Autobiographical Storytelling2018-12-08T13:06:30+00:00

Life Storytelling

Everything in our life, from the everyday to the extraordinary, is a story waiting to be told.

We all have a story to tell, and a well-told story is a gift that invites you to relate to the story in a deep and intimate way.

The aim of autobiographical storytelling is for participants to reflect on memories and life experiences, and create a personal story they wish to share with others.

Emotional, autobiographical storytelling means writing about people and events that have mattered to you in your own life – not just describing the facts of your life story.

The power of telling our own story cannot be overestimated.

A great story resonates with us emotionally and can be treasured by the family as a keepsake for years to come.

However, we procrastinate, we make excuses and say we don’t have the time or know where to start. Most of all people don’t take the time to really consider the stories in the lives of those around them. It’s only once you start asking the questions, that the stories start to come out.

We are all heroes in our own right, based on our life experiences. No one else has walked in our shoes, had the same life experiences and view of the world. Life is similar to a novel, and we are the only one who can tell our story.

We train and support Biographers as they play an important role that goes beyond making a permanent and lasting legacy.

Family and friends can often develop a deeper insight into the life of their loved one, and it provides a gentle segue to talk to their relative about their hopes and fears for the future.

“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you”. —Maya Angelou

Benefits

Biographers can make a unique contribution to the quality of life of their clients, and it is a highly effective method of lessening grief, loss, isolation and loneliness, particularly for older people.

Talking with your clients about their life story, and recalling their fondest memories and life experiences can be lots of fun. Their families and friends will enjoy discovering stories from their childhood, and hearing about their early adult life and the adventures and anecdotes along the way.

Even if they know most of the narrative of their loved one’s life, there are always things that they don’t know about or may have forgotten.

Sharing your client’s life story encourages families to have conversations about life and what matters most. It is a wonderful way for them to reaffirm to their loved one how much they have impacted their lives, and how much they have meant to them.

Values

It is a privilege to hear interesting life stories from people in our community.

As biographers it is vital to be open to the diversity within our communities and people, and to affirm and celebrate the unique life stories that arise from these differences and your client’s individual situation.

The activity of reflecting and talking about ones’ life, provides the most value to your client, and it is essential to allow the valuable therapeutic process of story-telling to flow naturally with limited guidance.

It is important to strive for stories that capture the spirit of your clients’ identity and personality, and strive for excellence in the work you do.

The most precious gifts we can give each other is our time and companionship, and listening with our hearts as well as our ears.

Aged Care Providers

We train and support Biographers to facilitate the storytelling process as a way to celebrate, honour and affirm the unique lives of people in our communities.

For Aged Care Providers, autobiographical storytelling activities can create a real sense of community, with clients feeling more appreciated, and aged care staff able to develop greater insight into their lives.

The biography is a record of the client’s life, told in their own words, and facilitated by the Biographer. It’s true value is in establishing a safe zone for personal reflection for older clients.

For the client, it can be a fun and productive activity that assists them to reflect on their life journey. It enables them to record memories, important events, personal values and reflections and perhaps even heal past hurts.

The biography can be a permanent legacy to leave for their family and friends, and can encourage them to have conversations about life and what matters most.

Seniors have much to contribute back to their communities in the telling of their own life experiences and lessons learnt.

‘Your Life Talks’ can provide training in biography storytelling for your staff/volunteers. We offer 5 hours of free consultation to assist with starting your program, and a ‘Training Guide’ can be purchased from our SHOP.

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