Please join us as Annie Brewster discusses her recent book "The Healing Power Of Storytelling: Using Personal Narrative To Navigate Illness, Trauma, And Loss".
When Harvard-trained physician Dr. Annie Brewster was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, she realized firsthand that the medical system to which she'd devoted her entire career was failing patients. The experience was dehumanizing. Her doctors weren't listening. And the confusion, fear, and shame she felt around her diagnosis was preventing her from truly healing, claiming her story, and living her fullest, richest life.
Her transformative self-help book begins with a personal story: confronted with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, she found that sharing her tale helped. Her book covers why and how storytelling is healing, citing scientific research and sharing examples, including the story of contributor Rachel Zimmerman losing her husband to suicide. Throughout, it demonstrates that organizing one's key experiences, and then reframing and sharing those experiences, can be therapeutic. Practical steps for replicating the method, including thoughtful writing prompts to begin the storytelling process, are shared--both at the end of the first part of the book, and at the end of each subsequent chapter. Though the book focuses most on written stories, it includes a chapter on sharing stories through other mediums, including painting and sculpture, for those who do not find writing to be their most meaningful form of self-expression. There is also a hopeful chapter about how storytelling can be the impetus for social change.
ANNIE BREWSTER, MD, is an Assistant Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. A resident of Cambridge MA, she has had a second home in our area for 14 years, first in Hancock for 12 years and now in Nelson for two.