Module summary

This module is about the power of stories. It describes the storytelling process that can be used to enhance teaching and research. It is a therapeutic non-invasive human process which dignifies and respects the humanity of individuals, and has existed across many cultures throughout history. The module outlines how storytelling triggers a three-stage healing process involving the incorporation of the physical, the mental and the spiritual.

Key areas covered

  • Why storytelling is a powerful tool for healthcare teaching and practice
  • The healing processes of storytelling
  • How to lead storytelling practices and narrative interviews

Learning outcomes

  1. How to listen to stories and build authentic relationships
  2. How to create personal and structural permissions.
  3. Understanding Referencing and its applications (GRT)
  4. Understanding emotional awareness and issues relating to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). How does this help understand stories?

Importance of module to healthcare delivery

Using storytelling in healthcare settings involves seeing the patient’s health issue from their perspective and understanding their suffering. Practicing medicine with narrative competence results in a better understanding of the patient’s story, making for improved care and increased patient satisfaction.

Importance of module to individual healthcare professionals

The narratives we construct about our experiences have a profound impact on how we understand and move through our lives. Sharing a story is an effective means of imparting wisdom to others and a valuable tool for processing our own experiences. An encounter with a story that helps us make sense of a troubling experience is a powerful healing tool; such a narrative helps us formulate a plan for coping and provides evidence that others have faced the same challenges and survived. Stories matter because they are a powerful mechanism for instilling hope.

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