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NUTS AND BOLTS Examples of how you and I dislocate the 'Problem-Saturated' Story when you feel depression
Families frequently 'construct' and live within self-defeating and failure-centered narratives, called Problem Saturated Stories. Change can be accomplished by gaining access to the multi-version story, or by allowing space for differing perspectives. As individuals, when we challenge an embedded and undisputed family story with our personal perspective, it allows us to 're-author' the experience with elements that were not considered by others, but that held meaning to us, personally. This 're-authoring,' allows us to affirm and empower ourselves and to genuinely be heard and understood.
--- WHERE ARE YOU STARTING FROM? Externalizing the Problem: Naming it
This helps you view the problem or symptom as occurring outside of yourself.
Example: “I’m depressed” to “I have depression."
When we change the position of a problem (such as altering the way we talk about depression) and we don't embody the words; problems become more manageable. Everything is easier to look at with a liitle distance, and this is what our therapy conversations create; some space between you and the problem so that you can get a better look at it.
Mapping the Influence: Building a 'single' story into a layered, multi-level account
Example: "I'm always depressed"
How long would you say depression has been present in your life?
How long have you been struggling with depression?
Together, you and I find exceptions to this problem saturated story that tends to be generated from a 'single' idea, such as, "I'm depressed." Without further inspection, this example of depression is erroneously determined to be coming from a single source, such as you, the one who is experiencing the depression.
With depression, you and I are invited to explore how people, places, and situations might likely be contributing to that depression. The depression is something that you are experiencing and that is currently preventing certain choices to be fortified. However, depression is not who you are.
The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem, remember?
Mapping the Effects
Can you think of a time when your relationship with depression felt better?
By mapping, you and I locate unique outcomes and sparkling moments that appeared when you showed up for yourself differently and depression subsided. This is what strength-based therapy looks for, as opposed to looking for the problems that you are already experiencing. Our work together serves to empower and assist you in better understanding your own insight, hope, strengths and resiliency. You are everything you need.
With unique outcomes, we might wonder: What you did at those times to keep depression at bay?
Or, with sparkling moments, when you were able to function in spite of the depression, we might ask: What enabled you to do that?
Telling and Re-telling (Definitional Ceremonies) Comprehensive understanding of a person requires what narrative therapists call 'thick' descriptions. These come about through the telling of the story (by the person) and re-telling of what the person related (by the reflecting team or the therapist), with each passing it thickens the story, thereby, challenging the single version or 'thin' story. This is also called decentered sharing.
This technique when used, employs outside witness groups and helps to reinforce alternative narratives and affirm meanings
Letters Summary letters from me to you following our sessions, will be made available upon request. Please note that no letters of summary will be provided for court mandated officials.
Other letters that are written by you, the client, include: Letters of Invitation for family members to attend sessions, Redundancy or Duplicate letters note when the roles of family members become duplicated, such as a sister behaving as a mother to her brother; Discharge letters telling the person playing the duplicate role that they’re released from “duty,” Letters of prediction forecast continued success and new possibilities.
Supportive Leagues: This technique changes patient to the consultant
Based on the idea that people who have experienced similar problems have the experience and knowledge to help one another, this technique is used with the 'consultants' sharing their experiences, and then building upon each other’s skills to overcome the problem.
Goldberg and Goldberg (2008) write that “people who have experienced certain problems, such as anorexia and bulimia have the experience and knowledge about the problem to help one another by sharing experiences with others” (p. 379).
Kristin F. Jones℠Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #92360 3171 Los Feliz Bl #311, Los Angeles, Ca, 90039.