chapter  8
14 Pages

Narrative ideas: a rationale

ByViv Martin

This chapter outlines some of the key ideas which inform narrative inquiry. Arthur Frank's work is additionally a powerful testament to the capacity of narrative as a way of reclaiming, transforming, and refashioning the self in illness. The three principal approaches that draw on narrative have been the psychodynamic, the cognitive/ constructivist and the social constructionist. Narrative inquiry encompasses a broad range of approaches to research, which are based upon 'collecting, analysing, and re-presenting people's stories as told by them'. McLeod views narrative approaches to therapy as principally associated with social constructionist thinking and terms them 'postpsychological' in that they challenge the concept of the unitary, bounded self with a view of the person as more fragmented and as socially constructed. A sense of self thus depends on continuity even where there has been rupture, and such selfhood is created and recreated through the narrative process. Thus the narrative construction of self is relational and also social.