Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1081-1082

Personal Narratives

  • Bernadette Hassan SolórzanoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Our Lady of the Lake University Community Counseling Service Email author 

Synonyms

Diaries; Histories; Journals; Narrative conversations; Outsider witnesses; Stories; Tales; Testimonials

Definition

Polkinghorne [3] stated that “narrative can refer to the process of making a story, to the cognitive scheme of the story, or the result of the process.” (p. 13) “Narrative” is a term that has become increasingly used in mainstream culture to describe such things as cultural narratives, gender narratives, political narratives, survivor narratives, illness narratives, etc [2, 5]. Narratives are used therapeutically in psychology. Postmodern therapy approaches consider narratives as a powerful component of therapy since postmodernist therapists believe that reality is constituted in language and narratives can be used to change understandings of a situation. If clients can create a more empowered narrative, it is the first step to creating an improved future. Personal narratives can be utilized in written or oral form. Michael White and David Epston im ...

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