Postmodern Cognitive Therapy: Cognitions, Narratives, and Personal Meaning-Making

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Abstract

A hallmark of both cognitive and constructivist-narrative theories of psychotherapy is the prominent role of personal meaning-making. Although there has been much debate between proponents of these theories, the assimilation of these models may signal the movement toward a more integrative model of psychotherapy. Cognitive and constructivist-narrative literatures are reviewed to illustrate points of convergence regarding both meaning-making and methods of change. The fourfold goal of this paper is to: (a) define personal narratives; (b) describe the role of narratives in organizing experience; (c) illustrate the congruence between narrative and cognitive theory; and (d) discuss the future of personal narratives and cognitive therapy.

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