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story telling

The telling of stories is a therapeutic strategy within the framework of communication therapy, hypnotherapy, and neurolinguistic programming. Bateson (1979) called a story a "pattern in time." Should the pattern of this story correspond to the client's or family's model of the world, it becomes highly relevant for interpersonal relationships and thus allows for an interpretation and/or reframing of the family's or client's internal map (paradigm/model/map). Optimally, a story as metaphor presents the client with the possibility of identifying with the actors of the story, of expanding his or her view of the problem, and of introducing new perspectives for its solution.


Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)