Storytelling Workshops and
Phoenix Tales Recovery Storytelling
WHY TELL STORIES?
In the telling of our stories, we find the hope, the healing, and the light. We gain new perspectives and find sources of strength. We see where we’ve triumphed, and where we have fallen. We learn to dust off our knees and to live, love, and laugh again. And when we share those stories with others, it connects, heals and empowers us, and them. Storytelling is a powerful conduit for bringing to light the common humanity and the ties that bind us together. It is an extremely effective tool for reducing the stigma and barriers that separate us and keep us from working side by side with each other toward common goals, particularly around the issues of addiction and incarceration.
RECOVERY STORYTELLING: PHOENIX TALES
Storytelling is a powerful conduit for bringing diverse people together to reduce the stigma and barriers that separate us in our communities. Recovery Storytelling uses the art of personal storytelling to empower and heal those directly and indirectly impacted by Substance Use Disorder and enable them to connect more powerfully to wider audiences. It frees people to share their stories without shame and to celebrate the hope and triumph in their journeys. This type of storytelling allows us to reduce stigma and further carry the message of hope to a wider audience in our communities by stepping outside of the normal style and venue of sharing our recovery journeys.
The Recovery Storytelling curriculum teaches participants about the art of storytelling; the recovery movement, recovery advocacy, and recovery messaging; and how to share stories that have great impact on a wide range of listeners. It’s fun, creative, energetic, and collaborative. Participants leave with a polished, five-minute story suitable for story slams, open mic nights, legislative audiences, community events, and more. The course can be tailored to fit the needs of any group seeking a powerful voice.
These workshops are typically run as a four-part series, two hours each, taught by myself and professional storyteller and teaching artist, Andrea Lovett. Together we have thirty years of experience teaching and telling stories. Though originally designed for people in recovery, we have since taught them in many settings and they are appropriate for any group of participants. They are especially effective for groups that are traditionally marginalized. Storytelling connects, empowers and heals people and communities!
In my workshops, I strive to help people find their voice and feel enabled to share about things they may previously have kept hidden, which in turn allows them to connect with others, and find hope and support. Participants leave feeling connected, empowered and prepared to go out into the world and share their stories with others if they choose, bringing hope and healing both to themselves, and those around them. It is in the connection with each other that we find the solutions, and sharing our stories is how we connect.
Listen here as workshop participant Amanda describes her experience with Recovery Storytelling.
Check out one of our Phoenix Tellers, Joe Neikirk, performing a story he worked on in his first Recovery Storytelling workshop series:
Some of the Phoenix Tales gang perform at home.stead Bakery and Cafe in Dorchester, June 2018
FAMILY STORYTELLING FOR AFFECTED OTHERS
Designed for family members, loved ones and others impacted by a person's substance use disorder, this workshop is created to connect and empower individuals, to help those who may not be comfortable speaking openly about addiction in their family, friends and others. We create a safe space to explore this topic, with exercises that gently encourage participants to share some of their experiences with others and to find common bonds with each other. Participants leave having experienced the healing that comes with sharing our stories and in recognizing they are not alone in their journey. They feel more connected and empowered to share their stories elsewhere, and to gain support in the process of doing so.
This workshop is done as a two- or three-hour single event and can be paired with resources and/or a panel on family supports.
FOR STORYTELLERS: STORYTELLING AND ADDICTION - HOW CAN YOU HELP?
In this highly interactive workshop, storytellers learn how stories are used in 12 step fellowship, treatment for substance use disorder, and recovery advocacy speaking, and how those differ from traditional storytelling. Positive recovery messaging and proper use of language are discussed. Storytellers then brainstorm ways they can have a positive impact in working with those impacted by substance use disorder, leaving the workshop inspired to use their work as storytellers to have a positive impact on this issue in their communities and to seek out opportunities to serve this population.
This workshop is designed as a single 90- or 120-minute event appropriate for storytelling conferences and gatherings.