Interpersonal Communication And Arthur Frank's "The Wounded Storyteller"

1188 words - 5 pages

Storytelling and Healing: A Relationship of Mutuality"I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them all."(Deut 18:18)Though Arthur Franks "The Wounded Storyteller's" primary theme is centered around illness, it has a deeper underlying context. The Wounded Storyteller is a thorough and comprehensive contribution to the multi-layered vision of healing. At the core, the author urges the reader to find their voice and emphasizes the importance of exploring a multitude of narratives around experiences. Frank stresses on the idea that storytelling is an intrinsic element of the healing process, an ingrained aspect of communication and a fundamental ingredient to human understanding. This book communicates to all of us who are trying to figure out who we are, how to connect with other people, and are seeking to understand our relation to the world.Sooner or later we are all wounded storytellers who endure the suffering of the world and as wounded storytellers we are "trying to survive and help others survive in a world that does not immediately make sense (Frank, Storyteller, xiii)." What speaks loud and clear throughout The Wounded Storyteller is that the image of this wounded storyteller is in actuality, an image of what it is to be human and that storytelling is a natural part of being and understanding humankind. It is a form of communication that we have been practicing for thousands of years. Storytelling heals our inner selves and challenges our beliefs. It is an outlet for the silent and a way of communicating our experiences. The exchange of stories teaches us how to live; we are born and raised in stories and stories aid us in comprehending our relation to others and to the world- they help us answer questions about ourselves, human existence and provide a comforting source of meaning.The art of storytelling is a correlation of testimony and witness. Testimony and witnessing are mutually dependent -one cannot exist without the other. Testimony implicates others in what they witness, thus it does not only affect those who receive it Testimony, is the story that is communicated through the witness. Testimony is less of seeing and more of being. Embodiment is the essence of the witness and witnessing always implies a relationship- testimony calls on its witnesses to become communicative as "the witness assumes a responsibility for telling what happened (Frank, Storyteller, 137)." So in short, a wounded storyteller heals others through this story; those healed then become wounded healers. The beauty of this is that it is more than the delivery of information and one-sided communication; it is interactive and demands involvement. Stories do more then make people think about what is being said, they must think with it, be a part of what is happening. Through this, the deepest potential of interpersonal communication is expressed.Arthur Frank spoke mostly about the voices of the ill, but his writings can be seen as an insightful teaching...

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