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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“Wherever a story comes from, whether it is a familiar myth or a private memory, the retelling exemplifies the making of a connection from one pattern to another: a potential translation in which narrative becomes parable and the once upon a time comes to stand for some renascent truth. This approach applies to all the incidents of everyday life: the phrase in the newspaper, the endearing or infuriating game of a toddler, the misunderstanding at the office. Our species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.”

~Mary Catherine Bateson


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Kathy Warnes

That day, so long ago, that I rushed home from school to ask my mother for the blue dress knowing that I would sell my brothers and sisters to the Russians just to own it.

There was going to be a special program at church Saturday night, and Don the Dreamboat was taking me. I wanted to look as beautiful on the outside as I felt on the inside when he looked at me. I was convinced I needed that special blue dress to show him how pretty I could be on the outside...


Therapeutic Storytelling


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: It's always refreshing to hear a traditional tale at Christmas time. This one comes from storyteller Michael R. Kasey-O'Malley of Columbus Ohio. Here he offers his version of a tale from Central Europe about the origin of the Christmas tree.


Therapeutic Storytelling


"Stories are the collective wisdom of everyone who has ever lived. Your job as a storyteller is not simply to entertain. Nor is it to be noticed for the way you turn a phrase. You have a very important job - one of the most important. Your job is to let people know that everyone shares their feelings - and that these feelings bind us. Your job is a healing art, and like all healers, you have a responsibility. Let people know they are not alone. You must make people understand that we are all the same."

~ Brian McDonald, The Golden Theme: How to Make Your Writing Appeal to the Highest Common Denominator



Therapeutic Storytelling

by Helen McKay and Berice Dudley

The following extract is from Helen McKay's and Berice Dudley's book “About Storytelling: a Practical Guide” (1998). In this, they discuss the use of storytelling in therapy. Follow the link to learn more about their book and the work they do.




Editor's Note from Norma-Jean Strickland: Since we’re approaching the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to share a 10-minute video which is one of the most beautiful expressions of gratitude I have seen in quite awhile. Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials. As a visual artist, he has created some of the most iconic and memorable film moments of our time.


Therapeutic Storytelling


Project to record life stories of seniors in San Francisco, co-sponsored by & San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services. A lovely example of the joy life stories can bring...


Therapeutic Storytelling


A Perfect Fit by Emily Jameson

A loving digital story by Emily Jameson which pays tribute to her friend Katie Nolan who tragically died with two friends while climbing on Mt. Hood in northern Oregon in 2009. Emily's story is an example of the power of storytelling to celebrate lives and to initiate the healing after such a tragedy. For more on this story go here.  


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Norma-Jean Strickland,
ATH Asst. Editor of Therapeutic Storytelling

The following books are highly recommended for those of you who wish to delve more deeply into storytelling, whether you are a writer, teacher or student, particularly since the new school year has already begun. These books will assist your research into the elements of what makes a good story, interpretation and other tools...






Therapeutic Storytelling

by Michael Williams,
ATH Editor of Storytelling

Love it or loathe it, Google is very much part of our online lives. For many, it's the digital engine of choice, bringing us information, images, our email, supporting our blogs and hosting our conversations. For anyone working online, it's an essential tool and that's no less true for the editor of Therapeutic Storytelling here at All Things Healing...


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: Love it loathe it Google can be a very useful tool for searching the world's best stories on storytelling.


Therapeutic Storytelling


Editor's Note from Norma-Jean Strickland: Parents sometimes become storytellers whether they want to or not. This YouTube video is from the Minnesota Public Radio station and is about a mother answering her young daughter’s relentless questions about sex. It made me laugh so hard, I nearly cried! I hope you enjoy it, too!


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Michael Williams, Ph.D.

In a recent article, published in the Kansas City Star (1 August 2017), writer Emmanuel Ngomsi laments the decline of traditional oral storytelling in his village of Kouansi in the African nation of Cameroon. According to Ngomsi, the growing availability and use of mobile phones and social media have attracted the younger generation away from more traditional sources of knowledge and wisdom. Ngomsi writes,




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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