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Core Diploma subjectHow to tell stories that heal
A masterclass in therapeutic storytelling

A one-day course with tutor: Pat Williams or Denise Winn
CPD Certificate (6 hours)

Why stories and metaphor are important


Stories can be incredibly powerful therapeutic tools. They help bypass rigid views about life, enhancing the listener's flexibility of thought. And by suspending ordinary constraints, they help people reclaim optimism whilst fueling their imaginations with the energy necessary to attain goals. In the physically ill, they can also stimulate the immune system and speed recovery.

This popular and empowering day explores stories that have a powerful beneficial effect on the mind/body system and teaches you how to source and tell such therapeutic tales yourself.

All successful psychotherapy and counselling involves storytelling and the appropriate use of metaphor, tapping into the natural way our brains work. We cannot know what goes on in another person’s mind but, if you perceive the ‘pattern’ of a story and understand that it could be useful to them at a specific point in their life, that is reason enough to tell it. Their unconscious, creative imagination will seek and find the ‘meaning’ relevant to their situation. No explanation, no direct statement of a story’s meaning can substitute for the way it acts on the hearer’s mind.

What you will gain from the day:

  • A powerful way to stimulate optimism, hope and independence in
    distressed people
  • A profoundly useful tool for getting through to people stuck in the black and white thinking of emotional distress
  • Increased ability to source and tell therapeutic stories yourself
  • A new love and deeper understanding of the value, resonances and
    resources within stories
  • Enhancement of your own problem solving capacity, as well as being better able to help others with theirs
  • A new way to motivate and engage people
  • Insights into the mind/body communication system and an additional tool for promoting healing and recovery
  • A great way to build rapport and bypass resistance
  • Practical ways in which therapists, teachers, GPs, managers, policy planners etc can apply this knowledge to their work
  • The ability to enhance flexibility of thought, creativity and confidence in your clients
  • Greater confidence in dealing with a wide range of people – and a solid understanding of, and practise in, the therapeutic precision of metaphor
  • Course notes, CPD Certificate and more...

Who should attend?

  • Anyone involved in psychotherapy, counselling or social work who needs to harness the therapeutic power of metaphor by being an effective storyteller
  • It is also valuable for the medical and nursing professions to know how to tell stories that lift depression and promote healing
  • Anyone interested in the age-old power of metaphor and storytelling for professional or personal reasons


Course programme

The 'How to tell stories that heal' counselling course starts at 9.30am and runs until 4.00pm.

The day's agenda

Registration: 8.30am to 9.30am (Tea or coffee served until 9.25am)

9.30am – How and why stories help people

  • Stories as instruments that reach the imaginative mind
  • Metaphor and pattern recognition
  • How a story can work on many different levels, and for different purposes, if the pattern of need is the same
  • Examples of how stories can reach the mind and the body, and stimulate the immune system
  • The value of understanding why we evolved to dream and the relation of dreaming to storytelling
  • Discovering the power of stories in your own life: exercise

11.00am — Discussion over tea/coffee

11.30am – How to find the right story for each situation

  • Influencing the mind/body system
  • Finding, creating and matching metaphors
  • Using and extending metaphors to alter your listeners’ perception of reality
  • Visual and auditory metaphors
  • Finding a metaphor for yourself: exercise

1.00pm — Lunch (included)

1.45pm – How to use stories as therapy

  • Stories bypass the natural resistance to change
  • Narrative as therapy
  • Discovering how much more you know when you think metaphorically
  • How to find out how much you know about your client without even knowing you know: exercise
  • Learn the art of finding the right metaphor for your client: exercise

2.45pm — Discussion over tea/coffee

3.00pm – How to tell stories well: the three simple rules

  • How to tap into our vast heritage of wonderful tales
  • How to build expectancy and maintain rapport
  • The value of autobiography
  • How to tell stories and where to find them – practical tips
  • Consolidation exercise: the power of the story graphically demonstrated

4.00pm — Day ends

Book your place on this hugely popular course now:

How to tell stories that heal – a masterclass in therapeutic storytelling

Thursday 27th June 2019                                Dublin

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Tuesday 9th July 2019                                  London

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Monday 19th August 2019                              Bristol

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Wednesday 13th November 2019                  London

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To book by phone call 01323 811690.
Alternatively, you can download an application form and email or post it to:
Email: info@hgcollege.net
Post: Human Givens College, Chalvington, East Sussex, BN27 3TD.

Also see, How to Book