What is Therapeutic Storytelling? Stories use metaphor and imagery to change the way we see our lives and the world, offering healing and growth to everyone - teller and listener alike. They connect us to each other and help us find meaning and hope. Therapeutic storytelling can change the way we see our lives and the world. Using metaphor, stories offer healing to everyone. For more information about therapeutic storytelling, visit All Things Healing online today!

Introduction to Therapeutic Storytelling
(Asst Editor: Norma-Jean Strickland) Michael is a storyteller, StoryCoach, and teacher, with interests in therapeutic storytelling, coaching, leadership, personal and community dev...
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Michael Williams, PhD
We are currently seeking a Co-Editor and/or Assistant Editor for this section. For more information please contact Sherri Carter at

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reviewed by Laura Simms

The peace-making potential of engaged storytelling is described and made visceral in The New Story: Storytelling as a pathway to Peace (Matador, 2015). Savor the opportunity to sit with someone who has walked the walk personally and professionaly...


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: Award-winning storyteller, author, and humanitarian Laura Simms reviews an important book from Inger Lise Oelrich entitled The New Story: Storytelling as a Pathway to Peace (Matador, 2015).


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Laura Simms

The Journey of the Healer as Teller of Tales is complex:

As a storyteller I have learned that to tell a story and lead others through it with a depth of intimacy and distance (simultaneously) I need to have lived the story myself. It is not always the incidents of the tale that I know, but the experience of the journey...

Editor's Note from Michael Williams: As Laura points out, the journey of the storyteller as healer is a long and complex one. Yet, it is absolutely necessary, for the storyteller cannot take his or her audience on an emotional journey without having travelled the path beforehand. In this article, Laura shares her map of one of those journeys.


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Lisa Bloom

We arrived in plenty of time, exactly three hours before we were due to take off. There was no security check, surprisingly enough, and then they told us that the flight was cancelled...


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: Story-coach Lisa Bloom recounts a personal experience to remind us of which stories we buy into -- disaster stories or opportunity stories? Read on and then tell me, which one is yours? A must-read for business owners and creative entrepreneurs.


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Lisa Bloom

Thirty-five years ago, I revealed a terrible secret.

I told my friend something that she was not supposed to know. It was a dreadful secret that had been held in their family forever...




Therapeutic Storytelling

by Martha Alderson, MA

The Universal Story is the heartbeat of the universe. It's in the undercurrent of every breath you take, every story you tell yourself, and all the stories you write. The Universal Story represents the story of one man changing and evolving as part of the bigger story of all of nature and world around us undergoing constant change and evolution...


Editor's Note from Norma-Jean Strickland: Martha Alderson, MA, is a writer by night, but by day she helps other writers achieve their dreams of completing a worthy project. During a plot consultation with her, writers recount the scenes and events, ideas and vision for their stories. Throughout the process, she whispers plot parameters, offers tips on theme and nuance, character and depth, tricks for layering and pacing, all with the hope of reawakening in writers the rhythm of the Universal Story form.


Therapeutic Storytelling


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: The founder of the Narrative Medicine programme at Columbia University, Dr. Rita Charon, gives a TEDxTalk in Atlanta on the importance of honoring our stories of illness. Dr. Charon gets to the heart of the meaning of medicine and the importance of storytelling to our health and well-being.

Therapeutic Storytelling

by Cheri Baker

Appreciative Inquiry is a consulting methodology or philosophy which states that powerful change can arise from a focus on what is already working well in organizations. Rather than the old problem solving approach of fixing what is broken, AI tells us to focus on what is strongest, and then translate those strengths into action...


Editor's Note: In this article, consultant Cheri Baker shares her experience of using Appreciative Inquiry and storytelling to transform and empower a business team.


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Michael Williams,
ATH Co-Editor of Therapeutic Storytelling

You always think it happens to someone else -- accidents, serious illness and hospitalisation. In his poem "Ambulances" the poet Philip Larkin suggests that while we all look on with concern and gravity when we hear the ambulance siren, we're all greatly relieved that it's not coming for us...


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Michael Watson

The last couple of weeks have brought to our attention a large number of posts about the transformative power of story. We would like to share a few of those...


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: Storyteller and psychotherapist Michael Watson shares some recent reflections on the transforming power of storytelling.


Therapeutic Storytelling


Editor´s Note from Michael Williams: Storyteller Burt Meyer from North Carolina tells the tale of "Jack and Old Man Death", one of many Jack tales that made their way over from Scotland and Ireland to the Appalachians in the U.S. It's a classic story and one that was meant to help us become more accepting of our mortality.


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Mary Louise Chown

Hearing a story is like listening to music, the words falling off the teller’s tongue, onto our ears, and into our heart, setting thoughts and memories in motion. Stories are heard in the deep heart’s core and answer the burning questions that we all have. Who are we? Where did we come from? Who do we love? What have we forgotten that is important to remember?


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: In this article, storyteller and mediator Mary Louise Chown reflects on her therapeutic work with story and children. She states: "Children especially need the experience of listening to stories and discovering connections with their own lives. This can strengthen their spirits for when they meet hard times, such as illness or death, or any kind of sadness or disappointment."


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Gillian Huebner

Perhaps the most devastating - and simultaneously most hopeful - experience that I have had as a humanitarian worker was during the final stage of Angola's civil war. In February 2002, I was in Moxico, where internally displaced populations were arriving in droves, often in critical condition...


Therapeutic Storytelling

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Moggys Tale: A Story Coaching Journey

by Michael Williams, PhD, Co-Editor of Therapeutic Storytelling

A middle-aged woman—a former librarian—stands before us, takes a deep breath, looks us in the eye and begins. Over the next five minutes she tells a story of a cat. The cat once belonged to her, in another place, in another time. Then the cat died. End of story.

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