Healing Plots: The Narrative Basis of Psychotherapy

Pages: 222
Item #: 4316026
ISBN: 978-1-59147-100-4
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2004
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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Therapy is the process of developing a narrative that helps bring integration and coherence to a chaotic life. In Healing Plots: The Narrative Basis of Psychotherapy, the third volume in the series "The Narrative Study of Lives," editors Amia Lieblich, Dan P. McAdams, and Ruthellen Josselson bring together a diverse group of psychotherapist-scholars to explore the relationship between story-telling and therapy.

Drawing directly from practice experiences with a wide variety of clients, the chapter authors present illuminating case studies of lives being examined in therapy. The authors ground their contributions in the shared theory that effective therapeutic interventions often involve the co-construction of healing narratives in the face of personal, moral, and social adversity. Using a variety of perspectives, contexts, and cultural settings, the authors examine how therapists and clients negotiate narrative conflict and complexity, present types of stories that significantly animate the psychotherapeutic process, and discuss how life stories can change through, and as a result of, therapy.

By recounting and deconstructing therapeutic experiences with clients, contributors collectively demonstrate how narratives shape and humanize therapists' work, and how the process of therapy enriches our understanding of narratives and their place in contemporary studies of human identity.

Table of Contents




  1. The Significance of Narrative and Storytelling in Postpsychological Counseling and Psychotherapy
    —John McLeod
  2. Demonic and Tragic Narratives in Psychotherapy
    —Nahi Alon and Haim Omer
  3. The Paradigm of Tragedy as Meta-Narrative: A Window to Understanding the Life Story of a Woman in Economic and Social Deprivation
    —Michal Krumer-Nevo
  4. Between Abstract Individualism and Gendered Lives: Negotiating Abused Women's Agency and Identity in Therapy
    —Suvi Keskinen
  5. Echoes of Silence: Remembering and Repeating Childhood Trauma
    —Lynn Sorsoli
  6. On Becoming the Narrator of One's Own Life
    —Ruthellen Josselson
  7. Living to Tell the Tale: Redemption Narratives, Shame Management, and Offender Rehabilitation
    —Shadd Maruna and Derek Ramsden
  8. The Core Conflictual Relationship Theme Approach to Relational Narratives: Interpersonal Themes in the Context of Intergenerational Communication of Trauma
    —Hadas Wiseman and Jacques P. Barber
  9. The Place of Psychotherapy in the Life Stories of Women in Households Without Men
    —Amia Lieblich
  10. A Love Story: Self-Defining Memories in Couples Therapy
    —Jefferson A. Singer

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Editor Bios

Amia Lieblich is a professor of psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Her books have presented an oral history of Israeli society and deal with war, military service, prisoners of war, and the kibbutz. Her psychobiography of the Israeli female author Dvora Baron, Conversations With Dvora, was published in 1998, and a recent psychobiography of the Israeli female poet Lea Goldberg, Learning About Lea, was published in 2003. She also published, together with two of her students (Rivka Tuval-Mashiach and Tamar Zilber), Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis and Interpretation, a book that presents her approach to narrative research.

She has taught graduate courses on life stories and their use in research.

Dan P. McAdams is the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, professor of human development and psychology, and director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University. A fellow of the APA and recipient of the 1989 Henry A. Murray Award, he has published widely on the topics of identity and the self, intimacy, generativity and adult development, and the role of narrative and life stories in personality and developmental psychology.

He is the author of The Stories We Live By and The Person: An Integrated Introduction to Personality Psychology and is editor (with Ed de St. Aubin) of Generativity and Adult Development: How and Why We Care for the Next Generation (APA, 1998) and (with Ed de St. Aubin and Tae-Chang Kim) of The Generative Society: Caring for Future Generations (APA, 2004).

Ruthellen Josselson is professor of psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is on the faculty of the Fielding Graduate Institute. Recipient of the 1994 Henry A. Murray Award from the APA and of a Fulbright Research Fellowship for 1989 to 1990, she has also been a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

She is the author of Revising Herself: The Story of Women's Identity From College to Midlife (1996), which received the Delta Kappa Gamma International Educators' Award, and The Space Between Us: Exploring Dimensions of Human Relationships (1992). With Terri Apter, she coauthored Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls' and Women's Friendships (1998). She has also published many scholarly articles on narrative and life-history research.

She is a practicing psychotherapist and offers workshops in group psychotherapy.