About Kenwood Therapy Center
Courtesy of the Hubble Telescope(download brochure here)
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 many 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 client’s 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.
About Narrative Therapy
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 and identities.
Narrative Therapy Ideas and Practices
Your Knowledge, Skills and Values are Honored and Respected
We see people as knowledgeable in their own lives. Narrative therapy assumes that people and communities have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments, and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives. We invite your multiple skills, intelligences and modes of expression such as, the arts, music, writing, play and more into the work.
The Person is not the Problem
We avoid thinking or speaking of those we consult with or their loved ones as the Problem. Rather, the Problem is the Problem. We strive to ally ourselves with people to help them stand up to or change their relationship to problems, and to reclaim their lives from the problem’s influence.
As someone consulting here, you might notice that if you say “I am depressed”, your therapist might ask “How did you notice Depression first influencing your life?” This is an example of how we separate the person from the problem. This can help move from what we call problem-saturated identities towards richer and fuller descriptions of life, and can help put problems in their broader contexts. You will also notice your therapist writing during your session, this is to ensure that your words, ideas, values, etc. are captured accurately and in your own voice.
Life is Multi-storied
Just as ones’ preferred identity may be rendered invisible by problems, so also one may look back at life and see little, except a problem-‐saturated, hopeless history. Your consultant may ask unusual, exceptional, and curious questions that may help you put in words often thinly described, hidden stories for richer understanding, strength, possibility, and hope. In this way, we find people can often creatively reclaim or construct, with the help and support of others, what we call ‘preferred realities and identity.’
Therapist: Influential, But De-centered
The therapist you consult with strives to be “influential but de-centered”. We strive to keep central you and your ideas and preferences. We strive to be responsible collaborators and co-authors with you rather than pretending to be all-‐knowing experts telling you how to live your life. While we may share some of our ideas, resources and experiences regarding some ways a problem can influence life, based on what others have told us, we prefer to first acknowledge and build on your unique story, wisdom and resources. We view the “therapist as an anthropologist or archeologist,” respecting and making more visible your own preferred words, ideas, theories and practices of life versus imposing ill-‐ fitting theoretical, cultural, or societal mandates.
Collaborative: The Particular Context
We have found that problems can isolate us and make it hard to find options, possibilities, and connections in our lives. We may ask you, with your full approval and understanding, to sign release forms to allow us to collaborate with key family members, relatives, friends, associates, or involved professionals, who may be helpful or concerned. Any requested assessment, report, diagnosis, letter, or test will be co-authored with you in session. Phone calls will be made in your presence as well. We strive to collaborate in sensitive, responsible, ethical, legal, diplomatic and creative ways.
The Background Context
In the background of many problems can be a history or experience of injustice and cultural difficulty. We may spend some of our time considering such socially constructed, taken for granted stories of family, gender, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, economics, faith, etc., and their influences in your life and identity. This can help make such influences more visible and may help you decide more clearly if those ideas and practices may fit with what you want in your life and relationships.
We are always interested in adding experienced, intelligent, heartfelt professionals and interns interested in practicing Narrative Therapy to our team. Please visit our opportunities page to see current openings and feel free to send a resume and cover letter to [email protected] if you would like to submit an application.