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Showing posts from April, 2011

This Is Your Brain On Storytelling


   “Careful the things you say,” go the lyrics to one of my favorite Stephen Sondheim ballads, “children will listen.” And so they do. And by “they” I mean “we” because we were all children once and the stories we heard and saw in our developmental years can be annoyingly difficult to get out of our heads. It often baffles and bewilders my clients who, through the storytelling process of psychotherapy, begin to see how a parents’ story – even one that was carefully and consciously avoided – has become part of their own.

     Listening is the connective tissue in relationships, and as member of a profession that demands listening with a maximum of attention, it was with great interest that I read a research study showing that a listener's brain activity synchs up with the brain of the storyteller. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Psychological Sciences published a study that showed "coupling" in the brain waves of tellers and listeners, some visible evidence o…