Publication Date

Winter 12-14-2015

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Teresa Healy

Abstract

This capstone paper examines the perceived effectiveness of storytelling in the healing process. It aims to answer the question: What role does storytelling play in the healing of returning travelers? The study was conducted by analyzing forty digital videos, categorizing themes, and analyzing the themes in relation to themes found within several articles about the power and effects of storytelling. Five principal themes were used from the data collected. The themes were then used to gain a deeper understanding of how storytelling makes the storyteller feel and how storytelling can be used for healing. The author of this paper has also included a personal experience as a digital storyteller. Included is an analysis of the author’s process and perceived emotions in relation to sharing a personal story with others and hearing it for herself. The data received revealed that people tell stories to share what events have shaped their identity, express appreciation, to gain understanding, to feel support or belonging, and to express change. The data is in support of the idea that storytelling may be an effective tool in aiding returning travelers in reintegration and healing after experienced abroad.

Keywords: Narrative therapy, storytelling, re-authoring, Alcoholics Anonymous, narrative, self, travel.

Disciplines

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Creative Writing | Digital Humanities | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Student Counseling and Personnel Services | Therapeutics