Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Literature study: narrative interventions to elicit meaning and identity

Supplementary info:

Type of assignment: MA
Internal– or external: Internal
How many students possible: 1
New data collection: No
Type of research: literature study
EC: 10 EC


Narrative psychology is an approach in psychology, focused on how people give meaning to their lives and construct their identities through stories. This approach also resulted in therapeutic and counselling approaches, most notably Epston and White’s narrative therapy, but also life review interventions for older people and people with dementia. More recently other, brief interventions, have been developed. The Life in One Question intervention invites people to reflect on meaningful moments in their life in answer to one question, derived from the Japanese movie Afterlife: What if, there is an afterlife. There, all your memories will be erased, except for one. Which memory would you chose to take to eternity?
The current study aims to:

  1. give insight in the relation between the memory people choose, their identity and their personal view of ‘the meaningful life’.
  2. improve the storytelling intervention that is used to elicit these moments in a workshop setting.

In this MSc assignment, you will contribute to both objectives of the study, by means of a literature study. The assignment consists of the following steps:

  • First, you will perform a literature study on interventions to elicit meaning and identity, which share characteristics of the Life in One Question intervention (e.g.sharing in a group; use of written narratives or storytelling). You will develop an overview of these interventions.
  • Second, contributing to the first objective of the study, you will summarize and describe the different aspects of meaning and identity that the interventions are mentioned to elicit.
  • Finally, contributing to the second objective of the study, you will describe the different components of the interventions: the steps within the interventions and their function in the process of eliciting meaning and identity.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for a motivated student, who is interested in the topic of the study: meaning and identity.

What do we offer?

Working with Jacky van de Goor, who is an experienced trainer, coach and author focused on meaning in life and meaning in work, who as a PhD researcher at the Storylab investigates the Life in One Question project.  For more information on her practice see and on the project, see and the TEDx talk on the project,


Anneke Sools, Jacky van de Goor