Soon on our bookshelves, Nancy Mellon’s Healing Storytelling: The Art of Imagination and Storymaking for Personal Growth, is an updated version by the superb Hawthorn Press of her classic book The Art of Storytelling.
Healing Storytelling is not a primer in narrative therapy, nor a guide for medical specialist. It is about the creative release of our own inner imaginative resources, through the language, patterns and metaphors of traditional stories. The book enriches the practice of storytellers of all kinds in artistic performance, education and creative groupwork.
Healing Storytelling is profound and at the same time simple. Instead of elaborating theoretical frameworks, it goes straight to stories, and then offers ways in which we can connect with their deeper levels of meaning. All of this carries the authority of Nancy Mellon’s many years of storytelling- what she has learned herself and from others.
Not everyone will use the same stories as Nancy Mellon but that does not matter. What counts is understanding the signs and symbols in any story; and allowing people to follow the images and emotions which speak to them. Her descriptions of the healing journeys which people have undertaken through the stories provide moving testimony to the approaches she is exploring and advocating.
This year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival hosts a Global Storytelling Lab to explore the contribution that storytelling can make to our present interlocking global crises. Nancy Mellon offers one vital way in which storytelling can follow paths of growth and make a difference. Donald Smith, Scottish International Storytelling Festival