How is Narrative Reconstruction different than Psychotherapy?
In creating coherent narratives, the client is the expert on his or her own narrative and already has all the answers. A skilled Narratologist is able to ask the right dramaturgical questions to draw out this self-knowledge, and then help clients give voice to what they want and what stands in their way of achieving the life they want. There is no correcting or fixing. Narrative Reconstruction accesses and privileges a client’s own innate knowings over any theory or prescribed path towards wholeness.
How is Narrative Coaching different than Life Coaching?
Rather than helping you achieve a specific goal, or motivate you to undertake a certain behavior change, Narrative Reconstruction goes deeper into understanding the story behind your goals, and the ways in which surface impediments to these goals may actually be serving a coherent purpose. With this understanding, you can revise your goals to be more aligned with what you actually want. There is no advice giving. Narrative Reconstruction is a transformative tool that helps people find the courage to articulate and pursue the life they want, and more importantly, to have ‘author’ity over their own stories.
What does a Narrative Reconstruction session look like?
Briefer and more active than traditional therapy, deeper than life coaching, and more creative than either, sessions involve guided and interactive dialogue, as well as written and spoken exercises that are creative and non-threatening. The body also holds and tells a story, and that narrative is mindfully explored as well. Sessions can be extended, or even conducted exclusively via electronic text exchanges.
How long do clients normally work with a narratologist?
The length of your Narrative Reconstruction work will completely depend on how much revision you wish to do. After a single session, you will have a sense of how/where your story got stuck. In fact, the first session is so powerful it can be an effective stand-alone intervention. Typically, at least 5-10 Narrative Reconstruction sessions are needed in order to identify parts of the story that need attention and revision. Some clients are able to reach greater clarity and flow in just four sessions. Others continue for several years in order to receive support for
implementing their new transformations or to articulate and implement additional or more complex revisions. In any case, Narrative Reconstruction is a creative, productive, and interactive way to understand yourself and realize what you want in your life. Narrative Reconstruction Therapy is a commitment. It is laser-like work in which shifts can happen quickly, and you will barely notice how this change is happening, but it requires weekly continuity for a period of time. The first phase will be dedicated to learning about the story and the stuckness. The middle phase is a time of understanding old learnings and re-learning them. The final phase is one of integration; it takes time to metabolize and enact new behaviors and thought patterns...this is not the time to stop.
What are the risks?
As with any therapeutic, meditative, writing or self-awareness practice, Narrative Reconstruction is a wonderful tool for someone whose basic life needs are in place, but they are not feeling fully present to that life. If you are feeling in danger of harming yourself, or another, or feel the need/desire for medication at this time, you should seek psychiatric intervention, not Narrative Reconstruction therapy.
Why is this so hard? Can't I do it on my own?
Narrative Reconstruction is like watching the movie of your life with a really good editor who can draw your attention to inconsistencies in the plot, jump cuts, lack of continuity, unbalanced characters, and key themes that underlie the story, and then collaborate on the revision process. That’s where shift and flow happens. Once you have achieved authority, you can continue the practice on your own. Working first with an experienced dramaturge, who knows the right questions to ask, will lead you to new answers.
Why would I consider having a Narratologist?
Narrative Reconstruction enables people of all ages to make desired shifts without feeling like they're "sick" or need advising. The rise in life coaching, yoga, meditation, and the use of anti-depressants speaks to the need people have to ground themselves in their lives and selves. Stress and depression are epidemic, often related to the need for Narrative Reconstruction around major life change or past trauma. Everyone could benefit from Narrative Reconstructive work, in order to find coherent meaning in their lives (past, present, future) and to develop/maintain wellness and wholeness. In addition to self-knowledge, the Narrative Reconstruction process is predicated on clarity of communication and will boost EQ skills that can be brought into all personal and professional relationships.
TWhat if I'm not creative? What if I don't like writing?
We are not all writers, but as humans we are all storytelling creatures! We all frame our experience in narrative, and we all have the need to share our experience. Whether it is in spoken or written form, the way we language our sense of self and the world is as unique as a thumbprint, but unlike a thumbprint, our stories can be revised. When we commit our language to paper, whether a few words or a few lines, we do so from a different part of the brain than we speak from, one that is closer to where memories are stored, enabling us to write things that are unconscious or have been forgotten. It is a kind of wakeful hypnosis; a mindful, safely guided altered state…and everyone can do it…aloud or on paper. The goal is not to develop artistry, or even creativity, but to discover whatever identity is dormant, and whatever wisdom is hidden. Some clients don't wish to write, and simply contemplate the 'prompts' from their sessions. The narratological approach is still in play; writing simply accelerates the process...it is a way of being transparent to ourselves, and intimate with ourselves.
What's your training? What makes you qualified to do this?
30 years of coaching, clinical practice, experience in dramaturgy (helping writers to articulate and share their stories), playwriting (the creation of balanced dialogue that can be acted upon), and clinical training (a deep understanding of treating frozen narratives with people across the lifespan with a wide array of symptoms and clinical setting) accounts for a unique sensibility and ability to unearth and clarify buried story. I have the ability to listen and reframe a story that comes from years of translating text into action without imposing my own bias on the story I was helping to bring to life.
Do you take insurance?
If you reside in NYC, and if your out-of-network insurance covers psychotherapy, it will cover Narrative Reconstruction therapy. I do not accept insurance directly, so you will need to discuss this with your insurer. Narrative Coaching, which does not involve diagnosis, is offered to clients out of state and around the world via Skype and Vsee and email.
How much does it cost?
$200/session; sliding scale only with demonstrated need
How do I start?/Terms of Engagement
Email or call me! No intake forms, no referrals needed. We'll set up a consultation phone call and decide together the best way forward.
Narrative Reconstruction Therapy is a commitment. I agree to hold a time to meet each week, either in person or via Skype, and you agree to show up at that time. Upcoming business travel and vacations should be reported at least by the session before. Appointments that are cancelled due to conflicts or illness, can be rescheduled in the same week if possible, or conducted via email...they must be paid for.