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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by Donna Jacobs Sife

Using multicultural folktales in the classroom not only gives teachers a vehicle to tackle moral issues, but also exposes children to the uniqueness of other cultures. They illustrate how people around the world deal with common problems, and give children a window into a new world...

Editor's Note from Michael Williams: In Part 2 of "Storytelling and Diversity Education", Australian storyteller Donna Jacobs Sife demonstrates how the use of folktales can help children and young people reveal themselves and their concerns through storytelling. See Part 1.


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Dan Yashinsky

Based on my own experience and on interviews with other parents and medical staff in the neo-natal intensive care unit, I created a storytelling piece called Talking You In. It is a "canta storia" set to the music of composer/guitarist Brian Katz...




Therapeutic Storytelling

by Donna Jacobs Sife

Personal stories – when teachers tell stories about themselves as children, or as fallible adults, apart from building an intimacy between themselves and their students, their students can also often feel safe to admit to their own fallibilities and internal struggles, particularly if the anecdotes and memories are those of a struggle, a misunderstanding or a reaction to living in a diverse society...


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: The value of storytelling for diversity and cross-cultural education cannot be overestimated. Storytelling can build relationships, develop empathy and understanding of cultures, develop language, connect with traditions, heal grievances, impart values and ethics, and speak of difficult things in a safe and accessible way.


Therapeutic Storytelling


by Elisabeth Kuhn

How do storytelling and a happier life go together? In this article, Professor Elisabeth Kuhn describes how 'reframing' our life story can lead to a greater sense of well-being.
We all tell stories about our lives. And our lives generally unfold in a way that matches the stories we tell.


Therapeutic Storytelling


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: "Personal storytelling has become very popular for professionals as a way to connect with their audience, fan base, and customers. Many of us know the story of how Steve Jobs dropped out of college and was ousted by his own company. Business leaders like to tell the tale of how they overcame obstacles to become the successes they are. But you don't have to be the head of a Fortune 500 corporation to do so. You don't have to have a rags-to-riches scenario or even have crossed the finish line yet. Everyone has a story, and inspiration can be found in the smallest things, in any industry, in every walk of life.

People in transition are probably the most likely group to benefit from the therapeutic effects of storytelling. Divorce and unemployment are just two of the major life changes that can trigger someone to look for answers, and -- as cliché as it sounds -- the truth can usually be found within." ~Johannah Warren, Founder of Saint Columba Press and


Therapeutic Storytelling

a letter from Auriol de Smidt to Michael Williams

Here is a true story for you:

When I was thirteen my mother, a nurse, found herself nursing me in a little country hospital in Africa, with a very serious attack of typhoid fever. No antibiotics at that time...


Editor's Note from Michael Williams: Over the past 9 months, I struggled with an unexpected illness. Fortunately, I received the treatment I needed, have recovered, and am feeling much better thanks to the many prayers and blessings sent to me by family and friends—near and far. Together with the medical treatment I received, this positive energy, I believe, contributed to my healing.

I hope Auriol's story brings some of its blessing to you.


Therapeutic Storytelling


Editor´s Note from Michael Williams: Australian storyteller Jenni Cargill-Strong presents a Jewish folktale for pre-schoolers. Sometimes known as "The Tailor", Jenni's story is, as she writes, "a beautiful, simple, circle story, which makes it easy to retell and so perfect for beginnners." Learn more about Jenni's work at


Therapeutic Storytelling

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

What do you do when you feel like you’ve lost your way in life? There are many ways of seeking help if you find yourself in this situation. One way is to “speak the unspeakable” which can be accomplished through creative therapy using art, music, dance or words...


Editor's Note from Norma-Jean Strickland: People dealing specifically with therapy may find this article useful, whether they are the professional or the client.



Therapeutic Storytelling

by Lisa Bloom

So it looks something like this.

Beautiful, young woman. Rich, successful, living the life.

Happy marriage. Gorgeous, perfectly behaved kids...

Editor's Note from Michael Williams: Being authentic is something we all strive for, but it's not easy given the many roles we're asked to play in life. Story Coach founder Lisa Bloom strips away the 'mask' and explores the reality beneath and suggests that our vulnerability is what makes us human.


Therapeutic Storytelling



Editor's Note from Norma-Jean Strickland: “Therapeutic” has a variety of meanings. “Therapeutic Storytelling” can offer a tale that is deeply personal, yet simultaneously universal in its appeal. Stories are part of the fabric of life, so where better to begin than with a story about birth? Life is a gift and filled with mystery and wonder! Please enjoy this fascinating video exploring how life begins. Mathematician Alexander Tsiaris uses art and technology to take us on a visual journey from conception to birth and beyond. He marvels at how we get to be expressed as unique individuals and wind up being who we are.


Therapeutic Storytelling

by Diane Coucoulas Calleson, PhD

At some point though, maybe during the period of diagnosis and movement into surgery, I stopped using the calendar abruptly. I had moved into a shocked state. This new life of having an illness quickly took over my routine of work and vacation, and my focus turned to



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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