StoriesWork shared interesting and discussion-oriented tales with a group of young ex-offenders and senior adults. The stories were short and very thought-provoking, and the staff did a great job of encouraging conversation after sharing the piece. The seniors walked away very happy to have participated and continued some of the discussions after the formal class.
I used to assist in the presentation of the StoriesWork method to various groups. It is an amazing thing to watch. The process takes a room of reserved, reluctant people, and induces them to be engaged in dynamic dialog within a very short time. This is the same process that is helpful in providing the lever to activate the minds and the responses of the individuals in need that the process was designed to help.
StoriesWork is a most unusual organization which has kept my interest for many years. What has impressed me most is the method of learning through storytelling, appropriate to so many subjects. I look forward to receiving the StoriesWork quarterly newsletter, The Seeing “I”. which brings new and exciting information - and especially fascinating stories. StoriesWork is unique in its contribution.
As a manager and attorney, the materials on examples provided by StoriesWork helped me to be more effective in listening to what clients and subordinates were telling me, helping me to clarify issues and concerns, and identify problems and solutions. For me it opened a previously untapped resource.
StoriesWork initiates dialogue about issues that are difficult for most people to talk about. By hearing and reacting to a folktale, people are able to express their thoughts about behaviors, attitudes, and situations in a safe way. I have seen absolute strangers walk into a room and, without really realizing it, go from discussing characters in a tale to discussing the community's role in preventing violence or how they understood the options of a woman in an abusive relationship or how two people can communicate better in parent-child or partner relationships. It is sometimes difficult for others to understand how this works until they participate in a workshop and see the magic of a storyteller and skilled facilitator. StoriesWork helps foster non-judgmental spaces that empower people to share their ideas. They key is often that the facilitator knows the right questions to ask and lets participants guide the discussion. Once you're in it, you don't want to leave, and once it's over you want to come back. This is a unique organization that can really make a difference in raising a community's awareness, unity, and empowerment to tackle issues in a safe but honest way--all steps that ultimately lead to change.
StoriesWork provides various groups of people an opportunity to reflect on issues that concern them in a permissive atmosphere. After observing a group of correction workers I was struck by the insights gained as a result of their discussions of the stories. It is a useful tool. StoriesWork has perfected the methodology for use with specific groups: ( Abused women, adolescents, seniors, etc) Esta Thomas
StoriesWork is a remarkable service whose premise appears simple but whose effect yields lasting depth of understanding. Using a specialized collection of short, focused folk tales from cultures around the world, trained volunteers are able to elicit comments and shared conversation from populations who are not normally given to intimate discussion. I know the effectiveness of StoriesWork from being a member of a StoriesWork session and again in a volunteer training workshop and also being one of the consultants for a psychiatrist who was a co-leader for a workshop. I am a curriculum and training designer and without reservation I can say I have not encountered a program which could in a single afternoon provoke a shift in understanding and a lasting barometer for one's own behavior. Perhaps not inconsequentially, these workshops also provide a source of laughter and joy for its participants.
StoriesWork is a non-profit helping empower women in abusive relationships. It provides training and support to caregivers and trains counselors in the use of folktales as a healing technique. I've seen how it works and its value as a technique with the groups it serves.
I got involved because I have seen the effect Storieswork has had on people in trauma. There is no other program like Storieswork. It is important to open new channels for this work.
StoriesWork is a unique program. Volunteer story tellers use folk tales to prompt discussion by participants about certain issues. The discussion is limited to the context of the tale. Participants gain insight into contemporary issues and their perspectives on those issues by discussing the stories. It works.