Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration and Transform Experience
Denborough, David (2014). Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration and Transform Experience. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd. ISBN: 978-0-393-70815-8. 310 pages.
Reviewed by: Nataliya Rubinchik, Hunter College
Too often we let our experiences and circumstances define us rather than making them just a small part of who we are. David Denborough wrote Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration and Transformation Experience as a way for readers to look back at the trauma and injustice they have experienced in their lives and to rewrite the meaning of these events in their story.
Negative events from our lives haunt us and define us unless we choose to rewrite our story. We have to learn to separate the good of who we are from the bad that circumstances outside of our control causes us to become. Denborough includes activities for the reader as well as examples from his cases to clearly show the reader what he or she should be doing.
Denborough divides his book into steps to help the reader go through a hopefully successful narrative therapy while he or she reads through the book. It is important for readers to understand from the beginning that the problem is the problem, and externalizing is the first step to overcoming it. It is also important to find the find someone or something that will be supportive of our journey whether it is an imaginary friend, someone we are close with, or just the pages of this book. It is similarly important to decide who is vital to our lives. Once we have identified all of these parts of our lives, we can begin to put them together into a story of our lives.
Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration and Transformation Experience is written in an organized and easy-to-follow way which makes it easy for readers who wish to learn to retell their stories to feel comfortable doing the activities. It is written to be a guide for both individuals and larger groups of people who want to work together and help each other through this journey. Denborough gives readers a way to overcome trauma that has held them back for too long and see themselves in a better light.