Commentary on “Narrative therapy groups for people with intellectual disability: a critical review of the literature”

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Purpose - This paper is a commentary inspired by Laura McKenzie-Smith’s review paper.

Design/methodology/approach - This commentary provides a personal perspective on the intersections of narrative practice and the support of people with a learning disability.

Findings - This commentary highlights some further possibilities of narrative ideas beyond therapy. This paper explores examples of record keeping and research as sites for story construction about lives and identities.

Research limitations/implications - This is a personal perspective of a systemic psychotherapist and academic working with people with a learning disability.

Practical implications - This paper argues that the stories we tell ourselves and others about our work and the people we support are powerful in ways of which we may not always be aware.

Social implications - In common with person-centred planning, narrative ideas highlight the power of the stories circulating about a person and their network and the implications they may have for their lives and identities.

Originality/value - This commentary explores narrative practices beyond the context of therapy, highlighting organisational, administrative and research practices as story-constructing activities that co-create identities of persons with a learning disability, their networks of support and health and social care professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalTizard Learning Disability Review
Issue number4
Early online date23 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020


  • narrative therapy
  • intellectual disabilities
  • learning disability
  • organisational culture
  • case records
  • research culture


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