The power of narrative is incorporated into programs as diverse as international and collective conflict resolution through individual and private psychotherapy. Constructing a narrative can rebuild communities, families, and individual lives. It is an important element in restorative justice approaches.
Arthur Frank’s book The Wounded Storyteller, suggests one way to heal from trauma is in the act of creating that narrative, re-framing trauma memories with their destructive and chaotic impact into a sensible story. The process of writing and editing over and over again is itself a way of asserting control while creating something authentic, possibly beautiful.
Diana Raab, PhD, is an expert dedicated to helping others transform their stories of trauma through creativity, especially writing. She is a memoirist, poet, blogger, and speaker who facilitates nationwide workshops in writing for healing and transformation. She notes how people write either to heal themselves or to help others. She quotes Arthur Frank as saying, “Because stories can heal, the wounded healer and wounded storyteller are not separate, but are different aspects of the same figure.”
Raab’s two latest books are, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life, and Writing for Bliss: A Companion Journal. I have read only Writing for Bliss and found it reflects what must be a very strong transformational writing program and could be a wonderful companion for readers who journal or writer.
For a greater sense of how she sees writing as a healing process, read the full blog post from which this summary is excerpted and adapted at What Can Wounded Storytellers Teach Us, in Psychology Today, November 17, 2015 (Accessed 9.15/20).