What is the Relational Narrative Orientation?
The Relational Component
The relational environment that we are immersed within is known to us through its effects. In a similar way, Gravity is also known to us through its effects. The relational can be either exposed or obscured through the expressions used to make sense of or describe experience, including body sensations. When we position all conversational participants in a reflective space through the use of relational expressions, we expose the relational and cultural environment that we are shaping and being shaped by. This relational environment will be glimpsed, sensed and then lost unless we contextually explore and hold whatever we have noticed and described
Experience is relationally described in order to generate a tentative meaning platform from which to explore and illuminate how experiences, thoughts, sensations and relationships are being constructed. This construction takes into account the part we and other’s play in maintaining and creating this construction. Consequently, whatever we have previously considered as true or natural can temporarily, become partial and fluid. We use this transient environment to shine a light on multiple narrative paths including those that are culturally preferred or supported.
The Narrative Component
There is significant evidence that we hold awareness of some memories more firmly than others. These memories consist of ideas, events, experiences and sensations which are filtered through prevailing truth constructions and then powerfully linked and firmly held in a narrative form. We use this narrative as the reference point or navigational aid, that assist us to both ‘make sense’ of what is happening now in this moment whilst orientating us toward the future.
These narrative reference points draw our attention to certain events, experiences and sensations. Consequently, any idea, event, experience and sensation that seems ‘out of place’ fades into the background or disappears.
Through the therapeutic, super-vision and consultation processes we find new life enhancing directions by exposing those resources or narrative threads that have been discounted, 'forgotten' or placed in the background.
Relational Narrative Orientation
The Relational and Narrative components reflect the key ingredients of the approach I use. However, a Relational Narrative Orientation is produced through a synthesis of these individual ingredients.
This synthesis produces a perspective where we (all participants in the conversation) can meet to discover new ways to understand past and present experiences and relationships.