Recently I have been talking about the ‘Narrative NLP’ idea and of course I am asked a lot of questions. I thought it made a lot of sense to answer these questions as occasional blog posts and at the same time I invite you to ask me more because my experience has been that in listening to your questions and my answers to them, I find out more about my own thoughts, ideas and processes. It’s all good.
What is Narrative Coaching?
By Narrative Coaching I mean using a coaching model based on the therapeutic work of people such as Michael White who, prior to his death in 2008, was co-director of the Dulwich centre in Adelaide, Australia and was a pioneer of Narrative Practice.
Narrative Coaching is a conversation. In that conversation coach and client are co-researchers into the story that the client brings to the session while the client is acknowledged as the expert. The conversation can take many forms but will typically contain elements of externalising, re-authoring, re-membering, with focus on unique outcomes. What emerges from these conversations ‘scaffolds’ the clients’ journeys from ‘problem story’ to ‘preferred story’.
So what is Narrative NLP?
Narrative NLP is the name I am giving to NLP work in which Narrative Inquiry and the main elements of Narrative Coaching enhance the experience for both client and coach.
I have seen NLP as a palette from which I select and blend, often unconsciously, ever since my Master Practitioner course which encouraged my creativity.
Narrative Practice seems to be about freedom and possibility. To me, NLP is about freedom and possibility; freedom from restricting perception and perspective; and the possibility of selecting the reality of choice.
From this perception – of the two approaches having so much in common – it has been perfectly natural for me to unconsciously integrate the two. I am now applying my conscious mind to describing that integration in order to better understand the remarkable results that my clients are reporting.
Where can I find out more about Narrative Coaching?
The first Devon Narrative Coaching Conference will be held in January http://interbe.co.uk/narrative-coaching-conference.html and the Introduction to Narrative Coaching course will be available in Devon and Bristol in March 2011 http://interbe.co.uk/narrativecoachingtrainingcourse.html
See you there!