An Episode of Your Life: Rich narrative engagement with episodic stories — Julie Stewart, Tiffany Sostar, Ian Myhra, Sonia Hoffmann and Jyotsna Uppal

By: Julie Stewart, Tiffany Sostar, Ian Myhra, Sonia Hoffmann and Jyotsna Uppal

This article describes a new practice map, an “Episode of Your Life”, which adapts existing narrative “… of life” practices to an episodic story from a person’s life using metaphors from film and television production. This practice map draws significantly on ideas of “peopling the room” and the Team of Life in order to scaffold safety in imagining the process of telling painful stories through the collectivising of the storytelling process. This practice map specifically does not require that the storyteller tell the story, but rather invites them to imagine how they might tell a story from their life in a way that aligns with their values, hopes and preferred storylines. Some of the significant effects that we discovered were related to the richness of the visual metaphor for adding another layer of possible meaning-making in the storytelling process, and allowing for a “proliferation of what’s possible” in the imagining of the storytelling, such as through the use of time jumps; computer-generated imagery; inviting rich descriptions of preferred relationships, histories and values; and dignifying of stories that otherwise might be left unspoken. Participants were left with a feeling of solidarity and a “safe riverbank” from which to imagine telling their stories.

Key words: metaphor; visual media; television; re-authoring; non-individualising practice; narrative practice.


Stewart, J., Sostar, T., Myhra, I., Hoffmann, S., & Uppal, J. (2024). An Episode of Your Life: Rich narrative engagement with episodic stories. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (1), 43–55. https://doi.org/10.4320/PUGG5190

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