stories of strength, meaning and agency with those using psychotropic medicines or facing tenacious psychiatric problems
- Creating strengths-based, collaborative medical records and treatment plans.