From the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma- stories

Why Stories?

Why Stories? Catastrophic life experiences such as those associated with the refugee experience, torture, and natural disasters, have long lasting effects on the survivor. Some of these events are linked to the historical memory of an entire nation or a society. Almost everyone throughout the world can associate some historical meaning with the cities of Hiroshima, Pompei; the date of September 11, 2001; the name Nelson Mandela. Other traumatic life experiences caused by human cruelty may remain hidden for centuries; maybe forever. Little is known, for example, of the suffering of those women raped during the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, or the fate of children in Afghanistan left homeless and without parents.

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trauma after medical events

Recently I picked up a couple of Diane Ackerman's books.  First  was: One Hundred Words for Love which is about her encounter with the potential and real devastation of strokes. In this case, it was her husband who had the stroke and what struck me was the obvious psychological trauma; hers and her husbands.  Trauma causing medical events is not a new subject for this site but I couldn't resist  reviewing the book here because it is so touching, real and grounded in solid understanding both psychologically (her own)  and of the literal brain. Ackerman had a deep understanding about  brain function from researching and writing an earlier book: An Alchemy of Mind.  Being a brain function freak, I began my reading with An Alchemy of Mind -- a lyrical treatment of often dry research, her book is rich and rife with metaphor.  For me, as both a poet and a traumatologist,  it was a much needed break into the poetic world. I recommend going along with Diane Ackerman on her exploration. 

Probiotics for depression?

Depression and gut bacteria.  Hmmm. Connection?  Yes.  This and much more in Scientific American Brain: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-neuroscience-of-gut...

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Mission Statement

Where the personal story can be safely explored and expressed.

Ashlar Center for Narrative Arts is an arts driven non-profit organization designed to serve the Personal Story. In our workshops people create their narratives in various media. Additionally, we have a selection of easily adapted self-care practices that are necessary to foster resilience. 

We have learned over the years that  the most powerful and underused resource in our communities are its "ordinary"  people. So, our goal is  empowering  people  to tell and share their stories in a culturally relevant way that is also healing -- a collaborative model one in which we are all students and learners. Learning about and respecting cultural practices is very important and is our  growing edge.  We are very interested in how different communities and  cultures meet the challenges of being human.  

 Our goal is to nurture relationship, encourage learning and teaching through community involvement. We are committed to creating a climate of  well-being and providing  lay people the means to become Narrative Arts Facilitators where it would best serve them and their communities.  

 Stay tuned and continue to look through the site.