Older Adults Find Peace in Telling Life Stories

Storytelling is one of our ancient forms of creative expression yet many of us think we don’t have the “knack.”  We may consume good stories, admire great story-tellers (Garrison Keeler’s Prairie Home Companion; TED Talks;  The Moth; etc.) and enjoy improv stories that often convey humor or moments-of-the-soul.  But we seem to have forgotten that we ALL have stories to tell!  Increasingly people of all ages are seeking out ways to reclaim their storytelling abilities.   The New York Times recently added to our knowledge of the goodness of story-telling:

Research by many gerontologists — including James E. Birren, who created the discipline of guided autobiography — has found that reminiscing can improve the confidence of older adults. By recalling how they overcame past struggles, they are better able to confront new challenges, doctors say, and they may be able to forgive themselves for their mistakes. Moreover, a life review can help with grieving, research has found. (Susan B. Garland, New York Times, 12.9.16, Telling Their Life Stories, Older Adults Find Peace in Looking Back.)

Attend an open-rehearsal of Wing and a Prayer Pittsburgh Players (InterPlay Pittsburgh) or any other event that’s listed on our website or that you hear about to learn more about how we use movement, voice, stillness and storytelling to create a fuller life and a closer community – at any age or ability.  The photo shows Jim, a retired research psychologist and InterPlayer, who is still telling stories as he is finishing out his 9th decade of life!