Applying Narrative and Solution-Focused Therapy

Applying Narrative and Solution-Focused Therapy

Narrative Theory


In the video “Narrative Therapy with Children,” an experienced therapist known as Stephen Madigan is in a psychotherapy session with a ten 10-year-old boy who is a perfectionist along with his mother. The boy is feeling overwhelmed since he has to deal with his siblings’ competitive taunting which makes it challenging for him to relate with the family especially since he is feeling like an outsider (, 2008). Even though the other kids see the taunting as a fun activity, the boy featured in the video begins to be psychologically impacted by the continuous string of mean words from his siblings and other family members. Sometimes children may feel overwhelmed by family issues and they are likely to allow these issues to define their identities. Madigan provides a significant approach that enables family members to retell their stories and separate themselves from their family issues. Through a series of questions, the therapist quickly connects with the family and understands the problem of competitive taunting among the siblings.

Theory-based Treatment Plan

The most effective treatment plan for the ten-year-old boy is attending one narrative therapy session per week along with his mother. The short-term plan connected with this narrative approach is for the 10yearold boy to establish a better relationship with his family especially his siblings. The long-term goals for the plan are for the boy to build self-confidence, and develop a positive self-image even though he has registered some negative things in his subconscious mind due to taunting (Hutto & Gallagher, 2017). The native therapy will ensure that the problem is eliminated by ensuring that the boy can externalize the problem rather than internalize the hurtful and mean words said to him.

Theory-based Interventions

A significant intervention that will be effective in this case is encouraging the boy to tell his story. Madigan provides a significant approach that enables family members to retell their stories and separate themselves from their family issues. Through a series of questions, the therapist quickly connects with the family and understands the problem of competitive taunting among the siblings (Hutto & Gallagher, 2017). The narrative intervention can begin with the creation of the story’s title and then coming up with seven chapters that they can feature in the book. This approach acts as a way of separating the boy from his past experiences while providing him with a better and broader perspective of life. Another intervention is using expressive arts such as drawing, journaling, and visualization. This intervention helps the boy to think beyond the problem and allows him to think of better ways that can provide effective solutions.


Solution-focused Theory


In the video “Irreconcilable Differences” Insoo Kim Berg shows a solution-focused technique with a couple who are about to give up on their relationship. The featured couple, Bill and Leslie who have two children. Leslie is upset since Bill is working for many hours and fails to provide for his family (, 2007). On the other hand, Bill feels that he is struggling to support his wife and children and believes that his wife does not trust and appreciate him. Leslie also does not believe that the women his husband attends to are his clients.  As a result of their differences, some mistrust between the couple is developing

Theory-based Treatment Plan

Insoo Kim Berg comes up with a solution-focused technique to focus on the argumentative and fiery couple and bring them to a mutual commitment in their family and marriage. To talk through the issues affecting their relationship, and family, the couple meets with the therapist two days per week. The short-term goal is for Bill and Leslie to establish better communication. Also, the therapy sessions should provide them with an opportunity to think of themselves as a family in which both of them need to participate actively in ensuring that everything works out well (De Shazer et al., 2021). The long-term goal is to establish a loving and strong relationship between Bill and Leslie one in which they trust and support each other.

Theory-based Interventions

One major solution-focused intervention that can be applied in this situation is by asking questions. Questions can significantly allow the couple to open up and come up with solutions to the issues they are facing. This is because both Leslie and Bill are experts in both the solutions and problems. Another significant strategy is focusing on the available resources and strengths of the couple while moving them towards collaboration and away from fighting. The therapist can provide them with materials that will help them become better and programs for building effective relationships (De Shazer et al., 2021). Also, the therapist can allow them to do things differently, this will help them acknowledge that they can do different things to make their relationship better. It also encourages them to adopt new solutions into their daily lives and break the pattern of their issues.

Anticipated Outcome

The anticipated outcome for using questions as an intervention is for Bill and Leslie to recognize their ability to solve problems effectively and achieve resiliency. Also, the couple should be able to openly communicate about their problems and provide effective solutions. The anticipated outcome for focusing on the strengths of the couple is appreciating the efforts provided by every member of the family (De Shazer et al., 2021). By allowing them to do things differently, the couple should be equipped with solutions to better themselves and their family.



















De Shazer, S., Dolan, Y., Korman, H., Trepper, T., McCollum, E., & Berg, I. K. (2021). More than miracles: The state of the art of solution-focused brief therapy. New York: Routledge.

Hutto, D. D., & Gallagher, S. (2017). Re-Authoring narrative therapy: Improving our self-management tools. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology24(2), 157-167. 10.1353/ppp.2017.0020 (2007, May 7). Narrative Therapy with Children – With Stephen Madigan [Video]. Psychotherapy.Net. (2008, September 3). Irreconcilable Differences – A Solution-Focused Approach to Marital Therapy with Insoo Kim Berg [Video]. Psychotherapy.Net.


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