Identity rereferencing : the presentation and evaluation of a narrative map for therapeutic practice : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
This study introduces a map for a therapeutic conversation and assesses its
effectiveness. The evidence for this proposal is provided by the study reported, in
which a number of measures were taken to ascertain whether the therapeutic
process promoted useful change in clients with maladaptive assumptive systems
(problem narratives), and whether those changes were sustained over time. Nine
clients out of a sample of twenty- three responded and all nine respondents
reported sustained changes over a period of 6-24 months. Michael White (2007)
suggests that Narrative maps are few, but are important so that processes used by
clinicians do not become lost, and are at the same time able to be evaluated,
assessed and implemented by other professionals. A hermeneutic
phenomenological approach was taken to analyse the adaptive client narratives
that occurred immediately post therapy, and which remained 6 - 24 months later.
A number of themes emerged that revealed a spiritual or ‘wairua’ approach to
assuming the adaptive narrative, and there was evidence to suggest that a more
resourceful state of beingness (adaptive identity) had emerged and evolved as a
result this. The themes point to new initiatives for dealing with the problem
emerging via the processes of innovative moments and adaptive reframing. The
proposed therapeutic map appeared to be successful and empowering for the
respondents as they came to understand they have the power to ‘change the
meaning they had assigned to the problem issue, without being defined by the
problem issue as they were previously’. The individual seems to be able to perceive
the problem through the eyes of the all-knowing self (higher self or spiritual self).
When the meaning making and reconstruction emerges from within the client in
this way, the writer proposes change is both significant and lasting- Identity Re-
Referencing. It is not known if the clients who did not respond did so because they
did not experience significant change, however the results would suggest that
further research is warranted.