Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Review: Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour

In preparation for an upcoming post I wanted to share a bit of my story journey with you.

In my pursuit to teach my first born son, Thing One, through his insatiable desire for stories I stumbled across a book called "Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviors" by Susan Perrow published by Hawthorn Press, Gloucestershire.  This book was so affirming to me.  It encouraged me to make up stories to tell my boys that would address specific problems I was having with them.  Or even to make up stories to address problems we were having in our relationships with each other.  After a while this developed into making up stories to hopefully preempt problems, like the story I'm going to share with you in my next post.

A Healing Story is just that, a story to heal.  In some cases Healing Stories can work where medicine can't.  They aren't for healing broken arms or burns of course.  They are for wounds of the heart, soul and mind.  At the very least Healing Stories have no negative side effects.  In her book, Susan quotes Ben Okri from his own book "Birds of Heaven":
 It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are.  They do their work in silence, invisibly.  They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self.  They become part of you while changing you.
 This is the power a Healing Story is trying to tap into.  There is so much more to say on the topic of Healing Stories, but for now I'll leave you with the above thoughts.  I know for most people this is a new concept and might be a little unnerving.  If you want to learn more on this topic I highly recommend Susan's book.  Below is a review on it from
Susan Perrow has developed the art of pedagogical stories to a luminescent degree. In her beautiful book she offers dozens of stories, some her own, some traditional and retold by her. Each story carries with it the seed of healing for just about any childhood problem, from unruly behavior to deep grieving. Her voice is one of warmth and caring, her stories are richly engaging to young and old alike. Having her book at hand is like having a medicine chest filled with homeopathic remedies for all conditions - and, like homeopathy, Susan's stories are guaranteed to produce no unwanted side effects. Healing Stories includes chapters on creating stories and on the art of storytelling, as well as stories selected for their ability to heal. This is a resource that is so vast in its usefulness that we predict it will become one of the most sought after parent/teacher resources ever printed.

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