Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Lysaght, P. (2009). Externalising stories: when research becomes therapy. Current Narratives, 1 (1), 35-40.


Stories can be expressed in a variety of different ways: they may involve oral or written accounts of experiences or they may exist in visual form. Regardless of the medium, however, the story resides in a space that is external to the teller of the tale and accessible to interpretation by others. According to White (2007), this externalised space can become a productive site for collaboration between a therapist and client, resulting in therapeutic value for the storyteller. Researchers involved in narrative inquiry also negotiate this space as they encourage participants to tell their stories, blurring the boundaries between research and therapy. An awareness of the challenges faced by participants and the ability to respond sensitively and appropriately is necessary as the transition from research to therapy (and back again) occurs.