Make Sense of Your Personal Story with Narrative Coaching

socialemotionalwellbeing storytelling Mar 05, 2024
The image shows a person wearing a mustard yellow sweater is writing in a notebook with a white pen, with only their hand and forearm visible. The notebook and pen rest on a brown table, and a laptop is partially seen in the background.

Imagine being the author of your own life story, a narrative filled with triumphs, trials, and invaluable lessons. What if you had the power to edit or rewrite the chapters that hold you back, propelling your story toward a more empowering future? This is the core of therapeutic narrative coaching. This person-centered approach blends the art of storytelling with the benefits of therapy to enhance your mental and emotional well-being.

What is Therapeutic Narrative Coaching?

Therapeutic narrative coaching, an offshoot of narrative therapy, emphasizes mental and emotional health. It combines personal storytelling with curative insights, enabling individuals to reshape their identities and perspectives. This method draws upon the foundational work in narrative therapy by Michael White and David Epston1, who uplifted the potential of re-authoring the narratives that shape our lives.

How Does It Work?

Therapeutic narrative coaching is deeply personalized, catering to the unique needs of each individual. It starts by establishing a safe space to explore your life stories. Your coach will assist you in understanding how your current narrative can be influencing your life. They will then support you as you identify and address limiting beliefs. Through this process, you are encouraged to rewrite disempowering narratives into ones that promote strength and resilience.

Engaging in therapeutic narrative coaching offers numerous advantages, such as self-awareness, cognitive flexibility (Bruner2), and improved relationships. The practice offers both the insights and tools necessary to transform the parts of your narrative that no longer contribute to your personal growth and well-being. 


 💡 Insights to Action 

The principles underlying therapeutic narrative coaching have universal value, enhancing personal and professional growth across diverse settings. There are also ways to integrate these principles of narrative coaching into professional settings. 

For Educators

  • Incorporate Storytelling in Curriculum: Utilize personal storytelling to deepen engagement and enhance learning. Encourage students to share their own stories, fostering a more connected and empathetic classroom environment.
  • Promote Reflective Practices: Introduce exercises that help students reflect on their personal experiences and the narratives they encounter, building critical thinking and self-awareness.

For Therapists and Counselors

  • Narrative Techniques in Therapy: Use narrative coaching methods to help clients unpack their personal stories, offering new perspectives and transformative insights.
  • Empowerment through Re-authoring: Guide clients in rewriting disempowering narratives, using therapeutic dialogue to foster a sense of agency and resilience.

For Corporate Trainers

  • Storytelling for Leadership Development: Train leaders to use narrative techniques to inspire and connect with their teams, enhancing motivation and communal goals.
  • Enhance Communication Skills: Use narrative coaching strategies to improve team interpersonal communication, focusing on clarity, empathy, and compelling storytelling.

For Content Creators

  • Authentic Storytelling in Media: Apply narrative coaching principles to create content that resonates on a deeper level with audiences, emphasizing authenticity and emotional engagement.
  • Interactive Storytelling: Develop content that invites audience participation in the storytelling process, enhancing engagement and personal connection.


1 White, M. & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393700984.
2 Bruner, J S. (1973). The Course of Cognitive Growth. In J. S. Bruner. Bevond the Information Given (J. M. Anglin. Ed.; Ch. 19. pp. 3 12-323). New York: W. W. Norton