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.

26 Feb 2010

Art Therapist

I spent the afternoon today telling stories and having some story telling fun with the Welsh Art Therapist. They had had a business meeting in the morning, and seemed to have worked hard, ready to sit back and listen to stories. At first I thought I would not have enough to tell and that it would all get a bit tedious, but on the contrary, they were all good listeners and asked questions and we had some good conversations about the stories. The stories they told about the object that they took out of the basket were very good. If you are a storyteller and Art Therapists ask you to tell them some stories, just say yes. I had a lovely time.

21 Feb 2010

Working towards Prague

Last night a group of people gathered together to do me a great favor. They let me run through what I might do at the workshop I'll be running at the International Psychiatric Nurses Conference in Prague, this April. I'm so pleased I had that opportunity because basically it was rubbish and it showed me clearly what I need to do to get the workshop together. The feed back was brilliant and has helped me see clearly what I need to work on. Lots of work to do but I'm looking forward to it. A big thank you to those 7 of you who gave you time so generously.

12 Feb 2010

A third ward

I was asked to go and run a storytelling group on a third ward in the hospital. It was during what is called 'Patient protected time'. It is a male ward. I felt it would be a challenge to engage them so went in with my 'rain stick' which attracted some attention. The timing was bad because as I arrive a patient was behaving particularly badly and needed to be escorted to the intensive care suite. The group that gathered in the side room to listen to a story was a group of four. Not bad at all. One asked if he could draw whilst listening. Great idea! He just happened to be drawing a unicorn, how fitting. I felt I needed to engage them quickly with something that was definitely NOT for children, so I started with 'The King and The Corpse' These stories are being used by clinical psychologist Steve Killick in Cardiff NHS adolescents units. They are very powerful stories and have riddles at the end, with no right or wrong answer. There was a very lively and interesting discussion afterwards. The patients asked if I would come back again next week. I left it with them to discuss the options with there ward manager.

After the group, I offered to go and tell a story to the patient that had been taken to the intensive care suite. This was generally seen as a good idea by the ward staff. I suddenly went blank and was really struggling to think of a story to tell. (Just trust the Story I said to my self) The one that came to mind was a Mexican story about La Bruha, who out smarted a judge and escaped from her prison cell with the use of magic. It is a short story which I think was all that was needed. The patient listened and seemed to relax a bit.
I returned to the nurses office and the Consultant happened to be there. Conversationally he asked me what story I told. He looked a little worried when I told him and asked if nobody had told me that that particular patient had absconded only a few weeks before? Oh heck I thought, out of all the stories I had to tell, one of escaping a prison cell! I worried about it on the way home, but then came to the conclusion that telling a story about La Bruha escaping with the use of magic, was unlikely to encourage a second abscondtion. For me the story is more about the kindness of La Bruha and Judges fear of something he did not understand so there for he wanted to get rid of La Bruha. It seems to be more about discrimination that abscondtion. At the end of the day it's just a story!

Hospital Clubs

There was a good attendance on Awen Ward storytelling club. We continue to tell the Norse Mythology. We covered one of my favorite stories, how the Gods got there gifts, Loci up to no good again. We did a new exercises, with a ball of variegated wool we built rainbow bridges to reflect Bi frost and made a web by throwing the ball between us in a circle. I was given the idea by Dr. Sue Jennings with whom I have started having supervision/mentoring sessions with on a monthly basis, looking specifically at my work with storytelling in a forensic mental health setting. It worked well and seemed to be enjoyed by the rest of the group.

On the next ward there were three participants. All of them engaged really well with the 'King of Ireland's Son'. The main stumbling block was imagining what an Enchanter is and what he might look like. This provided quite an interlude in the flow of the story but it was all very relevant and thought provoking for me. Due to that conversation and discussion I have gained a better image of what the Enchanter of the Black Back Lands might look like. Thanks to the patients for the questions and discussion.
One of the patients at the end asked if he could tell me a story, which I encouraged. What he told me was not a story as such but more what his psychotic experiences were. No harm done by listening. He told me he had never told anybody about it before, but I wounder if that was the 'story' part. I know he is surrounded by people who are good listeners.