LIVING STORY                 

Juliet Bruce, PhD

What is Story Medicine?
You already know exactly what you need to move forward in your life. 

Not necessarily with your rational, left-brain intelligence that helps you get through your life every day. But with your intuitive, right-brain intelligence, which holds 97% of what you know but are unable to access through ordinary means. The right brain speaks in the language of metaphor; its voice is the imagination. That's where story medicine comes in.

My approach is based on the belief, held by many traditional and modern healers, that we are born into this life as radiant spirits with innate resilience and ability to thrive.
Following this ancient path, I use the structure, characters, settings, and plots of story as a channel to that core generative spirit that lives beneath the defenses you have erected for living in a difficult world and that knows what you need to heal and transform your life.

Like other creative modalities, story facilitates wholeness. Working with story metaphor helps you access the healing power of your right brain and integrate it with the strategic capacity of the left. This likely means gaining insight into the unconscious web of stories that may have shaped your life and experiencing the clarity and vast possibility of your essential nature.

Through the deep story that emerges in talking, reframing, and if you like, writing and visual art-making in sessions and on your own, you will intuitively know what you need to heal.
You'll recognize the people and situations that empower your personal growth and effectiveness in the world.


Why story?

As human beings, we’re hard-wired for story. In fact, we don't tell the stories we live: we live the stories we tell ourselves. To a large extent, our outer lives reflect our inner realities.

From our first days, we connect dots of random experience that pour in through our senses. These connections become our foundational stories -- templates of expectation about who we are and how our life will be, deeply
embedded in our unconscious and our senses, and generally inaccessible to the rational part of the mind. These are the filters through which we view experience; we don't see what doesn't fit into our core stories.

Sadly, many of us become trapped in limiting stories about ourselves and our lives. These stories usually have nothing to do with our inherent gifts and everything to do with negative early experience or familial, gender-based, and cultural expectations. For the rest of our lives, or until we become fully conscious of these core stories and begin to intentionally express and transform them, they replay over and over again, in school, work, relationships, and self-sabotaging behaviors -- creating painful situations in our outer lives that mirror the inner pain from which we're hiding.

Often it takes outer crisis to drive us inward to really take a look around at what we’re projecting onto experience and how that may be contributing to our difficulties. I work with you to gently dislodge and dissolve these old stories and facilitate the emergence of a new one.

"There is no greater agony than carrying around an untold story within yourself." -- Maya Angelou




A creative and spiritual approach to change ~ depression ~ grief (for a human or animal loved one) ~ traumatic experience ~ divorce ~ job loss ~ serious illness ~ life transitions ~  creative blocks ~ desiring change yet unable to make it happen

From a story perspective, the moment when life falls apart -- whether we are shattered by external events or bursting with an inner need for change -- that moment is the call to life-changing adventure.

The story plot of crisis, struggle, and transformation is the basis of the archetypal rite of passage that humans have been practicing for thousands of years. It underlies every great novel, film, and life -- including your own. Unfortunately, along with our pursuit of external happiness, we in our modern western world have lost this plot as an organizing principle of life.

Sometimes called "the hero's journey," this plot is not a belief system, but rather a context in which the fragmented experiences of life are seen as parts of an unfolding whole that holds the full flowering of your innate potential. This journey context reframes problems and challenges from insurmountable obstacles into thresholds for growth. There are no failures in story -- only lessons learned and strengths gained.

You can use the hero's journey plot to heal, transform, and enrich your life.

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