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Reviews: The Healing Heart

The Healing Heart ~ Families: Storytelling to Encourage Resilient and Healthy Families
The Healing Heart ~ Communities: Storytelling to Build Strong and Healthy Communities
Advanced praise for
The Healing Heart ~ Families: Storytelling to Encourage Resilient and Healthy Families
and
The Healing Heart ~ Communities: Storytelling to Build Strong and Healthy Communities
Edited by Allison M. Cox and David H. Albert Foreword by Margaret Read MacDonald (New Society Publishers, 2003)

Sample Chapters: New Beginnings, The Three Little Pigs of Hog Holler Swamp, Gaura Devi Saves the Trees, Hugging Trees


Two new books for storytellers, educators, healing professionals, and people who just love stories!

Packed with folk tales, personal stories, exercises, games, songs, and lessons learned, the two volumes of The Healing Heart provide powerful examples of the use of stories and storytelling in encouraging resiliency, healthy behaviors, self-esteem, and mutual respect. These books are a collective effort reflecting the wisdom of 66 storytellers, healing and human service professionals, writers, and educators on six continents who together make storytelling accessible to individuals, families, and communities. Each book contains:

  • narratives about how to use stories;
  • approaches for sharing stories in various settings;
  • suggestions on how to encourage others to tell stories;
  • information on why storytelling works;
  • ways to process stories through song, art, games, improvisational theater, community projects, and discussion.
  • methods of making storytelling accessible to individuals, families, and communities;
  • extensive resources and bibliographies.

And, of course, there are dozens of wonderful stories!

The Healing Heart ~ Families focuses on storytelling as it is being used to promote health and prevent disease; encourage children with medical problems; energize classrooms; help individuals overcome grief; aid in building adoptive families; deconstruct prejudice; and develop empathy. The Healing Heart ~ Communities provides living models of storytelling being used in work with at-risk youth; dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness; connecting with elders; preserving cultures; protecting and restoring the environment; resolving conflict; and building community.

"This potent collection of wisdom stories sparkles with insight into the healing of emotional, social and environmental wounds. The tales and the tellers, who are themselves healers, entreat, encourage, and entice us to care for ourselves, each other, and our precious planet as if life depended on it, which it surely does!"
-- Erica Helm Meade, psychotherapist, and author,
The Moon in the Well: Wisdom Tales to Transform Your Life, Family and Community
"I've been hungry for these books! The Healing Heart gives us the opportunity to dip into the well, coming up with stories, exercises, and inspiration that strengthen our connections to heritage and community, to personal, social and planetary health."
-- Gail Rosen, storyteller, and founder,
Healing Story Alliance, National Storytelling Network
"Stories are truer than the truth. They have the power to transform without resistance because they do not threaten as statistics and beliefs do. As a surgeon, I have learned wordswordswords can become swordswordswords that, when used properly like a scalpel, can cure diseases. Every life is a story that needs to be told, from beginning to end, so healing can occur."
-- Bernie Siegel, MD, author,
Love, Medicine & Miracles and Prescriptions For Living
"Both children and adults, sick or well, need the embrace of soulful storytelling. They need to witness and be witnessed, for it is in this state that healing occurs. This labor of love by David Albert and Allison Cox weaves magical connections. If newscasters were to read aloud to their listeners one of the stories from this treasury each night for 1,001 nights, we would all lose our fear and be healed, recapturing real security in our homeland."
-- N. Michael Murphy MD, author,
The Wisdom of Dying
"An extraordinary work. The Healing Heart hits the bulls eye by providing both process and practice. Thought-provoking and insightful theory is intertwined with appropriate stories for direction application. It makes clear that story can be a powerful catalyst for change, giving eloquent voice to what many of us have known for some time but have been unable to express. What a gift for those working with families and communities!"
-- Elizabeth Ellis, co-author,
Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories
"With an effective blend of traditional tales, personal reminiscence, model programs, and applications, these fine books serve as an inspiring read, as well as a handbook for those using stories in healing. A ground-breaking work."
-- Gay Ducey, former Chairperson of the National Storytelling Network, and co-founder and director, Bay Area Storytelling Festival
"Deep wisdom is inherent in our stories, the bedrock and heart of who we are as a culture. These books feed our organic hunger for meaning and community, so important in these chaotic times."
-- Michael Toms, Co-founder and principal host,
New Dimensions Radio
"The Healing Heart is one of those rare set of books that awaken, startle, and delight. It's fiery and completely alive. It lest you see your story more clearly. This book is full of stories that go to the heart of life. They're marvelous!"
-- Jay O'Callahan, Winter Olympic Bard, NEA Recipient, writer, teacher, storyteller