From: Dr Eric Miller



"16 Notes Regarding a Method of

Coaching and Counselling, Using Aspects of Storytelling Therapy"


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The way we narrate our lives shapes what we become.


One becomes the story one tells.


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Two recommended initial questions for a client are,


Please tell me the story of your life.


Please tell me about any challenging experiences you may have been having recently.


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Regarding a client's current Personal life and/or Professional life --



What is one happy with?

What does one want to continue, build upon, and increase?

How might one plan to do so?



What is one unhappy with?

What might one like to change?

How might one plan to do so?


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Encourage the client to consider possible ways the client's earlier life may be affecting the client's present and future.


That is, one could ask the client, "May anything you have experienced in the past (and your reactions to those things) possibly be negatively affecting anything in the present, including your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviours?" 


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Two methods (which could be used simultaneously):


One could assist the client to,


A) Increase awareness about what one has experienced in the past and ways one has responded.  (This is an internal method.)


B) Compose an action-plan to achieve goals.  (This is an external method.)


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Feelings of self-worth, meaningfulness, and motivation to move forward in life, could be boosted by awareness of ways one has assisted and been kind to others -- and ways one might do these things in the future.


Thus, one might make lists of

A) Ways one has helped people in the past.

B) Times people have expressed gratefulness to one for what one has done for them.


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One might make lists of specific situations that have brought depression and anxiety on in one.


Do any metaphors come to mind in relation to the terms, "depression" and "anxiety"?


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Feelings of wellness tend to increase when one feels in control of as many aspects of one's life as possible.


In what areas of one's life does one, and could one --


A) Do a little bit of something each day, step by step.  "Slow and steady wins the race".


B) Accumulate (knowledge, experiences, achievements, writings, etc).


C) Store things in organised ways.


D) Access and apply stored material conveniently.


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Present to a client the concepts of

"Framing" and "Re-framing". 


Framing refers to how one looks at things.


A question could be asked in a variety of ways.


A statement could be made in a variety of ways.


For examples:


Two ways to frame a question are:

A) What makes one happy?

B) What makes one feel good?  (This could refer to the 5 senses.)


"Is the glass half empty, or half full?" --

'half empty' is a negative framing,

and 'half full' is a positive framing.


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Some people may want to change aspects of their lives, but they

A) may not know how,

B) may be afraid to do so,



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Identify one's Life/Core Values.


Does one's current life match one's  Life/Core Values?


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One may need to change one's priorities.


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People who seek out and engage in Counselling may include,


A) People who want to succeed further, whether at work or in love.  They are sometimes held back, due to fear, timidity, procrastination, or other reasons.


B) People who feel stressed out, often by their work.  Some want to spend more time with members of their family.  Others want to downshift and lead a simpler life.


C) People who feel something is lacking in their life, whether a community or just time for themselves.


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Helping a client discover and confirm the client's direction in life


What does one want to do?


Where does one want to go?


What does one want to make?



Getting there


Incremental -- step by step.




Do a little bit of it each day.


It may do a person good to feel a calm, relaxed, and satisfied sense of ownership regarding what one has gathered and achieved.


The ways one stores things should be organised.


The ways one accesses things should be convenient.


Building, growing, and developing.


Document (write about) one's building, growing, and developing.


Keep track of what one has gathered and achieved.


Try to not go around in circles.


Do not be like a leaf being swept around by the wind.


Do not try to invent the wheel all over again.






Control -- both self-control, and control of elements in one's environment.


Autonomy -- one can stand on one's own two feet.


Agency (power) -- one has abilities and resources, and can act on one's own behalf.


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What skills are one using when one feels most engaged?


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Re-telling stories about one's own experiences, projected onto a 3rd person character (he, she, or it) could give one a helpful sense of distance from one's experiences. 


This change of perspective could help one to see things in new ways, that is, to be more aware of various ways in which things could be seen.