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My ‘story’ of attending a workshop on storytelling

Friday, June 1st, 2007 @ 11:11 pm
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Posted in  Personal Process, Training/CPD

I had the joy to attend a workshop here in Manchester about ‘storytelling in counselling’, delivered by my Greek colleague (and friend!) Sophia B. William, my friend F., another Greek called M. was there and also some other interesting people…the day was ‘full’…of stories of course! Mine and those of the fellow attendants.

I very much enjoyed this workshop…..and there were moment that were powerful for me. S. gave useful information in terms of theory and literature around narrative approaches and storytelling. But what was most powerful was the exercises. Here they are:

  • What is a story?
  • Exploring your favourite story ( i thought of the life story of ‘Daskalos’…chose to not share it with the group…felt personal and ‘sacred’)
  • Me and my name (such powerful meanings in my name, the relationship with dead grandma, the weight it carries, also its spiritual, cathartic meaning etc)
  • Exploring your Myth (putting titles on life chapters: initially i felt that i could write nothing….then SUCH A FLOW CAME BY…i wrote 8 titles that were ‘given’ to my spirit and could see links between life chapters and PhD chapters!)

I feel i do not want to say more on th experiential side of the day right now…still need to process it really

 BUT

what feels important to say is that, apart from being an active participant to the workshop, part of me also had the ‘researcher’s view’….I did a number of observations in relation to my research topic (CULTURE) in a setting that wasn’t focused on that….but every setting has really its own ‘culture’ isn’t it?…..so, ‘everything is data’, as William often tells me in relation to the heuristic process….and there is always some opportunity in everydayness to collect it, if alert enough…

 There are two observations i made during the day that i consider as significant (in relation to my research) and worth recording:

1. There was a deaf lady in the training group. This made her ‘different’ to the rest of us, although we share so many other differences that make us unique….but her condition was part of her ‘sub-cultures’. She was very genuine and courageous in her sharing and i felt drawn and warm towards her. As some point she explained that if she is staring as us, it is due to the lip-reading…..soon after she mentioned that, i noticed myself that i started looking at people on their lips…as if i wanted to attempt to see the world in her eyes (or more accurately, hear the world in her way)….i wondered what was that about: have i become more sensitive to ‘difference’ and ‘culture’ as a result of spending time with this topic? have i become more able in terms of my ’empathy’ sensitivities? Is it much easier for me to not be threatened by what is considered as ‘difference’? Have i developed an ability to be ‘crossing’ cultures and enter different worlds more quickly…has my vision (and hearing!) broadened in some ways?…i feel some sort of ‘broadening’ within myself and this feels positive

2. Apart from the fact that the workshop facilitator was Greek herself and i could hear her accent in familiar ways etc (and there were inevitably references to Greek culture and greek stories/myths whilst being in a host, ‘foreign’ environment) – when in small groups, i ended up with two other Greeks (who i knew from before) and a welsh lady….this wasn’t intentional and at the beginning i suggested that we found othee people to work with but by then the ‘groups’ were already ‘self-selected’ so we decided to go with the flow as it came…that appeared  so interesting: 3 Greeks and a Welsh in the UK, in deep sharing.

It was obvious to me that the Welsh lady, became a ‘minority’ in  our little group, whilst in her own country/cultural setting…this was so strange when it’s me that is used to be the different one or the minority one

there was such a dynamic around the known greek stories in contrast to other stories….how much is assumed really in the commonality, in what is supposed to be shared…..individual experience and meaning is sometimes at risk of being lost between those that are ‘same’…and we embraced all that in our little group with openess and a willingness to share and respect each other’s flow

 maybe i could write more but will leave it there for now…………it’s a long story and i feel sleepy……………..zzzzzzz

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