News Article

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Free storytelling workshops can teach us how to help those who've lost a loved one

Professional storyteller Regi Carpenter will be presenting the two workshops, set for Jan. 11 in Jonesborough and Jan. 18 in Abingdon.Storytelling can be a great therapeutic tool for people who’ve lost a loved one. Mountain States is offering two free workshops over the next two weeks, hosted by internationally known storyteller Regi Carpenter, on how to use storytelling to help the bereaved.

While the workshops are aimed at chaplains, therapists, social workers, clergy, child life specialists and bereavement counselors, they can be helpful to all caregivers as they deal with patients and families, so the workshops are free to everyone (registration is required).

“Storytelling is essential to spiritual health and well-being,” said Gary Metcalf, corporate director for spiritual health services. “In spiritual care, we ask questions that help people tell us their story. These stories can essentially reflect a person’s spirituality. Once we’re able to review someone’s spirituality, we can also anticipate their motivation for healing.”

Carpenter will present “Using Storytelling as a Therapeutic Tool in Childhood, Adult and Family Bereavement” workshops at these two locations:

Thursday, Jan. 11, Jonesborough, Tennessee – 9 a.m.-3 p.m., registration begins 8:30 a.m., International Storytelling Center (workshop is free, option to purchase lunch on-site is available)

Thursday, Jan. 18, Abingdon, Virginia – 9 a.m.-3 p.m., registration begins 8:30 a.m., Pleasant View United Methodist Church, 18416 Lee Highway (workshop is free, lunch provided free by the church, with donations appreciated)

To register, call 423-302-1572 or email Lorna.Gail.Price@msha.com. Seating is limited so please register for the Jan. 11 workshop before Jan. 10, and register for the Jan. 18 workshop before Jan. 17.

Metcalf added, “Jimmy Neil Smith, founder of the International Storytelling Center, shares with us, ‘We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.’ Our task as caregivers is to encourage storytelling as an intervention to promote healing and spiritual health.”