Definition of Therapeutic Use of Storytelling

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Therapeutic Storytelling is a powerful, fun and exciting method of psychotherapy, and group therapy that can be used on individuals of any age and in many different styles and variations. The therapist can incorporate verbal and non-verbal information using puppets, acting, facial expressions, books, journals, experiences and more. It is the preparation and delivery of the story that affects the therapeutic outcome for the clients who are participating in the program. Therapeutic success is accomplished as the clients identify with the elements in the story and then embraces the desired outcomes and messages that are meant to be taken from what was just mentally or physically seen and/or heard ("The art & science of storytelling therapy," 2011).

Overview of potential target groups

Counselling Patients and Families: Families recognise their strengths in the process of sharing their stories. A feedback process alongside the storytelling assists in reaching the desired outcomes of counselling ( Vetere & Dowling, 2005). The use of stories in buffering and making reality easier to talk about out loud and with another person. A way of using stories about others that relate to the client and coming up with solutions for success on how to overcome obstacles and barriers associated with the issue at hand (Robjanta & Fezelb, 2010).

Children, Adults and Seniors: When children experience difficult emotions which are not discussed, they may demonstrate challenging behaviour as a result. With the use of therapeutic storytelling, they are able to process the situation fully and get the help to accept their painful feelings (Sunderland, 2000). The uses of stories allow individuals of any age to think back, think in the present and think abou...

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Robjanta, K., & Fezelb, M. (2010). The emerging evidence for narrative exposure therapy: A review.

The art & science of storytelling therapy. (2011). Retrieved from

Sunderland, M. (2000). Using story telling as a therapeutic tool with children. Bicester: Speechmark Publishing Ltd.

Vromans, L., & Schweitzer, R. (2011). Narrative therapy for adults with major depressive disorder: Improved symptom and interpersonal outcomes. Psychotherapy Research, 21, Fulton, D. (2013). Using storytelling to support children and adults with special needs. Third Avenue, New York: Nichola Grove

Welcome to the UK's largest selection of storytelling courses. (n.d.). International school of storytelling,.(2011).

Young, E. (2010). Narrative therapy and elders with memory loss. Clinical Social Work Journal, s38(2), 193-202 .

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