Fostering Narrative Competence will focus on developing the skills of close reading and reflective and creative writing through discussion of published work, sharing student writing in a guided, workshop setting, and a selection of writing and creativity exercises. The course is open to writers at all levels interested in working in a variety of genres (fiction, memoir, poetry , drama, non-fiction, etc.).

October 2018
Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine – Part One
  • Wed, Oct 3 to
    Wed, Dec 12
Introducing Narrative-Based Medicine – Part One

The art of telling - and listening to - stories is fundamental to what it means to be human. Storytelling is a craft that can be developed with practice.

Narrative medicine, both in medical practice and education, is practiced with a focus on the skills of communication and collaboration which are essential to positive health outcomes. Learning how to write and reflect on narratives will give you a powerful ability to build therapeutic and collegial relationships, improve patient outcomes, and live and work in a more reflective and engaged way.

This program will introduce the theory and practice of Narrative-Based Medicine through a variety of practical activities and discussion. Participants will be guided through in-class exercises in close reading, close listening, and creative and reflective writing. We will also create and share written work to enhance participants’ comfort with expression, communication, and feedback. As well as discussing the goals and benefits of narrative medicine, class discussion will return to the questions raised by the participants’ clinical and educational practice with the aim of enhancing narrative competence in working life.

This new program, consisting of six, two hour sessions, will meet the needs of healthcare clinicians and educators coming to narrative medicine for the first time. There will be little or no homework/readings for this program.

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January 2019
Deepening Narrative Competence – Part Two
  • Wed, Jan 16 to
    Wed, May 1
Deepening Narrative Competence – Part Two

This program aims to meet the needs of healthcare practitioners already working with narrative medicine approaches in their clinical or pedagogic practice, and/or writing for themselves and looking for further mentorship and support.

“Deepening Narrative Competence – part two” seeks to enhance students’ theoretical knowledge of and practical engagement with the tools of narrative medicine. The course will begin by introducing the basic elements of literary and reflective practice and the essentials of close reading. These will be applied with greater depth as the workshop goes on, introducing more specialized writing and reading techniques, as well as editing, rewriting, and modes of publication.

We will read a selection of published works relating to health and the body, and share work written by participants in-between classes, all with the aim of honing and focusing our skills of observation, creation, and reception. Throughout, participants will be guided in discussion on the aims and practice of narrative medicine, and encouraged to find ways to apply its lessons in their own daily work, while understanding and respecting the ethical questions the work raises.

Guest speakers will visit the workshop to offer theoretical/practical/creative perspectives. This program will require in-between-session homework/readings.

Learning Goals

The goals of this program are:
  • to advance the skills of close reading and reflective and creative writing, deep reflection and listening
  • to provide participants with regular reading and writing support, discussion, and mentoring
  • to practice and discuss narrative medicine approaches, enhance students’ theoretical knowledge of and practical engagement with narrative medicine tools
  • to enhance written communication through reviewing and discussing published work and practical exercises in storytelling and reflective writing;
  • to define reflective capacity and specifying ways of assessing it in written pieces
  • to deepen comfort with creativity and expression, while respecting ethical boundaries
  • to offer mentorship, support and discussion of narrative medicine projects

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