Healing: Use the Power of Your Voice Through Your Stories

Healing: Use the Power of Your Voice Through Your Stories

Linda Marie Ellington (Southern New Hampshire University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5981-8.ch002

Abstract

This chapter, per the author, is to convey the significance in facilitating healing through storytelling empowering individuals to reclaim and build sustainable lives for themselves. People will feel the force of passion and commitment in their stories as they reflect and become inspired to act. When we help identify a way to transfer hurt to healing, we move people to consider what they might become if they are “more” than the hurt—more determined, more prepared, more confident, and more empowered. The purpose of this chapter is to advocate the use of storytelling as an effective medium to embrace in the positive power, benefit, and effect that stories have in the healing cycle. Stories may appear to be simplistic yet are purposeful. However, developmental psychologists point out that stories are not innocent as they always have a message. These emotionalized messages have been told over centuries and yet the messages are often lost, unappreciated, and unheard in the clutter of assumptions, caveats, data, and the fear that the storyteller will not be taken seriously.
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What Is Storytelling?

Once upon a time there was an ancient form of communication called storytelling. It was a basic endeavor. One person talked and one or more people listened. Then it fell in disfavor. There are several theories why, but most likely it had something to do with the fact that storytelling did not involve remote controls, fast-forward buttons or joysticks (Strickler, 1990). Storytelling was not flashy. The sound was limited to what came out of a person’s mouth; there were no special effects. Worst of all, you could not brag to your friends about having just spent a month’s wages for a state-of-the-art-high-tech storytelling unit (1990).

However, storytelling has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as it appears that people are desperate for human contact, or something as basic as looking for the warmth that storytelling provides. Scholars and storytellers such as Howard (1991) reiterate to their audience that storytelling is more personal than story reading. Through stories we are taken immediately to another world and put into an adventure that engages the psyche as we attempt to gain an understanding of the emotional conflict in the story. Fisher (1989) defined storytelling as a communication process by which humans break down complex information into narratives that are shared between individuals and amongst groups. Many scholars have denoted that storytelling is how we make sense of our lives, as it defines cultures, establishes values, standards, and helps us cope with the ever-changing environment.

Stories may appear to be simplistic yet are purposeful. However, developmental psychologists point out that stories are not innocent as they always have a message. These emotionalized messages have been told over centuries and yet the messages are often lost, unappreciated, and unheard in the clutter of assumptions, caveats, data, and the fear that the storyteller will not be taken seriously.

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