CSPH 5000: Healing Stories: Narrative and Wellbeing
This course seeks to answer the question: “How can the stories that we tell ourselves and others contribute to our wellbeing?” To answer this question, students will consider how narrative can help us understand our emotions, create a sense of belonging, motivate us to address injustice, and re-author our stories.
This course seeks to answer the question: “How can the stories that we tell ourselves and others contribute to our wellbeing?” To answer this question, students will consider how narrative can help us understand our emotions, create a sense of belonging, motivate us to address injustice, and re-author our stories. Students will survey cultural and historical perspectives on narrative and wellbeing as they relate to individuals and their communities, such as marginalized individuals who re-author narratives about their community or write counter-narratives as a form of healing. Students will also learn about the role of narrative in modern health practices, including narrative therapy and the clinical contributions of narrative medicine.
Throughout the course, students will engage with a variety of content, including research, examples of therapeutic writing (e.g. diaries and personal health journals, such as CaringBridge), popular literature (e.g. graphic novels and memoir), film, video, and social media (e.g. video blogging, documentaries, and filmmaking as a medium of personal expression). Students will not only read/view these stories, they will examine their wellbeing and apply what they learn by composing their own stories in written/video journals and narratives.
This course will invite practitioners, researchers, and organizers on campus to speak with students broadly about the importance of narrative in their work. Examples may include social workers, therapists, or psychologists who use narrative therapy or coordinators for initiatives related to narrative medicine, story slams, or the use of art to process trauma.
This course is online. You do some of the work on your own time (and are responsible for meeting the specified due dates and times) but need to show up for the mandatory synchronous sessions.
Contact [email protected] for additional information.