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Essay on Narrative Therapy: Interpsychic Perspective vs Intrapsychic Perspective

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This paper examines historical movements and theories considered in the developing the framework of narrative therapy and reduces each of them to two approaches, either an interpsychic or intrapsychic perspective. The combined use of these theories has provoked the authors to attempt to explicate the most effective and accurate method of how to encourage improvements of therapeutic observations in narrative therapy.

This paper is relevant within the fields of psychology, more specifically psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, family therapy, and individual therapy. This paper might be inadvertently relevant to sociology depending on the information the sociologist is seeking. Also in a historical manner, this paper relates to the field of philosophy. As this paper was published in 2011, coupled with the fact that the acceptance of the intrapsychic perspective as unconventional in narrative therapy against the background of the general systems theory, cybernetics and postmodernism; there have not been a vast amount of works addressing the same question that has been asked here. Similar however, in 1999, Richard Schwartz commented on the different effects of his family therapy techniques achieved by recognising and utilising the intrapsychic perspective (Schwartz, 1999). While the majority of papers relating to family therapy adopt the current interpsychic perspective; and seem incognisant of the possibility that there may be a more effective approach, there has been a long-standing discussion on the effectiveness of individual therapy versus using the combined family group. This paper inadvertently relates to this discussion.

This article is structured as an informative and investigative discussion paper. The i...

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...more diligence and objectivity by practising therapists, and that this acknowledgement of the different perspectives when observing will result in more accurate depictions and observations (p.145). The authors have used effective secondary sources of evidence to support their argument and have made an acceptable point to hopefully be further analysed by professionals of psychology from this point on.

Reference List
Phipps, Warwick, Vorster, Charl 2011, ‘Narrative Therapy: A return to the Intrapsychic Perspective?’, Journal of Family Psychotherapy, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 128-147.
Schwartz, Richard 1999, ‘Narrative Therapy Expands and Contracts Family Therapy’s Horizons’, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, vol.25, no.2, pp. 263-267.
Combs, Gene, Freedman, Jill 1998, ‘Tellings and Retellings’, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 405-408.

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