Friday, March 15, 2013

Storytelling in Therapy Workshop

Storytelling Therapy (Therapeutic Uses of Storytelling)

Three-Day Workshop,  on 13-15 (Sat-Mon) April 2013.  

Presented by the World Storytelling Institute and the 
East West Center for Counsellling and Training. Especially for people who work in 
NGOs and in fields involving caring for people and helping them to grow and heal.  

Location: near Nungambakkam High Road. 

This Module would center around participants creating and telling imaginary 
stories based on True-Life stories, especially their Life Stories, and episodes 
of these stories.  We will be making metaphors for experiences.

We will discuss the Whys and Hows of this metaphor-making process. 

Cost - Rs 3,500/
Timing - 10 AM to 3.30 PM

For additional info, please call -  98403 94282/ 9884100135

"Introduction to Using Storytelling for Therapy"
by Dr. Eric Miller (PhD in Folklore)
Director, World Storytelling Institute
  June 2011

The time has come for Storytelling Therapy to take its place alongside
Drama TherapyDance TherapyMusic TherapyVisual Art Therapy,

What is Storytelling Therapy?  It is, simply, using storytelling for therapy.
This can be done in many ways, as the below begins to describe.

Talk Therapy itself largely consists of Storytelling.  A major part of Talk
Therapy is that the client tells about what happened in the past.  Client and therapist together review and discuss how things happened, why they
happened, and perhaps how similar experiences (if negative) could be
avoided in the future.  Thus, alternate possible ways that things could go
are explored.

There is a difference between one’s life, and one’s life story.  One is at
 the centre of one’s life.  Thus, one may not have very much perspective
regarding it.  Sometimes in one’s life, many things may be “up in the air”.
It may at times be difficult to detach oneself from one’s situation and view
 one’s situations in a cool and objective manner.  One may not always
 have a clear sense of where one is going.

On the other hand, when one constructs one’s life story, one is constructing
an object, a story, that is distinct from one’s self, and that can be viewed as
a whole.  One’s life story -- like any story -- has a beginning, middle, and
end.  Thus, one’s life story may seem more manageable, and at times may
be more inspirational and less anxiety-provoking, than one’s actual life.

If a client’s life -- and life story -- is not going according to plan, the client
may wish to engage in “Life-Story Repair”.  Such repair work takes the
difficulties into account, makes the best of the situation, and charts a new
course towards an as happily-ever-after ending as possible.

Three types of stories we would be working with include:
1) True-Life (Autobiographical) Stories, and other Documentary Stories.
2) Traditional Stories (Epics, Fables, Fairy Tales, etc).
3) Made-up Stories.

When using storytelling for therapy, the stories may be supplied (recalled, composed, etc) by the therapist or by the client.  The client discussing a
story, and perhaps telling a story to others, may help the client to grapple
with and work through challenges that she or he may be facing in real life.

Whether a story's characters are humans, animals, divinities, aliens, etc
-- all stories are composed of situations.  Storytellers and listeners can
imagine themselves in a story’s situations, and can consider if they might
do things the similarly or differently from how the characters are doing
things.This provides the tellers and listeners with opportunities to re-live past
events, and to practice what they might do in future events.

ProjectionIdentificationEmpathyImitation, and Imagination are key
processes when it comes to people and storytelling.  People project
 themselves into story characters.  They tend to identify, and feel empathy,
with the characters.  This occurs through the use of people’s powers of imagination.  People may then imitate the characters of their favourite

In the course of Storytelling Therapy sessions, therapists and clients could
make lists of challenging situations that clients may face in a wide range of contexts, including those in relation to:
1) Family members,
2) Colleagues and others in the workplace, and
3) Health, economic, sexual-orientation issues.

Then they could consider these challenging situations, and (using their
imaginations, their abilities to weave fantasy), they could compose and tell
stories based on these situations.  They could come up with various
possible endings to a story -- some successful, some less so, for the
characters involved.

It may be that the client's healing may occur most powerfully when the
client creates or finds his/her own healing stories, and when the client tells
 such stories to others and leads discussions about these stories.  We want the
client to be in an active role -- as much as possible -- in relation to the
Storytelling Therapy process.

Therapists and clients could also explore ways in which the imaginative,
oral verbal, physical, and social processes of storytelling could be


Unknown said...

Do you do these workshops elsewhere? I am a storyteller based in Mumbai.
Dhara - kathakosa at gmail

Unknown said...

Do you do these workshops in other cities as well? I am a storyteller based in Mumbai.

Dhara :)

Center For Counselling said...

We do in other cities if you can put together a group of 12 people.

I am running an art therapy workshop in Delhi end of this month.

Unknown said...

I was wondering if you can let me know when you would conduct the next workshop. I am a counselor in practice from The Listening Tree and would like to attend the same.