Teaching Parents to Use Healing Stories

The emphasis of this book so far has been on professional caregivers telling therapeutic tales either to or in collaboration with children. However, parents, grandparents, and significant others in the life of the child may have greater contact and intimacy with the child than a therapist who is only available for a once-a-week consultation. If we can teach parents (the term I will use to include all close persons involved in the child's day-to-day life) to relate healing stories as they share a family meal, sit on a bedside at night, or drive along in a car, the benefits of storytelling can be enhanced through more exposure to therapeutic tales and better parent-child communication. But first, let me address an issue that does not really fall within the parameters of this book, yet is something of which every therapist in the child and adolescent areas needs to be cognizant, and which it would be remiss of me to overlook—the role of parents in influencing the conduct or behavior of their children.

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