Application of Narrative Therapy to Promote Understanding, Healing and

The Task

Explore how narrative in film can be used as a vehicle for healing and change

In this final, culminating piece of work, you are asked to produce an essay of about 2500 words to demonstrate understanding and application of how a particular narrative may work to promote understanding, healing and change.


1) At the earliest opportunity, watch Little Miss Sunshine (Dayton & Faris, 2006) – just so that you understand the plot. Then, watch it again with your ‘narrative’ cap on.

2) Think about the overarching theme of the film and how it does, or could, relate to mental health nursing.

3) Identify key words that relate to this theme. (eg, PERMA, struggle, stigma, family, reconciling ideals with reality, and combine these with terms like narrative, transformation, therapeutic and change).

4) Search the literature, including google, google scholar, books and journal articles, on how this film (or ones similar) has been used or discussed by others, its insights and its impact.

5) How does what the literature say compare with your own ideas about the film? Have you got other ideas for its use?

6) Contemplate how the film encapsulates key concepts discussed in the unit. For example, does it prompt you to think differently about PERMA, empathy, change? And does it have a transformational quality? What kinds of clients might find this film interesting? What cautions would you consider?

7) Once you have some ideas for how it could be used to educate or support recovery with someone, test out your ideas on the discussion forum and webinar with peers, consult with them about how they would use it, what insights they have and so on.

8) Then prepare a plan for your essay, identifying what you will say in the introduction to overview the whole essay; 5-6 main points which will form the body of each paragraph; and a conclusion that suggests how films such as this, or other stories, could be used in future practice.

9) Finally, read your work out loud to correct all the grammar. Make sure you know how to place apostrophes correctly, and check that your work is accurately referenced using APA style.

10) Refer to the Marking Guide so that you ensure you produce an essay that covers the key issues the assessor is looking for.

Dayton, J., & Faris, V. [Dir] (2006). Little Miss Sunshine. Hollywood: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

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