Did you ever get to experience your parents or another important adult in your life sitting on the side of your bed reading a story at night? Can you remember how it felt to place yourself inside the story? Hearing the story allowed you to use your imagination to make the story a real vision in your mind. Stories allow our imagination to bring us to unexpected places and be anyone we want to be. We can imagine we look like a character, we live in a beautiful castle, and our fantasy takes us through new experiences. Have you ever discovered something new about yourself through hearing one of those stories? It is enchanting to familiarize yourself with the story in some type of way. Everyone can benefit from listening to stories, but stories are especially important for children and adolescents’ emotional development.

Stories, legends, folktales, songs, etc. have been the way of teaching values, life lessons, or just communicating important information from the beginning of time. Have you noticed the excited feeling you get when you hear ‘Once upon a time’? It is a natural reaction to getting your imagination ready to absorb the story. Those special four words start a unique relationship between the listener and the storyteller. The listener is instantly captivated by the teller and anticipating the next words. Are you starting to see the appeal of Story Therapy?

What communication skills are effective through Story Therapy?

Are you wondering what exactly Story Therapy will do for you? Teaching positive ways of communicating is important for children and teens to know to become successful in life. If a person never learns the proper way to handle emotions, they will be like a ticking time bomb. No one wants to feel like that going through life.

Book - Using Trauma-Focused Therapy Stories: Interventions for Therapists, Children, and Their Caregivers

Here is a list of skills that Story Therapy helps to develop.

  • Stories are interactive which helps to get the listener more involved with the Story Therapy.
  • Story Therapy is full of different types of stimulation to make it more attractive to listeners.
  • Story Therapy is a great way to bypass resistance in listeners by showing them different outcomes to similar situations.
  • Story Therapy enhances the ability to use and build on the imagination of the listeners.
  • Story Therapy improves the listener’s problem-solving skills by interacting with the teller.
  • Story Therapy helps to build solution-based thinking to help the listeners find solutions easier in life.
  • Story Therapy improves independent decision-making skills by listening and interacting positively with the teller.

What type of social skills will a child or teen improve with this form of Therapy?

Story Therapy can help those with mental health issues tremendously with social skills. If you know someone who has difficulty with the following social skills, then it is safe to say that they would greatly benefit from Story Therapy. It can be scary for people to feel comfortable enough to open up or listen to good advice. Story Therapy is the perfect way to get the point across without coming across as too ‘straight to the point’.

  • Story Therapy can help build relationships with the storyteller, teachers, students, family, and pets by teaching better ways of interacting.
  • Story Therapy can help the listener to challenge ideas through life in more positive ways.
  • Story Therapy can improve the way the listener makes decisions based on the stories they have heard or related to.
  • Story Therapy can also improve understanding between two or more people and good or bad decisions.

How did storytelling begin?

Telling children stories is as ancient and entrenched as the history of communication itself.

The legends of the Australian Aboriginals is, perhaps, the longest living legends out there today. Of course, back in those days, it was not called ‘Story Therapy’, it didn’t have a name back then. Stories were told to teach the children the proper way to behave, to always tell the truth, not to take things that do not belong to you, where to go, where to avoid going, and much more.

Cards for Storytelling

When you are an adolescent, it can be hard to see clearly. Every culture has their own stories that gets passed down from generation to generation. That is why you can hear the same story base and lesson with different twists to the actual story. Each culture has its own way of life which makes the story so relatable to the people in the culture.

Psychologist Michael Yapko, claims that ‘Stories as teaching tools have been the principal means of educating and socializing people throughout human history’. Stories are still an integral part of our lives. We buy books, visit libraries, and read tales of fiction or fact. We visit cinema, theater, and other shows to engage our minds and transfer in a completely different world of our fantasy.

How many stories do you remember from older family members about how things were back in the day? Were they aimed at teaching you lessons?

What are stories used to teach us?


We have used storytelling to teach our adolescents about our history. Do you remember learning about the story of Pocahontas in high school? It’s much more interesting to learn something through hearing an interesting story. We are more susceptible to retain the information we hear if we are actually interested. It can be boring to state information for learning purposes. No one wants to listen to that let alone actually learn it. Hearing the same information in a story will keep the listener on the edge of their seat just waiting to learn what is next. With children and teens, it’s important to find ways to engage them that actually work.

How the world began

Biblical stories, the Greek mythology, and the Australian Aboriginal dream time legends are all stories about how the world was created, how people came to be, and how animals came to be. If someone lives a life in the way of the Bible, then they would probably live in serious fear of damnation to Hell for living a sinful life. We hear stories about evolution and the dinosaurs who roamed the Earth before humans. All of these stories have helped people understand how everything was created and why it changed. Whether there is evidence to prove a story to be true or not, stories are a huge factor for teaching the younger generations about the older ways of life.

How to cope with abuse and trauma situations

Stories have been told to children and teens to show them positive and negative ways to cope with different situations. Many young abuse and trauma victims do not know the right way to handle these horrible situations that have happened to them or in front of them. Story Therapy and Art Therapy are influential to introducing positive coping mechanisms to handle hard situations from the past. Young children are often very confused about these situations and it is only natural. Stories can help them find their voice and their feelings, while teaching them how to process what happened and that they don’t deserve it. Talking about these situations is important for the healing process. Children and teens often do not know how to begin this type of conversation or they feel shame so much that they try to hide from themselves. Story Therapy helps open the children up by engaging them and interacting in a safe space with no judgment.

How to cope with stressful situations in life

Stories help people develop positive coping skills that way they can handle any type of situation later on in life. Can you imagine back in the ancient times how difficult it was to hunt and fish not knowing how to catch them? After a hard day hunting and fishing, the men would sit around telling stories of what methods were successful or which ones failed. The next time they would go out hunting or fishing, they would be able to use the successful methods which would save them a lot of time and allow them to catch more meat to feed their families. Stories work the same way for children and teens. We can tell many stories that they can relate to and they will see how to properly handle and manage stressful situations for the future.

Published On: July 31st, 2020 / Categories: Adolescent, Child, Parenting, Psychotherapy Approaches, Relationship /

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