From: Dr Eric Miller
(PhD in Folklore, MSc in Psychology)
The process that is described below could also be used in various non-therapeutic contexts, such as Facilitating Personality Development, and Life Coaching.
The process could be done one-on-one (facilitator and client) or in groups. It is meant for young adults, and adults.
The Storytelling Therapy process
in 8 steps
1) The client tells his/her Life Story (a ten-minute version).
2) Listeners are invited to share regarding any similar experiences they might have had.
3) The client (possibly with assistance from listeners) identifies in his/her Life Story:
A) Turning points.
B) Successful coping methods one has used.
C) Outstanding motifs (also known as story elements, and archetypes).
D) Themes (ideas, issues, lessons learned, etc).
4) The client (possibly with assistance from listeners) gathers 4 or 5 other stories that are similar to aspects of one's Life Story. These other stories could be stories of any type (they could be stories of folktales, episodes of epics, movies, historical events, experiences of family or friends, etc).
5) The client creates modified versions of any of the above-mentioned stories (especially of episodes of one's Life Story). For examples, one could:
A) Change the way a scene ends.
B) Add or subtract a character or scene.
C) Take a story one has told in 1st person (a personal-experience story) ("I did ..."), and tell it in 3rd person ("She/he did ..."). This takes an internal experience and externalises it, projecting the experience onto an external character.
D) Take a story one has told in 3rd person ("She/he did ..."), and tell it in 1st person (as if it were a personal-experience story) ("I did ..."). This takes an external experience and internalises it.
Reasons one might do these activities include:
A) Just for fun.
B) To give one a sense of satisfaction.
C) To see things and situations from different perspectives.
D) To explore ways characters could, should, or might have behaved.
6) The client (possibly with assistance from listeners) speaks to and as characters in the above-mentioned stories. Possibilities include:
A) One could speak with a younger version of oneself.
B) One could speak with a younger or older version of a story character.
C) A story character could speak with a younger or older version of him/herself.
7) The client (possibly with assistance from listeners) invites metaphors representing aspects of the above-mentioned stories to come to mind.
8) Using such metaphors (and any other elements of, or related to, the above-mentioned stories), the client (possibly with assistance from listeners) seeks to compose a fantasy story that is inspiring, guiding, encouraging, empowering, and/or healing in relation to him/herself.