This week’s chat will be hosted by Rebecca Crouch (@RebeccaCrouch), who invites us to consider the impact of narratives on our practice:
During a time when our engagement in meaningful activities has been disrupted, many have turned to reading, a daily activity which can be facilitated by our bookshelves, our phones (as newsfeeds, ebooks or audiobooks) or via online stores.
What this activity offers us, will vary according to reader preferences and their choice of genre. Fiction or non-fiction, romance or horror, auto-biographical or self-help, the possibilities are endless. Publishers have even reported sales boom in novels about fictional epidemics (Flood 2020).
Narratives are the bedrock of a good story. They are also prominent in the headlines of the news we consume, political speeches we listen to and are an essential part of our daily practice as occupational therapists.
In occupational therapy, being able to elicit personal stories can help practitioner’s understand an individual’s point of view and personal experiences, to identify needs and preferences, and to better understand the individual as an occupational being (Mattingly and Lawlor, 2009). In occupational therapy literature, establishing narratives through assessment has been found to support practitioners to build rapport and support clients in collaborative goal setting (Apte et al, 2005), in clinical reasoning (Mattingly 1991) and is a commonly used approach in our research (Moore, 2017).
For this OTalk, I would like to invite participants to think about the important role narrative has both their practice and in the content they consume, and in particular, books.
- What is your understanding narrative and the role in plays in occupational therapy?
- How important are narratives in your practice? And how do you illicit these?
- As an occupational being, would you personally describe reading as a meaningful occupation?
- What we can learn from narratives in the books we read and can this inform our practice?
- If you had to recommend a book/s to read to the other people in today’s OTalk, what would it be and why?
Ashwini Apte, Gary Kielhofner, Amy Paul-Ward & Brent Braveman (2005) Therapists’ and Clients’ Perceptions of the Occupational Performance History Interview, Occupational Therapy In Health Care, 19:1-2, 173-192, DOI: 10.1080/J003v19n01_13
Flood A (2020) Publishers report sales boom in novels about fictional epidemics, The Guardian, Thu 5 Mar 2020
Mattingly C (1991) The Narrative Nature of Clinical Reasoning, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1991, Vol. 45, 998-1005. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.45.11.998
Temple Moore (2017) Strengths-based narrative storytelling as therapeutic intervention for refugees in Greece, World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 73:1, 45-51, DOI: 10.1080/14473828.2017.1298557