Storytelling, Reading and Listening Therapy

The Power of Storytelling and Reading in Healing Children Orphaned or Traumatized by War in Northern Uganda

The power of words can serve as a force in healing psychological trauma from human suffering. This paper, presented at The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 29th Congress, was written by Beatrice Lamwaka, a renowned Ugandan writer who focuses on creative therapies that provide psychological and emotional support. Through this, she records firsthand interactions with children in Uganda who were either former child soldiers or survivors of war. Many of these children never had a normal childhood of getting an education, which left them illiterate. Storytelling becomes an effective therapy that allows them to share their experiences. The writer believes storytelling, reading and listening therapy have shown substantial healing results among the children. The article discusses in detail both the psychological sufferings experienced by child soldiers and different forms of therapies, providing both fundamental and marginal information to help the readers gain a better understanding of the issue.

Lamwaka, Beatrice. “The Power of Storytelling and Reading in Healing Children Orphaned or Traumatized by War in Northern Uganda.” IBBY 29th Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, 2004. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.nabuur.com/files/attach/2008/10/task/doc_45bec6fdc42c7.pdf>.

 

Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook (Chapter 11: Trauma-Informed Storytelling)

Storytelling has been viewed as a powerful therapy for healing trauma experienced by survivors of violence. However, storytelling also has the potential to recall the nightmare by compulsion. The National Center on Trauma-Informed Care provides this technical assistance document to specifically help female violence survivors through storytelling by promoting trauma-informed peer support. This chapter serves as a useful aid revealing how the storytelling technique is implemented. The goal is to provide peer supporters with the tools, resources, and understanding needed to engage in efficient relationships with women survivors. This guide encourages peer supporters to focus on the usage of encouragement rather than forceful methods, which could underscore patients’ active role in the healing process. The authors believe that communication through storytelling is a very powerful means of healing, and should be used with sensitivity in order to achieve its maximum effect.

Blanch, Andrea, et al. “Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook (Chapter 11: Trauma-Informed Storytelling).” National Center on Trauma-Informed Care. April 2012. Web. 9 July 2014. <http://www.nasmhpd.org/docs/publications/EngagingWomen/ PeerEngagementGuide_Color_CHAPTER11.pdf>.

 

“Listen and I tell you something”: Storytelling and social action in the healing of the oppressed

The healing process during the aftermath of government tyranny can be long and challenging. Authors Johanna Leseho and Laurie Block conducted qualitative interviews with individuals from different backgrounds and ages in Argentina and Chile, where long cruel dictatorships created psychological wounds for several citizens. Many families have suffered because their children were kidnapped. This article focuses on how listening and sharing one’s experience can be a healing tool after the end of a military dictatorship, emphasizing the power of communication. The authors believe that injustice has fragmented these societies in Argentina and Chile, and that the road towards reintegration can be difficult. This type of research sheds a different light on listening therapy, providing readers a more succinct and clear sense of its power and the true hardships of the reintegration process.

Leseho, Johanna and Laurie Block. “‘Listen and I tell you something’: Storytelling and social action in the healing of the oppressed.” British Journal of Guidance & Counseling. Vol. 33. No. 2. May 2005. Web. 24 July 2014. <http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic274510.files/Storytelling%20and %20Social%20Action.pdf>.

 

Structure in word and image: combining narrative therapy and art therapy in groups of survivors of war

With bountiful choices of creative therapies to study, many researchers shift their attention to combined experiments where two or more therapies are conducted, hoping to gain new knowledge through the comparisons. This paper assesses an interesting program conducted in the Netherlands that combines storytelling and art therapy when working with World War II survivors. This process enables an individual to tell his or her story in verbal and nonverbal ways for maximum healing. Through vivid narration that details the sensory images, this program compares the tension and effects of the two therapies. This paper has juxtaposed art therapy, a visible and creative themed therapy, with storytelling, a communication-based therapy that can reveal aspects of trauma that have not yet been explored.

Van Der Velden, Ivo and Mirjam Koops. “Structure in word and image: combining narrative therapy and art therapy in groups of survivors of war.” International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict. Vol. 3. No. 1. 2005. Web. 24 July 2014. <http://www.interventionjournal.com/downloads/31pdf/57_64%20Velden.pdf>.

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