The Healing Story Alliance invites you to share in the resources, research, and reviews we have accumulated. We hope to be a repository for information that is helpful to our members and community. We welcome your comments and ideas.

Cancer patients who tell their life story find more peace, less depressio

University of Wisconsin–Madison News  January 19, 2018 Summary: In research supported by the National Cancer Institute, researchers measured the effect of a storytelling interview plus online resources on more than 40 people diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 cancer. The interview covered topics including important accomplishments and difficulties overcome, the effects of their cancer on them…

What do the Military and Creative Aging have to do with each other?

by Mary K. Clark Did you know there is a National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military? You might find it interesting to peruse the site. While your there, take a peek at their Reports and Publications.  You can find the following under Quick Links (Reports): Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military…

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A resource to keep in mind: Storytelling — It’s News!

Have you checked out Storytelling — It’s News!? Lucky we are that storyteller, Kate Dudding and cohorts, add to this collection throughout the year. As they share, “From classrooms to boardrooms to operating rooms, storytelling is being used as an effective communications tool around the world.” And, you might just find — the stepping stone…

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Research – a place to begin: ArtsEdSearch.org

by Mary K. Clark Ever want to find some research on storytelling? ArtsEdSearch.org might be a place to begin. They are an: online clearinghouse that collects and summarizes high quality research studies on the impacts of arts education and analyzes their implications for educational policy and practice. One such search led me to a summary…

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Healing Power of Digital Storytelling

by Mary K. Clark Where does the power lie in a story? Does the story have the power? What or who has the power when it comes to story?  I will confess, I believe story has no power, people do. Many disagree with me and I’ve been known to be wrong! In any case, everyone…

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The Narrative in a Suitcase Project

by Mary K. Clark How can journey metaphors be used to assist child refuges?  Zimbabwean psychologist and narrative therapist, Ncazelo Nucbe-Mlilo shares the Narratives in the suitcase project. Story, play and creativity  are used to help children connect with their stories and dreams for the future. The project also helps others see and understand a…

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Memory Making & Personal Storytelling

by Mary K. Clark Are our memories static? Do they change? What impact does this have in the stories we tell and the stories we live out?  In Greg Miller’s article How Our Brains Make Memories, Karim Nader, a neuroscientist shares his belief that our memories are changed by the “simple act of remembering.”  This…

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Graphic Storytelling & Medical Narratives

by Mary K. Clark Are you interested in storytelling and medical narratives? While many who visit the Healing Story Alliance Website are oral storytellers, we can learn much from story as it is expressed in other art forms. Penn State University’s College of Medicine asks their 4th year residents to create graphic stories – that…

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A Word, A Story, A Resource

by Mary K. Clark In this moment what word strikes you as powerful? Once you have that word, does it evoke a story? I thought of the word yes and it did evoke a story. I was having a difficult time keeping a promise. I never had such difficulty making a change in my life and…

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Memory and Stories: Truth, Tales and Understanding

by Mary K. Clark We all have them – personal stories.  Whether we are performing, sharing anecdotes, family stories or heartfelt remembrances, we often tell our stories as if they were absolutely the truth and nothing but the truth. And, because we feel that way ourselves, our stories are often believed. Perhaps our stories are…

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Wisdom, Stories and Healing

by Mary K. Clark Do you have an interest in learning more about healing stories, untold stories, indigenous cultures and topics such as intergenerational trauma? I stumbled upon a treasure of a site today and came away with a greater understanding of the human experience. The Wisdom of the Elders site includes a section called…

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Metaphor, Language and A Very Simple Mathematical Formula!

by Mary K. Clark Ah metaphors! A knight in shining armor. It’s raining cats and dogs. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. We use metaphors all the time, but what is known about how they are processed in the brain?  Jon Hamilton shares some interesting information in Imagine A Flying Pig:  How…

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Life Oral Review

by Mary K. Clark Imagine that your job is to record, edit and produce a story – the “last story” of a person who has entered hospice. This story will be shared with family and loved ones.  How would you handle the interview? What types of techniques would you use?  Equipment? What about editing?  What…

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Waking Up the Stories Within Us ~ Interview with Nancy Mellon author of Body Eloquence

Interview with Julie de Bastion, July 9, 2008 Nancy Mellon is [a] storyteller, healer, visionary and artist. Her workshops brim with creativity and wisdom, and now she has written an extraordinary new book, Body Eloquence, published by Energy Psychology Press in the USA. Body Eloquence, written in collaboration with Ashley Ramsden, reveals deep and amazing…

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Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

by Mary K. Clark Really?  Is it that simple? Just tell a story and we’ll activate the brain of the listener. Ah! If only I’d known it was this easy. It is fascinating to read about what we are just beginning to know about the science of storytelling. Lani Peterson brought my attention to The…

