11th July 2016

Are you sitting comfortably?

Good! Then I shall begin…

Once upon a time, there were a lot of words written about something of interest with many plot twists and surprises in which all the nice people won and all the bad ones lost and the sun shone forever and everyone lived happily ever after. The end.

Or maybe not…

As you can probably tell from the above, I’m not much good at writing stories but, thankfully, plenty of others are. In fact, Liverpool is world renowned for its story tellers! For example, famous names from these parts include Dame Beryl Bainbridge, Carla Lane, and Alan Bleasdale.

But what is it that makes a story memorable? After all, we remember the story of The Ugly Duckling… even though we were probably last told it when we were 5 years old! (Many decades ago in my case!) But how many of us remember the details of the last business meeting we went to? Why are facts so easy to forget but small-talk so memorable?

According to researchers, the reason why we remember stories is because they affect so many areas of our brains. For example, if someone tells us about a drive in the countryside, not only are our language processing parts of our brain activated but also our motor cortex! Whereas, cold hard facts just engage the language processing parts of our brain.

Stories also encourage empathy. For example, when we go to see Cinderella at the pantomime, we all cheer on Cinderella and boo the ugly sisters! You don’t often get that kind of response at a business meeting!

Then, as the politicians are well aware, stories are incredibly persuasive – especially horror stories. The effect of political horror stories has become so widely known that much of the media reported “the politics of fear” during campaigning for the EU Referendum. And, surely by now, we all know not to look under the bed!

If the story should be a comedy (I’m a big fan of slapstick myself), it also provokes laughter. In case you were unaware, laughter is one of the most powerful medicines available without a prescription. It reduces stress hormones like cortisol and increases feel-good hormones such as endorphins, plus it also brings people together and increases intimacy.

So, now armed with all this knowledge about stories, you can see why we are running a Story Healing Programme?

The programme starts on Tuesday 12th July at our Bold Street premises, 5.00-6.30pm for four sessions.

Our experienced drama therapist, Michelle, will guide participants through classic tales and take a fresh look at the nurturing lessons that are embedded in them, experiencing how story work can be used as an approach for problem solving.

This has been an incredibly popular course but feel free to contact us to see if there are any places made available at the last minute or to find out when the next course will begin.