Narrative storytelling as both an advocacy tool and a therapeutic process: Perspectives of adult storytellers with acquired brain injury Academic Article uri icon


  • As part of a larger study exploring narrative storytelling, this paper focuses upon the experiences of eight adults with ABI who had participated in storytelling workshops facilitated by an advocacy organization. Following participation in the storytelling workshops, each storyteller was interviewed twice, with three shorter interviews conducted with one participant with significant communication challenges. In total, 25 interview transcripts (17 interviews plus eight transcripts of produced personal narratives) were analysed using constructivist grounded theory methods. Data analysis produced two main themes and sub-themes; (1) Sharing and helping (feeling heard & releasing emotions) and, (2) Re-visiting my story (reflecting and learning). The themes capture insights into the process of storytelling and reveal the therapeutic potential of narrative storytelling when coupled with an altruistic opportunity to help others through story sharing. This study contributes to an emerging area of research and practice supporting positive identity growth following ABI. The findings present substantial implications for goal setting and meaningful productive engagement in brain injury rehabilitation.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020