Dr Ken Jennings is a Counselling Psychologist with over 35 years of experience.
In this MumAbroad interview, Ken Jennings explains how he utilises narrative therapy in getting others to unlock their potential.
The therapy is based on the idea that we have the power to reinterpret our own narrative to take a different perspective.
Ken Jennings also talks about the family system, how the diversity of ideas that exist within a family come about, why each family system is unique and how parents can recognise when their child may need professional help.
Dr Ken Jennings has experience working with a range of issues including:
✅ post traumatic stress reaction
✅ depression and stress
✅ addictions and eating disorders
✅ sexual concerns and difficulties
✅ existential life issues
✅ career and work related performance struggles
✅ relationship and marital issues, divorce
✅ family problems and parental concerns
✅ children with emotional struggles
[1:00] MumAbroad: You utilise narrative therapy in your private practice, can you explain what that is exactly?
Dr Ken Jennings: When anybody comes to speak with me they bring in a story. And it’s a story about themselves, about others, about life experiences. And narrative therapy says that this story is actually forever changing. So if you think of the idea that if something happens to you and you share that with a friend, and after that you go to another friend and again share the story, those stories won’t actually be the same. So you can never have the same exact story being told.
When a client comes to see, me usually they bring in a what I call dominant rigid repetitive story and it’s story around a struggle, they just can’t achieve or solve a particular issue. The narrative therapy tries to loosen that story and create more possibilities. How this is done is that you start between the sentences, or between the description or the interpretation, you start opening up some new perspectives in the conversation. It’s a conversational mode of therapy but it’s also very sensitive to couple of characteristics. It’s got to be a safe emotional space. It also has to be a respectful space. The other thing is it’s got to be a space where as a therapist you’re not the expert you are actually a co-creator of a new story with the client. That’s the essence of narrative therapy.
I often say to clients that they are authors of their story. They are telling whoever from their perspective but they’ve also got the power to change that. To reinterpret things. To take a different perspective on the experience.