Reflections of Emotional Truth Narratives

Reflections of Emotional Truth Narratives

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9051-5.ch006
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This narrative provides fictional examples based on factual experiences of patients who worked with a health coach and the story of a grieving daughter who experienced her mother's death. Factual truth focuses on facts, while emotional truth focuses on the emotions associated with a memory. Sometimes when life brings difficulties, discussing the emotional truth of events through the writing process can provide a coping mechanism for emotional trauma and insight of a path forward leading to better days.
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Memories Of Marilyn

Winter in Kettering, Ohio was more brutal than usual this year. Marilyn Kepler Bird looked out the window of the hospital at the blizzard. She had been a patient in the hospital for some minor medical tests and felt ready to go home. However, no one was going home in this storm.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Writing Voice: Voice in writing describes how a writer uses word choice and tone to compose a journal entry or other written composition that reflects the personality of the writer. Just like each person has a unique speaking voice, each writer has a unique writing voice.

Expressive Writing: Writing that is exploratory and focuses on meaning and first impressions.

Multigenre Writing: Discussed in the field of education by Tom Romano, a multigenre paper consists of two parts: creative writing in multiple genres and the writer’s analysis of the genres.

Narrative Medicine: The field of medicine, used by programs such as the one Rita Charon founded at Columbia University, which encourages medical practitioners to use theories from the fields of literature and composition to enhance comprehension of the stories patients share.

Story-Truth and Happening-Truth: Happening-truth is an objective factual account of events which occurred. Story-truth, sometimes referred to as emotional truth, is a subjective reflection of a person’s thoughts and feelings about the same event when retelling that story. Writers such as Tim O’Brien, Natalie Goldberg, and Anne Lamott believe in the power of emotional truth that enables writers to switch back and forth from objective observations to subjective emotions when sharing a story.

Journal Writing: The process of a person responding to prompts and writing about his or her thoughts and feelings. While journal writing is typically associated with writing classrooms, writing teachers including Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg advocate that journal writing can be done by anyone, anywhere. Students in an English classroom, patients in a physical therapy clinic, and readers of this chapter in their living rooms can pick up pen, paper, and just write.

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