‘They Say I Am My Own Story. Then, How Can I Change the Plot?’: on How Stories Can Help Us Explore Our Destiny

in Matters of Telling: The Impulse of the Story
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Are we free to choose our own destiny? How can we freely manage our existence? What determines our path in this life, and how can we change direction when we wish to? Searching for an answer to these questions, the author has been working as a counsellor on a narrative-based method to investigate the power of her clients to influence their own lives. Her methodology combines Life-script theory from Transactional Analysis alongside approaches from narrative, nlp (Neuro-Linguistic Programming™) and screen writing to explore the story we embody and make real in our living. According to Life-script theory, the narrative structure of fairy tales allows us to investigate the author’s deep perception of their own existence. Therefore a counsellor can ask clients to personally write their favourite fairy tale (or any short story they want to write) and then use it as a sort of ‘identity map’. This is because, if examined in its structure, syntax, lexical choices, time of verbs, etc., the story will provide considerable information to share with the clients on their inner world, existential positions and psychological games they play in ‘real life’. We could even identify the script rooms, as Stephen Karpman calls them: time and space combinations in which the characters interact in specific ways and relational attitudes. In the author’s experience they can provide an extraordinary support to the counselling process, helping both counsellor and client understand the client’s psychological world and the way they recreate it in everyday life in all its complexity.

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