Writing for Support
There is a lovely small book, newly published called " Write What Remains " in which author Yvonne Kaisinger writes about what remains for her after facing the challenges of long-term chronic conditions. In small vignettes, journal entries and observations she charts her story in an effort to make sense of it both for herself and for others. The book is available here :-
The book got me thinking about a branch of psychotherapy called narrative therapy. It has 3 main stages:-
Working on what happened:-
Naming the problem. Tracing the history of the problem. Exploring the effects of the problem. Situating the problem in context. Discovering unique outcomes.
Reframing the story:-
Helping people to bring forward unique outcomes and previously un-seen aspects of their experiences and identities. Tracing history and meaning of unique outcomes and name alternative stories and explore them.
Sharing the story:-
Writing documentation and letters. Holding rituals, celebrations, and ceremonies. Engaging with support networks and communities of care.
In thinking about the work of narrative therapy a different idea then occurred to me, around the fact that we all have stories to share, with ourselves, with friends and family and with the wider world. What would happen if we started to write and share our stories and did not only do it in therapy ? What could the world be like if we all heard and understood other people's stories ?