Narrative therapy is a form of therapeutic intervention underpinned by a philosophy of language proposing that meaning is socially constructed through language. Power relations and social and personal contexts are understood as central to the construction of meaning. Narrative therapy represents an approach to therapeutic practice that assumes that people experience problems in their lives when the dominant stories, which they or others have constructed of their lives, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. In this article we provide an exposition of narrative therapy, its philosophical influences and key processes. We demonstrate key tenets in action via a psychoeducational intervention attempting to facilitate positive body image with a team of 15 elite young women athletes. Anonymous, written, evaluative feedback of the seven-session program suggests a generally positive outcome. Narrative therapy can be a useful addition to the repertoire of clinical skills of sport psychologists.
Trisha Leahy is Head of Athlete and Scientific Services, Hong Kong Sports Institute. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rachel Harrigan is with the Royal College of Nursing, Australia. E-mail: RachelH@rcna.org.au.