Want to earn an online certificate in Reminiscence and Life Story Work?
Then this episode is for you.
Today we talk to Esther Gieschen at University of Wisconsin, Superior about the academic field of reminiscence and life review and what we as practitioners of life story work can learn from it.
- the role of reminiscence and life story work as narrative therapy
- how the academic field can serve as a foundation of knowledge for practitioners out in the field, whether that’s life story professionals running a business or volunteers serving their community (e.g. one student applied what she learned in the program to a group reminiscence project with cancer patients)
- Barbara Haight, who conducted tests to create her structured life review
- the benefits of integrating memories from the past and how it can enrich someone’s present and future
- Erik Erikson’s stages of life development
- Cheryl Svensson and Guided Autobiography (listen to Sam Uhl about her experience as a student in Cheryl’s GAB class)
- the value of sharing common memories
- how each person processes and retrieves memories differently, so even when we are experiencing something together, our memories of that shared experience will vary.
- Faith Gibson and her book, Reminiscence and Life Story Work: A Practice Guide
- how group reminiscence sessions can act to heal conflict within a community; the example of a woman from the UK who used a group session to have recent immigrants sit down with long-term residents, some of whom had been immigrants themselves 70 years earlier. The conversation helped them see how much they had in common. [As an interesting aside, I follow the work of Laird Schaub, a consultant who helps intentional communities (think communes) resolve the conflicts that inevitably arise in their communities. He writes about it here.]
- the storytelling certificate program through the Kansas City-area Mid-Continent Library System (incidentally, also the home to the Midwest Genealogy Center, the largest free-standing public genealogy facility in the US and a favorite destination for family historians)
- James Walsh, professor at University of Colorado and his talk on reminiscence theater. A book by Pam Schweitzer describes it as “seeing and realising the dramatic potential in real life stories. [Reminiscence theatre] takes verbatim memories as the basis for theatre scripts, using the experiences of older people as a source of artistic productions and therapeutic creativity.”
The 2018 Annual Reminiscence Conference: the who, what, where, and why
The conference takes place November 12-13, 2018, at the Hilton Boston Back Bay, in Boston, MA, with pre- and post-conference workshops on hospice/end-of-life reminiscence and on cultural perspectives. The keynote this year is Jefferson Singer on “The Varieties of Remembered Experience.”
Want to sign up for the certificate program? Click here to get on the waiting list for 2019.
Not sure you’re ready to take the plunge? Esther advises that you look at the course reading list.
the books used in the course:
Listen Up! The Art of Interviewing for Personal History by Paula Stahel
Mountain Girls, by Stephanie Kadel Taras
Click here to pre-order the new book, International Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story Work (due out November, 2018)
Want to join the Reminiscence and Life Review registry? It’s open to academics, researchers, and business owners. Find out more here.
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Now go out and save someone’s story.