When a short folk tale is told in the sacred space of therapy, the story hero can become a blueprint for identity insight and development. Clients are often confronting serious, and what feels like insurmountable problems. Like the central character of many stories, our clients can experience strong feelings of fear, anger, loss and despair. The survival, success and resolution for the hero keeps alive the client’s hopes and revitalizes their own quest.
Story listening provides a safe emotional work-out: focus and imagination are activated, breathing slows down, and the nervous system is calmed as the story concludes. Story metaphors enable ideas to bypass the ‘logical watchdog’ of the conscious brain. Although a story enters the mind like the Trojan Horse, the listener’s imagination is far from passive.
Some examples of research and therapeutic change from this method will also be presented. These include the benefits of story therapy to manage pain and distress, instill a calm response and foster inspiration.
Story Medicine has many distinct aspects that will be covered in this interactive presentation: the art of selecting and telling the story, the open-ended implicit messages woven into the story, the listener’s emotional connections to the characters, the ‘turning over’ of the story in their mind, and sometimes the magical ‘ah-ha’ of a new understanding of how to address a problem.
The last stage of the method includes the use of questions shaped by Narrative Therapy and the Hero Journey map initially created by Joseph Campbell to make sense of the archetypal journey from problem to resolution, and renewed identity through suffering and being supported by helpers along the way.
There will be an opportunity to practice telling a very short story with a small group in breakout rooms, and then use the provided questions to unpack the therapeutic changes from the listener’s point of view. A discussion about this practical experience and how client changes might be explored will conclude the presentation.
A selection of three stories will be provided and a link to the Hero Journey Map.
Experiential learning activities include:
|Handout 1- Case Study J 55yrs (0.11 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 2 - Hero's journey treasure map (0.18 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 3 - The Chinese farmer , a play (0.08 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 4 - After story therapeutic question prompts (0.11 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 5 - Martina (0.48 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 6 - Prompts for treasure map (0.27 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 7 - The tigers whisker (0.09 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 8 - Tree at the cross roads (0.08 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 9 - References (0.16 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 10 - Video Links (0.01 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout 11 - Presenter slides (10.51 MB)||Available after Purchase|
Kim is the author of: ‘A Counsellor’s Companion: creative adventures for child counsellors, parents and teachers,’ (published 2021) as well as a writer of several published articles in the Counselling Australia Journal.
Kim’s passion is sharing creative therapeutic interventions that can bring people renewed hope and understandings about themselves, and fresh ideas about how they want to live in the world.
Kim has three adult children and is at her happiest in her roles as counsellor, clinical supervisor, workshop facilitator and playful grandma. Kim loves swimming in the bay near her home in Sandringham, Melbourne.
Kim’s current work (now mainly using Zoom online) includes counsellor training, child and family counselling, parent consultations, EAP work, clinical supervision, supervising Monash University’s Masters’ of Counselling students, and Carer’s counselling. Kim has been a regular counsellor training presenter with the Sydney Centre for Creative Change since 2013.
Methods and tools in Kim’s therapeutic toolbox include: Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, ACT, CFT, Creative Expressive Arts, Existential Therapy, befriending emotions using metaphors and storytelling, Tree of Life work and creative timelines to understand the life-long emergence of identity.
Kim has previously worked with clients whose adversities include surviving: refugee trauma, family violence, divorce, out-of-home-care, bereavement, and carers of family members with mental health troubles. With three years spent responding to callers at Crisis Support Services such as 24/7 MensLine, Kim has also co-facilitated Men’s Behaviour Change Groups
Kim’s treasure chest of creativity has been overflowing, culminating in writing a book about child counselling, and another on its way about working with adults. Kim hopes to inspire others who are working to support children, young people and adults on their heroic journeys.
Kim’s published works:
Billington, K. (2014) Story Medicine with Children: Using stories after trauma to engage children and facilitate healing. Paper delivered at the Childhood Trauma Conference 4-8 August 2014 in Melbourne.
Billington, K. (2019) Identifying Stages of Change in Therapy: Identifying change can be a useful tool when helping a client recognise their journey. In Counselling Australia Journal. Vol 21, Number 1, p. 24. https://www.theaca.net.au/journals/ACAMagVol21No1.pdf
Billington, K. (2020) Therapy as a Journey: Could the COVID-19 journey be our communal rite of passage? In Counselling Australia Journal. Vol 21, Number 2, p. 35. https://www.theaca.net.au/journals/ACAMagVol21No2.pdf
Billington, K. (2020) Twenty new conversations around suicide: Existential crisis and end-of life palliative care discussions have some parallel paths. In Counselling Australia Journal. Vol 21, Number 3, p. 26.https://www.theaca.net.au/journals/ACAMagVol21No3.pdf
Billington, K. (2021) A Counsellor’s Companion: Creative adventures for child counsellors, parents and teachers. Victoria: Ultimate World Publishing.
Live Interactive Webcast registration
Fees: $199 Primary viewer (includes three month's access recording of the event.
$99 Additional viewer (must watch on same device as primary viewer)
$29 Purchase lifetime access to the recording (available to primary viewer only)
Reminders for all events are sent two weeks, one week, one day and one hour prior.
This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists, teachers all working with adults and children.
9:00am - 12:45pm
Includes a 15 minutes break at 10:45am
12:45pm - 1:45pm
1:45pm - 5:00pm
Includes a 15 minutes break at 3:15pm
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