News

The power of a story

POWER OF STORIES: Susan Perrow and Lennox Head GP Dr Hilton Koppe, who will present workshops on storytelling at a conference in the US.
POWER OF STORIES: Susan Perrow and Lennox Head GP Dr Hilton Koppe, who will present workshops on storytelling at a conference in the US.

THERE is power in telling a story.

Lennox Head author Susan Perrow and Lennox GP Dr Hilton Koppe will be talking about that power at a conference for medical professionals in the US in April.

Hosted by The University of Iowa and the Carver College of Medicine, the Examined Life Conference aims to focus on the links between the science of medicine and the art of writing.

Susan, an educator, has been using stories in her work and personal life for about 30 years, and began presenting workshops on therapeutic story- telling - something she has focused more on in the past 10 years. She has published the books Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour and Therapeutic Storytelling.

She met Dr Koppe when he attended one of her workshops 20 years ago and remembered a line he had said about his experience: That his mind was like a dried prune, but transformed into a juicy plum after the workshop.

Dr Koppe has since used storytelling in his doctor's surgery as a way of, for example, helping put young children at ease, and also explaining his diagnosis to patients - thereby improving the doctor-patient relationship.

He also teaches doctors to use stories - something which is not widespread in Australia, but has gained momentum in the US.

Susan and Dr Koppe met again recently at the Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Susan said stories, through metaphor, took people away from the rational brain.

"They speak more to the feelings," she said.

She has used storytelling in helping people through difficult situations, modifying behaviours and dealing with depression, among other things.

Dr Koppe started going to The Examined Life Conference three years ago, and put Susan in touch with the organisers.

They both will present workshops at this year's conference and together will present a session titled From Dried Prunes to Juicy Plums - How Stories Know the Way.

Dr Koppe has been invited to give the closing keynote address.

"That's a big deal for me, a country GP from a little village."



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Calm weather with up to two-metre swells at Tweed

Waves might look like this.

Surf conditions for the beach this weekend.

Feast of street food trucks into Harbour

FEAST FOR FOODIES: Mat Whalley, Kat Creasey, Chico Green and Trevor Braga from Food Kartel and Destination Tweed CEO Bill Tatchell are looking forward to the Tweed Food Truck Extravaganza.

Food Trucks will descend on Tweed Heads for a street food fiesta

Upmarket beach townhouse

Real Estate: 4/45 Kingscliff Street, Kingscliff NSW.

Take a look inside this stylish Kingscliff townhouse conversion

Latest deals and offers


British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances