Narrative Medicine - Storytelling and Listening
What is it?
This work includes a broad range of practices that draw on the potential for communication and authenticity within all people. Under this heading exists Art , Expressive Movement, and Diary Keeping or Visual Journalism, Storytelling, Music and Theater, Play, Poetry, and Gardening to name a few.
Creative process gives access to resources, which are then developed and strengthened by use.
The main intention of this work is to witness and value the individual inspiration in all people, and work with people to create spaces for the sharing to take place. Creativity is a process, thriving on possibility, variation, and experience. In this way it is a response to the life, its ups and downs, challenges and insights.
Medicine of the past, for the Future
The sharing of personal experience through arts is the sharing of the human story. Creativity plays many roles in culture. It tells a story, it heals and it translates experience. Storytelling is a process from the roots of culture, with as many forms as there are creative mediums.
The creative practice changes the consciousness of the artist and the witness, it moves us and empowers us.
By responding creatively to experiences of life, we allow for transformation, from confusion and inertia to nourishment and authenticity.
Who can benefit?
It is part of the relational infrastructure of functional community, and so anybody within relationships in community can benefit.
Creativity is part of an individuals role and identity within community, indeed. This work helps address these questions for anybody who asks them.
In Mental Health, Creative Therapy addresses a wide range of issues including trauma, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, integrative medicine and rites of passage, anxiety, depression and communication disorders.
What makes it work?
Essentially, this can be a delicate process! Large forces are at play. There is a story needing to be told by each person in their own way.
Allowing time and space, that is favorable conditions, is fundamental. Perhaps most importantly, the human need to be seen and valued is ideally met by the process.
The cultivation of an experience, and personal understanding of meaning is a big indicator of a working process.
How long does it take?
As long it takes! The creative process takes as many forms as there are people. It might be a one off experience or ongoing, intensive or intermittent. It could be part of a routine, or something that happens when the timing is right.
In the best circumstance, there comes an experience of valuing the creative process for its own sake, with an appreciation for the ongoing journey of being a person.