Importance of Stories - Essay Example in Psychology

Published: 2017-11-13
Importance of Stories - Essay Example in Psychology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Personality Mental health
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 713 words
6 min read

The Importance of Stories

The article by Lewis Mehl – Madrona on the healing power of the mind is based on the use of stories to address and explain human challenges. According to this article, everything in our lives is based on stories. In any case, most of the knowledge and wisdom we have is from stories (Lewis, 2010). In stories, the core aspect is communication which is the foundation of information gathering and research in the medical realm. This article further presents some of the factual discoveries of the importance of using stories in healing as also explained by Borysenko (1994). Although the concept seems simple, the applications are vast with the results significant. Mehl – Madrona’s uses evidence from his 34-year experience to explain the importance of stories in the medical profession. While stories can be based on truth, there is also an aspect of fiction which equally produces the same results.

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The methodology of this article is based on experiences, stories and what the medical field has achieved so far from stories. One of the introductory stories in the medical realm is that of 2005 thinking on digoxin. Before 2005, medical practitioners including Mehl – Madrona believed that digoxin addressed the issue of heart failure, diastolic dys – function. This condition meant that the heart did not fill properly and also that it occurred when the blood was pumped below 40% of the normal. Later on, it was discovered that the main issue was the dosage. Using this story, this article bases the argument that everything in our lives is born from a story (Lewis, 2010). Through a story, our identity, values, and goals can be defined. This claim on the importance of narration has also concurred with the aboriginal Australians four levels of explaining a story. These levels include; explanation of human and animals behavior, the relationship between the people and communities, how we should behave in the society and the last level is based on the ceremonies, experiences, and practices.

Importance of Stories in Our Lives

According to this article, some of the uses of articles include teaching us on empathy, giving us emotional and cognitive significance and enhancing our creativity. Regarding creativity, stories help us in critical thinking beyond how we do things (Hanlon, 2012). Equally, stories assist us in connecting with the social networks and in turn building and shaping our brains. Lewis (2010) further shows how stories can help us in solving the mysteries of psychological suffering. Notably, the psychological suffering is solved by stories, unlike the use facts which can not reveal the actual reasons behind the issues (Rita, 2011). Another story that this article provides is that of a person who has been hospitalized with a condition of hearing voices. Such a patient could not be helped using medication. In fact, when the medication was used, the situation worsened. Addressing this condition was based on telling a story that everyone heard their own voices. With such information, the patient learned that voices are representations of our past and present. And that it is possible to fight them back and to make them disappears.

In my experience regarding the importance of stories is when I was a child and having a weak performance. My parents always wondered what the problem with me was. Additionally, I believed that other kids were better than me. Not until I read the story of Ben Carson who achieved his goal of being a doctor despite being considered as the dumbest kid in his childhood (Carson, 2011). Based on this story, I came to realize that we can become what we want and that there is power in thinking and our brains as well.


Borysenko, J., & Borysenko, M. (1994). The power of the mind to heal. Carson, CA: Hay House.

Carson, B. (2011). Gifted Hands 20th Anniversary Edition: The Ben Carson Story. Harper Collins.


Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M. D. (2010). Healing the mind through the power of story: the promise of narrative psychiatry. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co.

Rita Charon (2011) Honoring the stories of illness | Dr. Rita Charon | TEDxAtlanta. Available at: (Accessed: 13 October 2016).

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