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Manipulation, Story and the Truth – When do we go too far?

by Mary K. Clark A mystery unfolded for me just the other day. I found I was between stories and storytellers, between two fine people who shared very different truths with me about the same event. If only each could hear the other. But they haven’t and it isn’t my place to share. Before I…

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Power of Being Heard, Empathy, Understanding and Research

by Mary K. Clark How does it feel to be understood?  What is involved in empathy? How quickly do impressions of others form? What is the connection between empathy and emotional contagion? How do we come to understand each other?  What does research have to share that can help us with these questions? The four resources…

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Transforming Fear in the Aftermath of School Shootings

Compiled for public use by Laura Simms. The Healing Story Alliance is grateful to Diane Wyzga for sending these resources collected by Morgan Adams. They are for those working with children and parents affected by the Connecticut tragedy. The increasing senseless  violence culminating in the terrifying events that occurred yesterday affect all of us.  You…

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The Race Card Project

by Mary K. Clark. Race?  How do you start a conversation or share a story around race? In 2010, Michelle Norris started a national conversation on this prickly topic with The Race Card Project.  Jesse Washington, recently wrote about Norris and her project: She asked for just six words. Michele Norris, the National Public Radio…

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Storytelling, Body Maps, Research: Undocumented Workers

by Mary K. Clark I found myself captivated by the storytelling and body maps used in gathering research for the e-book, Entangled in a Web of Exploitation and Solidarity: Latin American Undocumented Workers in the Greater Toronto Area, authored by Denise Gastaldo, Christine Carrasco and Lilian Magalhães.  I also came away with a better understanding of …

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The Art of Conversation Revived

by Mary K. Clark. Imagine having a conversation without someone glancing down at their smartphone – repeatedly.  The ancient art of conversation was revived in lower Manhattan this week; people talking with people, sharing and telling stories, in real time – no filters or interruptions.  Bianca Bosker writes in New York Blackout Kills Phones, Revives…

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Forgiveness – a Story and a Project

by Mary K. Clark. Revenge? Forgiveness? Busyness?  Paul Vallely suggests that there is more involved in forgiveness than we might think. He shares with us the revealing story of Eric Lomax  who recently passed away, in an article entitled, The ultimate heroism is forgiving the enemy.  (This site does take a moment or two to…

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Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

by Mary K.  Clark. We talk with our bodies don’t we?  Isn’t that what body language is all about?  A person’s body language helps convey their story to the listener.  It turns out that body language may also change how people see themselves – perhaps how storytellers see themselves. Amy Cuddy gives a fascinating TED…

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Children Full of Life – A Teacher Shares His Wisdom

by Mary K. Clark. How do we teach our children to be happy? to understand feelings?  to cope with bullying and death? to share compassion?  Mr. Kanamori, a 4th grade teacher and his students share their wisdom in a wonderful documentary entitled, Children Full of Life.  Mr. Kanamori’s  class is followed for  one year –…

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Stories of Mesothelioma Survivors Inspire Hope Among Patients

by Faith Franz. When cancer survivors share their stories, they do more than highlight their own experiences – they provide others with hope for similar success. Survivor stories can help patients with rare cancers such as mesothelioma feel less isolated by their condition. They can also help patients with a terminal diagnosis see that there…

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Patient Voices Website

by Mary K. Clark. What a delight it is to discover the Patient Voices website!  This site houses over 250 digital stories that help viewers gain insight into health care and social responsibility. In addition to stories, you will find interesting research and resources. In 2003, Pip Hardy and Tony Sumner founded Patient Voices which…

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Play – It’s Necessary, Could It Be Healing?

by Mary K. Clark. Play is especially important.  According to Dr. Stuart Brown we need play just like we need to sleep and dream. He writes: Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities. I love to play and…

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The Storytelling Project Model: A Theoretical Framework for Critical Examination of Racism Through the Arts

by Mary K. Clark. This essay, The Storytelling Project Model: A Theoretical Framework for Critical Examination of Racism Through the Arts  by Lee Anne Bell & Rosemarie A. Roberts describes . . . . . . the evolution of a theoretical model for teaching critically about racism and racial stories utilizing the arts. We reflect…

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The Timeslips Program: Story, Dementia and a Bit of Imagination

by Mary K. Clark.  The joy and importance of shared connection and communication are discussed in a recent NPR story entitled Alzheimer’s Patients Turn To Stories Instead of Memories by Joanne  Silberner.  She writes: On one recent day, 15 elderly people were forming a circle. The room is typical — linoleum floors, cellophane flowers on…

