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Excavating Story: How to Get "Un-stuck" in Problem Narratives Using Therapy

When we continuously tell a problematic story about our lives, it can often turn into a vicious cycle that we are doomed to repeat. In working with clients, I often ask them to think about the importance of catharsis (releasing the story once they tell it) to fight the dreaded self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, someone might say, "I always end up screwing up every relationship."

Once we name that negative belief and put it out into the world, the next step is to look at the root insecurity. This is challenging work: it can often feel like an excavation or a painful uprooting of sorts.

But if you're convinced that "I'm not consistent enough," or "I don't deserve this job," then you will likely perform to prove that belief.

However, if we externalize it, examine the roots behind that insecurity, and call into question our connection to that story, we can begin to parse it out. We can work on rejecting the parts of the story that don't help us. Clients who choose which narratives are serving them and which are hurting them tend to feel more empowered to rewrite their story. During this process, guided visualizations, body work, and art therapy directives can be extremely useful.

For more information on this process, book a free phone consultation to speak to one of our licensed therapists. Narrative therapy could be one of the most helpful tools for you to, as the saying goes, "Change your thoughts, change your life!"

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