Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 211–221 | Cite as

Adding Silence to Stories: Narrative Therapy and Contemplation

Original Paper

Abstract

A review of the literature reveals that one particular form of contemplation—mindfulness—has been integrated into cognitive-behavioral therapy. Built upon this background, this article raises the issue of combining contemplation and narrative therapy. It first examines the unique experiences that occur when one enters into silence. Then, it explores the implications of these experiences for narrative therapy. A contemplative-based approach to narrative therapy differs from traditional narrative therapy in that it utilizes: (a) contemplative skills, (b) contemplative and narrative metaphors, (c) modified interventions, and (d) broader views of reality and self. The outcome is an enlarged narrative approaches that possess numerous benefits and possibilities for future treatment models.

Keywords

Narrative therapy Contemplation Spirituality 

References

  1. Anderson, H. (1994). The recovery of soul. In B. H. Childs & D. W. Waanders (Eds.), The treasure of earthen vessels (pp. 208–223). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, H. (1997). Conversations, language, and possibilities: A postmodern approach to therapy. New York: BasicBooks.Google Scholar
  3. Aponte, H. J. (2002). Spirituality: The heart of therapy. In T. Carlson & M. Erickson (Eds.), Spirituality and family therapy (pp. 13–27). New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  4. Baer, R. A., & Krietemeyer, J. (2006). Overview of mindfulness- and acceptance-based treatment approaches. In R. A. Baer (Ed.), Mindfulness-based treatment approaches (pp. 3–27). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Barsness, R. (2006). Surrender and transcendence in the therapeutic encounter. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 25, 44–53.Google Scholar
  6. Becvar, D. S. (1997). Soul healing. New York: BasicBooks.Google Scholar
  7. Becvar, D. S. (2007). Families that flourish. New York: W.W.Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  8. Bourgeault, C. (2004). Centering prayer and inner awakening. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications.Google Scholar
  9. Carlson, T. D., Erickson, M. J., & Seewald-Marquardt, A. (2002). The spiritualities of therapists’ lives: Using therapists’ spiritual beliefs as a resource for relational ethics. In T. Carlson & M. Erickson (Eds.), Spirituality and family therapy (pp. 215–236). New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Combs, G., & Freedman, J. (2004). The poststructuralist approach to narrative work. In L. E. Angus & J. McLeod (Eds.), The handbook of narrative and psychotherapy practice, theory, and research. (pp. 137–155). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  11. Drewery, W., & Winslade, J. (1997). The theoretical story of narrative therapy. In G. Monk, J. Winslade, K. Crocket, & D. Epston (Eds.), Narrative therapy in practice: The archaeology of hope (pp. 32–52). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  12. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  13. Gergen, K. J. (1994). Realities and relationships: Soundings in social construction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Germer, C. K. (2005). Mindfulness: What is it? What does it matter? In C. K. Germer, R. D. Siegel, & P. R. Fulton (Eds.), Mindfulness and psychotherapy (pp. 3–27). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  15. Germer, C. K. (2006). You gotta have heart. Psychotherapy Networker, 54–59, 65, January/February.Google Scholar
  16. Griffith, J. L., & Griffith, M. E. (2002). Encountering the sacred in psychotherapy. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hamer, D. (2004). The God gene: How faith is hardwired into our genes. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  18. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., Bunting, K., Twohig, M., & Wilson, K. G. (2004). What is acceptance and commitment therapy. In S. C. Hayes & K. D. Strosahl (Eds.), A practical guide to acceptance and commitment therapy (pp. 3–29). New York: Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Hoyt, M. F., & Combs, G. (1996). On ethics and the spiritualities of the surface: A conversation with Michael White. In M. F. Hoyt (Ed.), Constructive therapies: Vol. 2 (pp. 33–59). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  20. James, W. (2004). The varieties of religious experience. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc. (Original work published in 1902).Google Scholar
  21. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living. New York: Dell Publishing.Google Scholar
  22. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.Google Scholar
  23. Leary, M. R. (2004). The curse of the self. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Linehan, M. M. (1993a). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  25. Linehan, M. M. (1993b). Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  26. Long, E. (1999). Quest for transcendence. International Journal of Philosophy, 45, 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. May, G. G. (1992). Care of mind, care of spirit. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. McLeod, J. (2004). The significance of narrative and storytelling in postpsychological counseling, psychotherapy. In A. Lieblich, D. McAdams, & R. Josselson (Eds.), Healing plots (pp. 11–27). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Miller, W. (1999). Integrating spirituality into treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  30. Newberg, A., d’Aquili, E., & Rause, V. (2001). Why God won’t go away: Brain science and the biology of belief. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  31. Nichols, M. P., & Schwartz, R. C. (2006). Family therapy: Concepts and methods (7th ed.). New York: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  32. Payne, M. (2006). Narrative therapy (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  33. Polkinghorne, D. E. (2004). Narrative therapy and postmodernism. In L. E. Angus, & J. McLeod (Eds.), The handbook of narrative and psychotherapy practice, theory, and research (pp. 53–67). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  34. Schwartz, R. C. (1999). Releasing the soul: Psychotherapy as a spiritual practice. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Spiritual resources in family therapy (pp. 223–239). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  35. Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  36. Walsh, F. (1999). Opening family therapy to spirituality. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Spiritual resources in family therapy (pp. 28–58). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  37. White, M. (1997). Narratives of therapists’ lives. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.Google Scholar
  38. Wright, L. M., Watson, W. L., & Bell, J. M. (1996). Beliefs: The heart of healing in families and illness. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Montreat College Asheville, MontreatUSA

Personalised recommendations