Kenwood Therapy Center was established
in 2000 to provide comprehensive individual,
couple and family therapy for children,
adolescents and adults. Over the past eleven
years, Kenwood Therapy Center has grown
to house ten full and part-time
therapists offering a range of specialties.
The staff works from a Narrative Therapy
base to develop insight into the stories
of the clients life. The team members
also draw from their varied experience and
research on the best ideas of current theories
and practices in the field. As the practice
grows and changes, Kenwood Therapy Center
still holds to its core objective to help
its clients re-author life's narratives.
Kenwood Therapy Center uses Narrative ideas
and approaches as the foundation for work
at the Center. Narrative Therapy is
a growing set of ethically based and innovative
therapy practices that recognize that people
use narrative (or story) to make meaning
in their lives and construct their identities.
Accordingly, people can change their lives
Ideas and Practices
You Are the Expert
People are the experts in their own lives,
and problems are separate from people. Narrative
therapy assumes that people have many skills,
competencies, beliefs, values, commitments
and abilities that will assist them to reduce
the influence of problems in their lives.
The Person is not the Problem
We avoid thinking or speaking of those consulted
with or their loved ones as the "Problem."
Rather, the Problem is the Problem, and
we strive, with compassion and understanding,
to ally with people to help them stand up
to or change their relationships to problems,
and reclaim their lives from their influence.
A client may say, "I am depressed,"
and their therapist might respond, "How
did you notice Depression first influencing
your life?" This is an example of hownarratively-trained
therapists separate the person from the
problem. This can help move from problem-saturated
identities toward richer, fuller descriptions
of life and put problems in their
Life is Multi-storied
Just as one's preferred identity may
be rendered invisible by problems, so may
one look back at life and see little
except a problem-saturated, hopeless history.
A therapist may ask unusual, exceptional,
and curious questions that help put words to
thinly described, hidden stories that have the potential to be full of rich
understanding, strength, possibility and
hope. In this way, people can creatively
reclaim or construct preferred realities and identity with the help and support
Therapist: Influential, But De-centered
Kenwood Center therapists strive to be "influential
but de-centered", keeping the clients
and their ideas and preferences central
in the relationship. Therapists are responsible
collaborators and co-authors with clients,
rather than all-knowing experts that tell
them how to live their lives. While therapists
may share ideas and experiences regarding
ways a problem can influence a life, they
prefer to first acknowledge and build on
a clients unique story, wisdom and resources.
The preferred view is the "therapist
as an anthropologist or archeologist":
respecting and making a clients
own words, ideas, theories and practices
of life more visible.
Collaborative: The Particular Context
Problems can isolate people and make it
hard to find options, possibilities and
connections. A therapist may ask clients,
with full approval and understanding, to
sign release forms to allow collaboration
with key family members, relatives, friends,
associates, and involved professionals,
who may be helpful or concerned. Any requested
assessment, report, diagnosis, letter or
test is fully reviewed with the client.
All collaboration is done in a sensitive,
responsible, ethical, legal, diplomatic
and creative manner.
The Background Context
In the background of many problems can be
a history or experience of injustice and
cultural difficulty. Therapists spend
time considering such socially constructed,
taken for granted stories of family, gender,
culture, ethnicity, sexuality, economics,
faith, etc., and their influences in clients'
lives and identities. This can make such
influences more visible and help clients
decide more clearly if those ideas and practices
may fit with what they want in their lives
We are always interested in adding experienced, intelligent, heartful professionals and interns interested in practicing Narrative Therapy to our team. Please send a resume and cover letter to Hillary Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to submit an application.