A warm welcome to my storytelling blog

Thank you for looking at my blog.
Stories can please, thrill, delight, enchant, challenge, distract, tease, disappoint, anger, charm, patronize, disgust, beguile......
But I personaly believe thay can do no harm.
I would be delighted if you were to leave feed back.

5 Sep 2009

The story so far.

As a child I was read to a lot by my parent and grand parent, so stories are not new to me. However, I only became aware of the power, the joy, the thrill and the enchantment of storytelling as an adult in spring 2008 at the age of 37. I was at work in a Medium Secure psychiatric Hospital, nursing on a female ward. One day I was in the Intensive Care Unit with two colleagues nursing a patient. The patient told me she was feeling board. I asked her if she would like to listen to a story, she said she would................Help! I thought to myself, I can't remember a whole story! But the pressure was on I had to tell a story, I didn't have a clue what I was doing and just started with 'Once upon a time' then I dug deep into my memory and out came 'Baba Yaga' a story from 'Old Peter Russian Tails.' I told it with lots of 'ummmmmms' and 'aaaaaas' It took about 10 minutes. At the end the patient continued to look at me and then said: 'Can you tell it again'. I told it again but this time more fluently and with a bit more detail. Inside I felt as if I was smiling and the rest of the shift passed by peacefully enough. Just before I went home the two colleagues that had also listened to the story whilst in the Intensive Care Unit said they had enjoyed the story and were very surprised how well the patient had sat and listened and concentrated.
When I got home I put storytelling into a search engine and found a whole world of storytelling.
A short time later I went on a weekend introduction course to storytelling at Emerson College, Forest Row.
Back on the ward the psychologist was looking for inspiration for a group activity as part of a group she was running. I suggested storytelling. So, every week for six weeks I told a story at the end of each group. I used 'The King of Ireland's Son' I realised then that a week was not very much time to prepare a story, but the expectation was only to fill 15 - 20 minutes.
When the six week was up, to my surprise some of the patient asked if I would continue to tell stories..........Needles to say I wanted to. With the support and help from other staff on the ward I started a storytelling club with the patient. I used a book called 'Telling Tales' by Steve Killick and Taffy Thomas, for guidance and to find out about other things to do in a storytelling group, and used warm up exercises. we would sometimes light an imaginary fire to sit around.
Over the past 18 months the storytelling club has been introduced to Dr. Elinor Kapp, who kindly came and told stories to the club on a couple of occasions. The patients held a raffle and with the money some percussion instruments were purchased to use during the group.
The club takes place now on two wards (one female ward one male ward) in the hospital on the last Thursday of each month in the evening. The stories being told are Wonder Stories, Folk Stories, Legends and Myths. The patients have also told stories, some made up by them selves and some they already knew or learned especially to tell for the club.

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