Overcoming an eating disorder is no easy feat. However, several strategies and approaches can aid in the recovery process. One such example is narrative therapy. At Magnolia Creek, participating in narrative therapy can give clients the distance they need to identify and address their problems more effectively.
Narrative Therapy Can Separate People From Their Disorders
Many clients who face eating disorders have a hard time separating themselves from their condition. The same is true for many people struggling with various mental health conditions. However, thinking of yourself as the disease is not helpful for achieving healing and recovery.
Narrative therapy can help to distinguish the person from the disorder. Instead of trying to teach or lecture an individual or client, it allows the client to be the expert on their own life. Clients are welcome to contribute to the therapy session as they see fit, and telling stories is encouraged. Telling stories, as well as shaping the individual narrative, lets clients see themselves in a new light.
Allowing Clients to Guide the Conversation
Typically, a therapist guides the bulk of a traditional individual therapy session. The therapist might establish the goals for the day, interrupt if time requires, and push certain issues according to an agenda. In narrative therapies, however, clients are the ones responsible for guiding the conversation.
A therapist can and should frequently allow clients to speak their mind, and to speak uninterrupted if possible. Therapists should ask questions but also ask for input. If a client isn’t interested in a particular topic of conversation, it can and should be skipped over for the time being.
If a client tells a story but follows a new tangent, the therapist should encourage the subject change. Often, clients need the opportunity to speak on their own terms to be heard and understood. Just that simple act of telling a story can allow them to reclaim their personhood and feel respected and acknowledged in the world.
Pulling Down Walls and Embracing Vulnerability
Telling a story is a great way to open up and feel more comfortable with a person. For this reason, narrative therapy can allow clients to feel less vulnerable. Recovering from an eating disorder is a trying time, but finding peace and relaxation is helpful. Narrative therapy is just one way to be open in a safe environment.
Often, therapy is about uncovering underlying issues and pointing out the factors that may have lead to mental health issues. When clients can tell their own stories, they can reveal this information on their own. Narratives can be chronological, allowing clients to tell their own life stories. They can also group stories by subject or just according to emotion, letting women talk about the issues that are most important to them.
Creating Room For New Stories in Life
It is important to see recovery not just as the end of an eating disorder, but also to think of it as the start of something new. Narrative therapy may give clients the confidence to start thinking about the future. Women may share their hopes and dreams, and sometimes they might not know what those are until they start talking. When you’re able to control the narrative, it is possible to explore new opportunities you never before thought possible.
Collaborative Therapies at Magnolia Creek
At Magnolia Creek, narrative therapy is just one small part of the treatment program. Clients who attend Magnolia Creek will have access to evidence-based therapies in a welcoming, supportive, and serene environment. To promote healing and growth, clients can expect personalized treatment that caters to their specific needs. In addition, all of the following are available on the road to recovery:
- Weight restoration support
- Amenities that include an outdoor therapy area and walking trails
- Family therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Group therapy sessions
Narrative therapy can set the tone for healing, helping clients find their inner strength and freedom from eating disorders. At Magnolia Creek in Columbiana, Alabama, women can set off on their own journeys to recovery. Call 866-318-2329 to learn more about collaborative healing and to find the right program for you or your loved one.