chapter  11
20 Pages

Narrative Therapy and the Practice of Advocacy: Emphasis on Affirming Difference When Working With Diverse Clients

S ince the dawn of the social work profession, there have been those whohave dreamed of building a unique and respected body of knowledgeconcerning helpful service to suffering persons. At the same time, there is an equally impressive history of the profession’s attempt to make social and political advocacy central to the work. Clinical social workers have often failed at holding this tension between service and advocacy and have been overtaken by beliefs and practices that are more consistent with psychology and psychiatry. Practices have been adopted by social work that decontextualize and depoliticize human suffering and thus betray its unique commitment to see the person-incontext. Narrative therapy is a clinical approach that restores this commitment. “For many narrative therapists, doing therapy is just one aspect of a life committed to the pursuit of social justice” (Nichols & Schwartz, 2001, p. 393).