Narrative therapy is founded on the belief that our identities are shaped by the personal accounts of our lives, found in the stories we tell. In narrative therapy, the conversations between client and therapist are respectful, non-judgmental and interactive. A narrative therapist will help the client to act as an investigator, asking probing questions to help the client explore and assess their relationship to a problem and identify opportunities for positive change.
The aim of narrative therapy is not to transform the person in therapy bu instead to transform the effects of an issue. The aim is to give space between an individual and their issue in order to see how the issues or concern is serving a person rather than harming them.
Individuals suffering posttraumatic stress often do so as a defense mechanism which may protect them from having to face certain difficult emotions associated with a traumatic event. This issue, however, raises new symptoms such as anxiety. Narrative therapy assists individuals to externalise an issue. This process aims to assist individuals develop greater self-compassion which in turn makes them more capable of change. For example psychologists have identified a process termed posttraumatic growth which refers to positive change that can occur after going through a traumatic event.