Storying unstoried experience in therapeutic practice
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Sometimes life events resist storying. Although their conversion into narrative form is often recommended as a therapeutic strategy, particularly in the case of trauma, this can be a difficult and complex process. Sometimes emerging stories are associated more with therapist than client knowledges, and therefore may not be experientially resonant, and some clients’ narrative habits may predispose to problem-saturated stories and negative identity conclusions. This article uses a case study to explore the notion of unstoried experience, and the ways in which it can inhibit a sense of personal agency. I propose a constitutive witnessing practice, conceived as a constructive and generative rather than objective-observational practice, as a vehicle for the cultivation of ethically infused, but client-led storying activity.