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Wrye, H.K. (1994). Narrative Scripts: Composing a Life with Ambition and Desire. Am. J. Psychoanal., 54(2):127-141.

(1994). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 54(2):127-141

Narrative Scripts: Composing a Life with Ambition and Desire

Harriet Kimble Wrye, Ph.D.

The Formative and Deformative Power of Narratives

Personal stories are not merely a way of telling someone (or oneself) about one's life; they are the means by which identities may be fashioned. It is this formative—and sometimes deformative—power of life stories that makes them important. (Rosenwald and Ochberg, 1992, p. 1)

The process and impact of storymaking is central to human life and therapeutic change (Wrye and Churilla, 1977). As human beings, we are defined by the need to make meaningful sense of experience; one way we make this sense is through language and the creation of stories, composing our lives daily in reference to conscious and unconscious notions of sagas and scripts. Language, acquired in the crucible of our earliest relationships and refined along the continuum of human development, colors and defines our constructions of reality. As unfamiliar sounds, themes, and patterns emerge, we test new experiences against previously held constructs. Preexisting often culturally determined narratives form verbal and conceptual templates through which data are filtered and shape our perception of experience and our sense of self. This method of data collecting and organizing underscores the relative subjectivity of the narrative process and the plasticity of meaning.

Narrative Space: Phalli vs.

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