The Storyworking Method® is my trademark approach to change work, developed from over 17 years’ experience working with the human mind.
Story is at the heart of human experience, but it is also at the heart of our thinking too. Storytelling or narrative approaches to therapy, coaching and marketing already exist, but they often fail to fully utilise the power of story to bring about changes in both the conscious and subconscious mind.
This is where my approach of storyworking is different. It is focused on how the stories around change are integral to the process, not merely useful background or context.
This is combined with systematic, practical ways to make the shifted positive stories more ‘sticky’ and sustainable. This is what I term a 360° approach to change through storyworking.
A person’s current situation could be seen as being held in place by a framework or matrix of stories. This includes past stories, current stories (often manifested in speech and self-talk) and the future stories they have mapped out.
For any technique to be effective, this matrix must be supportive, and certainly not hostile, to the change being made. Where change work fails it is often because an individual or therapist is trying to write light, happy scenes into a person’s dark horror story. They need to change the genre first if they are going to get the ending they want.
A person may be consciously aware of some of their story matrix, but often they will not have insight into large amounts of it or they are too ‘close to the action’ to see the bigger picture.
This is where analyse of an individual’s stories and personal metaphors can be enlightening and powerful in the process of change.
With this information the story matrix can be reframed, rewritten and updated to support the process of change.
We think in story and metaphor consciously all day long. Our speech and self-talk is peppered with it. However, as a hypnotherapist, my real insight is into the relationship between story and the subconscious mind.
Not only do stories told to us, whether during hypnosis not, have the ability to change us at the subconscious level, but the subconscious mind operates in a world of story and metaphor. No where is this more clear than when we dream – it operates like a story machine!
Both supportive and unsupportive narratives can become established and then operate at the subconscious level. This is why I use hypnosis in all of my work to make sure this powerful story engine is programmed positively and pulling in the right direction.
Making change sustainable is the real goal for any therapeutic and coaching work. This is what I call ‘sticky’ change.
Storyworking makes positive change stick much better as it is building the change on the firm foundation of a supportive story matrix. With all parts of the story pointing in the right direction, it is much easier to stay on track.
It is important that insights from storyworking to not stay on the drawing board. There must be a plan and commitment to practical action.
In my hypnotherapy work, I refer to the Storyworking Springboard – an agreed, specific point at which the shift in narrative will begin in practical terms. I encourage my clients to see this as the new chapter or ‘Day 1’ of their updated story. The change has started, now they learn to live with it.
Likewise, in my monthly mind coaching, we are maintaining positive narratives through storyworking. i.e. keeping the positive story on track.
I use storywork hypntotherapy and coaching as modalities in their own right, but the versatility of The Storyworking Method® means it can be used to complement work being done through other approaches. It provides a different type of insight which can amplify the positive effects of other types of change work.
It also has many applications beyond personal development, for example in the world of business and commerce. To find out more please contact me.