Phenomenological-narrative contributions to understand the narrative strategies that shape the autobiographical account throughout different moments of the therapeutic process

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Dante Gabriel Duero
Francisco Javier Osorio Villegas *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Francisco Javier Osorio Villegas |


Different studies suggest that the strategies and narrative styles that people use to construct their autobiographical accounts have repercussions on their self-organization, as well as on their identity experience and their conception of the world. Empirical evidence supports changes in different aspects related to process, structure, and content in the narrative of clients during the course of the therapeutic process; these, in turn, seem to condition the course and the results of the process. In this paper we will seek to show, based on a case study and through the application of a method of phenomenological-narrative analysis, what are the predominant narrative strategies that a client uses in order to shape her autobiographical narrative in the initial and final moments of her psychotherapeutic process. Our data suggest that the narrative strategies at the beginning and end of the therapy are qualitatively differentiable. Changes are observed in the plot of the respective accounts, as well as a differentiated mode in the use of narrative functions. More specifically toward the end of psychotherapy, the client makes a deeper characterization of herself and others, based on predicates of a subjectivating, interpretive, and evaluative-reflective kind. She also predominantly uses proconcluding metacomments, which could facilitate the integration of problematic experiences. In summary, our data suggest that after a successful therapeutic process the client uses more complex and integrated narrative strategies for the construction of her autobiographical account.

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