weekly blog--one for the ages
In Newton, it’s not usual to have at least one psychologist or therapist in attendance at a large gathering. Our annual neighborhood holiday party was no different. The psychologist in our group told me about a relatively new therapy approach that was being used to empower older people struggling with memory loss, drug addiction, depression, loneliness and other mindful maladies associated with getting and being old.
How Narrative Therapy works: a client tells a therapist a story about an event that happened in the past. The client and therapist then review and discuss how things happened, why they happened, and work through challenges that the client may be facing in real life.
Experts in this emerging field say that storytelling effectively counteracts the initial denial that can arise when a patient learns of a new diagnosis or is asked to change deeply ingrained behaviors. Patients may react to this news by thinking it’s not directly related to them, or that their experience will be different.
Storytelling may have its greatest impact on patients who distrust the medical system, who have difficulty understanding or acting on health information, and who need help recognizing the importance of addressing chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure that have few obvious or immediate symptoms.