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.

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!

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