Therapeutic Stories…

“Storytelling is human,” Dr. Houston said. “We learn through stories, and we use them to make sense of our lives. It’s a natural extension to think that we could use stories to improve our health.”

Experts in this emerging field of narrative communication say that storytelling effectively counteracts the initial denial that can arise when a patient learns of a new diagnosis or is asked to change deeply ingrained behaviors. Patients may react to this news by thinking, “This is not directly related to me,” or “My experience is different.” Stories help break down that denial by engaging the listener, often through some degree of identification with the storyteller or one of the characters.

via Patient Stories May Improve Health – NYTimes.com.

I found this “blurp” very interesting.

It seems to be true for not just people who are experiencing illnesses but for just about all of us going through life.

When was the last story that you listened to that affected how you thought about something in your life?

When was the last story that you told to someone in order to help them feel better or understand better about what they were going through or about to go through?

I have a parenting blog, Parentingintheloop.wordpress.com and everyday I read many parenting blogs, and pregnancy/childbirth blogs to see what stories are being shared and what opinions are being voiced.

Of particular interest to me are the “birth narratives”.

Birth narratives seem to be very popular on blogs these days…they are very cathartic and some can be downright scary for a reader who is having a baby or thinking about having a baby.

That being said, I myself have shared a fair amount of “war” stories with friends and family but now that I am writing a blog my stories are from a slightly different perspective.

I try to temper my memories of a situation with the good points rather than emphasizing the difficult aspects of my personal experience. My story will not necessarily be your story especially when it comes to childbirth or heart surgery or any of my other life experiences.

I have no doubt that sharing personal experiences can be helpful both for the narrator and the listener.

But narrators and listeners must remember that personal stories are memories that can be colored in various shades over time

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About lorettelavine

Wife, mother, grandmother, registered nurse, licensed clinical social worker, blogger. Parent and child advocate, involved in life.
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