SELF-NARRATIVES. THE CREATION OF MEANINGS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
This book – write the authors in the Introduction – refers to three levels of knowledge: theory, method and practice. The theory of evaluation provides the theoretical basis for the work. This theory is “rooted in the metaphor of the person who is motivated to tell the story of his or her life”. The person who tells his or her life history invests specific events or series of events with meaning, i.e., invests them with value. Events may be invested with positive, negative or ambivalent value.
The authors assume that the organisation and reorganisation of the value system are affected by basic motives and particularly two of them: striving for self-reinforcement (self-defence, self-sufficiency, self-expansion) and the need to relate to and unite with something or someone.
The book by the Hermans is an example of an integrative approach: it combines theory of evaluation with a unique method of “self-confrontation” – a form of systematic self-cognisance conducted with the psychologist’s help. Another element of this work is a list of practical ideas and techniques for the investigation of the value system and the analysis of the effectiveness of different ways of changing this system.
This book is addressed to therapists and counsellors, psychologists working in adolescents guidance clinics, practising vocational counselling and personal counselling and also to researchers wishing to analyse the processes of emergence and transformation of individual meaning systems.
Note! We strongly recommend this book to users of Hubert J. M. Hermans’ Self-Confrontation Method.