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The Placebo Effect, Language and Story

by Mary K. Clark. In Counterclockwise ~ Mindful Health and The Power of Possibility,  Ellen J. Langer explores aging and mindfulness.  The book is a fascinating read on the topic of mindfulness, however, she also explores the effect of placebos and language. The most dramatic example of language acting as placebo can be found in the…

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The Brain, Story and the Written Word

by Mary K.  Clark. Can stories stimulate and possibly even change how we act in life?  Neuroscience is showing that it can according to Annie Murphy Paul in her New York Times Opinion Piece, Your Brain on Fiction. Researchers have long known that the “classical” language regions, like Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are involved…

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Untold Stories

by Mary K. Clark Though stories may not be shared in spoken or written word, they often are shared between the lines – between moments – seemingly invisible, yet ever present. These are some of my musings after coming upon Holocaust survivors:  Harrowing Ordeals still largely untold written by Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post.…

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The Robe of Love: Secret Instructions of the Heart

Retold by Laura Simms. Codhill Press: ISBN 1-930337-05-1 Book Review by Karl Hallsten. I was pressed one morning, getting ready for a 6 hour-workshop I was presenting the following day, when a package came. I had ordered a new release by Laura Simms, The Robe of Love: Secret Instructions of the Heart, at a bargain…

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The Healing Heart Books

by Allison Cox Book Review by Antoinette Botsford Imagine hanging out with many of your favorite storytellers from near and far, sharing tales, batting theories and experiences about, musing over a surprising twist on an old yarn, and then finding yourself engrossed in a totally new story from an admired teller you’ve wanted to meet…

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Spinning Gold out of Straw

by Diane Rooks ISBN 0-9709598-4-2 Salt Run Press Book Review by Kathy McGregor Diane Rooks suffered the sudden death of her son and went on to write about. In her book, Spinning Gold Out of Straw; How Stories Heal, she examines a lot more than how stories heal she affords us the unique opportunity to…

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Bill Noonan’s Annotated Bibliography

(Student’s Research 1988 – 1997) Becvar, Dorothy & Raphael, J. “Storytelling and Family Therapy.” The American Journal of Family Therapy 21, no. 2 (1993): 145-60. This article examines four aspects of storytelling as they relate to various therapeutic models. The author explores the application via the approaches used by such individuals as Rollo May, Gregory…

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Storytelling with Children

by Nancy Mellon Hawthorn Press, 2000 ISBN – 1-903458-08-0 Book Reviews by Katrina Kenison and Thomas Moore Katrina Kenison Nancy Mellon invites us to liberate the inner storyteller who resides within each one of us. In this wise and wonderful book, she provides all the tools parents and teachers need to engage in this practical,…

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Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories

by Loren Niemi and Elizabeth Ellis Book Review by Joan Stockbridge Like a good story, this book can be taken on many levels. Niemi and Ellis have written a book that is an excellent how-to handbook on telling difficult stories as well as a meaningful exploration of the deeper reasons behind the human need to…

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Curriculum: The Women’s Empowerment Program in 2008

By Joan Stockbridge It is a pleasure to offer this report and curriculum for posting on the Healing Story Alliance website. When Gail and I received the $650 grant from NSN in 2003 to develop and document a transferable curriculum, we hoped that many people would be able to make use of the curriculum as…

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Bibliography

(** denotes favorite resources) See Also: Annotated Bibliography by Bill Noonan Ajjan, D. The Day My Father Died: Women Share Their Stories of Love, Loss and Life. Philadelphia, PA: Running Cliffs, 1994. Akeret, Ed.D., and Robert U. Family Tales, Family Wisdom: How to Gather the Stories of a Lifetime and Share Them With Your Family.…

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Culture and Facial Expressions

by Mary K. Clark Are facial expressions a universal language? This was a very small but intriguing study which challenged the theory that facial expressions are the same across diverse cultures. Facial expressions have been called the “universal language of emotion,” but people from different cultures perceive happy, sad or angry facial expressions in unique ways,…

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Digital Storytelling Resources – Health, Education, Social Change …

by Mary K. Clark Some wonderful digital storytelling resources are shared at Culture and health:  A Festival of ideas and resources. Digital storytelling connects us in many ways. If you haven’t checked it out yet and/or are interested in learning more, this article has a great list of sites to get you started: Digital Storytelling…

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Culturally Appropriate Storytelling to Improve Blood Pressure – A Randomized Trial

by Mary K.  Clark Can story be used to improve blood pressure? African-Americans with uncontrolled high blood pressure benefited from an intervention using DVDs of real patients’ stories of how they dealt with their chronic disease. Read the rest of the article at:  http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=71702.  This article is shared  by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  To…

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