Historical Article: Using a Narrative Metaphor: Implications for Theory and Clinical Practice. Jeff Zimmerman & Vicky Dickerson (USA)
When this seminal article was written by one of the first sets of North American narrative therapists, Jeff and Vicky were Co-Directors of the Bay Area Family Therapy Training Associates and Co-Trainers of the MRI Family Therapy Externship. Jeff was also on the clinical faculty of Stanford University and John F. Kennedy University. Vicky went on to become a long serving president of AFTA and Jeff (among other things) is now a senior faculty member with VSNT.
What is so important with this article is that it outlines the evolution of family therapy from a cybernetic metaphor to a narrative metaphor that led many of us to think differently about therapy, about clients, and about ourselves as therapists. Their article pursues how this different way of thinking informed a theoretical understanding of a narrative therapy approach and consequently opened space for different ways of working clinically. They begin by tracing the evolution to narrative; consider the implications of social constructionism and its political effects; and complete the discussion by focusing on narrative theory. They then show how the clinical work follows logically and is coherent with the theoretical considerations.
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