What is a Story Group?
Upcoming Story Group
Monday, March 18-May 13, 2024
For information, feel free to
contact me for consideration
"Why do I react this way again and again? How did I get here? I thought I was past this."
If you've found yourself in a repeated pattern of shame, disillusionment, and powerlessness, it may be time to consider a story group. Modeled by The Allender Center methodology, a story group allows participants the opportunity to capture moments in their past from a different perspective, one that involves caring witnesses and trained facilitators.
Sharing a Story From Your Past
Writing and then reading a story from our past is the most powerful way to healing - and understanding those places we feel most stuck today. It can also stir a lot of chaos in your soul. Weekly story groups are available at our practice. Groups are led by therapists who co-facilitate, a model we find optimizes group members' growth with attunement, care and insight.
Consider This Sample Story
My focus narrowed and my knees grew weak. No softball season? I felt nausea and stumbled to my bike, peddling home in a fog. No one was home. I went to my room and tore the calendar off the door and shredded it to pieces. I picked up my bat, the new one I had waited to use for this season, and smashed the frame, leaving splintered plastic everywhere and a dent in the wooden door. I then went to my dresser, and with one violent sweep, shattered my MVP trophy along with the picture of my Dad and other mementos I had proudly displayed.
I wonder now what was shattered inside me that day. I don’t have clear memories of that summer but I recall a drastic change starting 7th grade. I quietly went to school, did my work, and no longer cared what my teachers or friends thought of me.
Though there is much to this story, this snippet has much to say about the anguish of hope and how it is handled even today. There is power in allowing others to observe and comment when reading a story from our past. We carry these stories and live and move in them, rarely giving much thought to how they direct our daily choices. Story groups challenge the messages we rarely question.
Equipping Story Group Facilitators
Reinventing the wheel is one of my biggest pet-peeves. My love of story-therapy and my years of experience in adult learning and curriculum development have collided in helping others lead groups.
If you are a therapist, lay leader or pastor seeking to lead a story group, I'd love to come alongside you with resources and tools from others also involved in this work.
Are you interested in advancing the work you do or joining a band of others in this work?
If so, let's talk.
Core to The Allender Theory is the belief that the journey of healing invites us to move from a place of cursing (contempt, shame, ambivalence) to one of blessing (compassion, goodness, delight). This occurs through telling our stories with truth and integrity as we grieve our wounds and offer blessing to the parts of us still bound to the cursed story. As we share our story with trusted others who are able to name both our deep woundedness and our deep goodness, we grow a deeper capacity to know and live into our calling and engage in life-giving relationships with God and others.