Stories in Health Care

Storytelling Programmes can be developed to meet the needs of the health and social care services, for example in hospitals and hospices.

Research has shown that listening to stories can help them relax and reduce tension, as well as helping people to use stories to explore some of the issues in their own lives. As a psychiatric social worker, I ran groups for clients, where we would start with a folktale and use that as a starting point for exploring common themes

I was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to travel to the US and Canada in Autumn 2006 to study the use of Storytelling in the care of the dying and bereaved.

I also work as a bereavement volunteer with Cruse Bereavement Care, and run workshops on storytelling in the care of the bereaved.

Storytelling with people with dementia can be very helpful. It allows them to recall their experiences and emotions from tales that they may have known when they were younger. It is also useful to encourage them to create micro stories in the moment. Confabulation is a common feature of dementia, and can be used as a strength to develop self-esteem, and as a tool for staff to better relate to the people in their care. I have trained with Time Slip an organisation in the US that promotes storytelling with people with dementia.

I welcome opportunities to develop projects.