Reflections on Therapeutic Storymaking

The Use of Stories in Groups
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With a strong emphasis on working in group settings, Reflections on Therapeutic Storymaking develops both the theory and practice of storymaking, enlivened by many examples from various cultures in which Alida Gersie has worked. The author reflects on the dynamics of the storytelling process and explores the common experiences and attitudes which emerge in story work. The book discusses a broad range of topics, including:

- the various types of narrative and their uses

- the impact of race, class and other factors on the group and group leader

- the need to encourage tolerance for the expression of emotional range

- the potential benefits of the group storytelling process.

Extending the author's earlier work on the use of stories to bring about healing change, this book will enrich the practice of anyone engaged in therapeutic work in either a group or individual setting.
  • Published: May 01 1997
  • Pages: 224
  • 232 x 158mm
  • ISBN: 9781853022722
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Press Reviews

  • Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

    ... a compelling read for anyone who is interested in what makes human beings tick... an easy and inspiring read. Alida Gersie writes with authority, humility and enthusiasm and has helped me to appreciate the importance of hearing a person's own story in its place.
  • Rostrum

    ... a lot of thought on the basics that are needed for any therapeutic group... She has ideas for dealing with the dynamics and the conflicts of a diverse group of people.
  • Mental Health Care

    ... a fascinating read... written with warmth and humanity, which has much to offer all those who work with people in distress.
  • The Arts In Psychotherapy

    Reflections On Therapeutic Storymaking is a full, wise and profoundly humane book which will be of interest to practioners who employ and/or seek to understand narrative. It will be of particular interest to art therapists, educators and storytellers. My advice to readers is not to be put off by any difficulty in following the arguement of Therapeutic Storytellimng. This is an important book which repays the reader hugely. Gersie has written heartbreakingly illuminating commentaries about storytelling. For storytellers, moreover, the traditional stories and quotiations about storytelling she has gathered from around the world, alone would be worth the price of the book. Finally, however, readers will be repaid by having the companionship of Gersie's humane, compassionate view of the human spirit as it is revealed when people tell and re-tell their own life stories and facilitate this work in others. Early in her book Gersie quotes an ancient tradition which says that one who makes a story must sit where the sky meets the underworld. The strength of Alida Gersie's Reflections On Therapeutic Storymaking; The Use of Stories In Groups is that she proffers this profound positioning as the rightful place, both of therapeutic groups and the therapists who facilitate them. To paraphrase Chaucer, when you find such a book, sell even your bed to buy it.
  • British Journal of Occupational Therapy

    Style, format and language suggests neither a textbookguide nor an easy bedtime read but reflection in a book which incongruously searches for academic credibility, whilst so naturally conveying the therapy's healing properties. It initiates and encourages a more through and reflective examination of our own practices. Be ready with pen in hand to note down the wisdom of her experience.
  • Dramatherapy

    a thorough and inspiring exploration of the practice of storymaking in groups... which keeps the reader informed, engaged, delighted and often touched. Theoretical aspects of human development, need and mental health, [and] observations from her own practice [are] interspersed with many traditional stories, as well as clients' own memory and fantasy stories and vignettes from TSM groups... I enjoyed the "storied" telling of the theory and practice of her work, the enlightening and humane use of case material and the intense caring and respect for the life stories of her clients.
  • International Journal of Psychotherapy

    This book bridges three different worlds of the storyteller, the dramatherapist, and the psychotherapist... and [is] relevant and interesting to practitioners in all three areas... being suitable for brief therapy in groups, it is economically possible to use it with mental health patients in the public sector... With her huge repertoire of traditional material, Gersie is able to produce a story to fit most occasions.
  • Journal of Psychiatric Case Reports

    ...a well-written book illustrating a novel method of group psychotherapy and the author has complete control over her subject area... would be a valuable addition to the shelves of any good psychiatric library.
  • Oxford Psychotherapy Society

    ...will enrich the practice of anyone engaged in therapeutic work, in both group and individual settings... The format and layout of this book are exemplary... a book full of wisdom and compassion, of ways in which anyone may find new and different methods of contacting a troubled soul... it is hard to do justice to this book in a review; it is so clear, so "unaffected" and yet so humane... that it must open up new possibilities for all of us, and is a valuable resource for any therapist.