Voluntary Vulnerability

While watching two TED talks by Anne Hallward(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcNC4L9Rqnw), and Dr. Rita Charon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24kHX2HtU3o), a question was raised; why does narrative matter? Both Hallward, and Dr. Charon talk about how the sharing of stories acts as a therapy, and a way of healing. Hallward talks about shame in the sense that shame can lead to external and internal shaming and fear. However, if we talk about that shame, we can then use it to not only heal ourselves, but to create social change. Shame acts as the intersection between psychological healing and social change. Sharing our own shame with others helps break down the societal image of the taboo. For example, not long ago mental illness was considered taboo and wrong, so those who suffered, suffered alone and silence because they had shame for their illness. But once we started talking about it, we were able to raise awareness and break down that stigma, and eventually create social change. Today mental illness is more openly talked about and better understood, leaving people to feel less alone and shameful about their illness. Dr. Charon takes a slightly different approach. She talks about the importance of narrative medicine. That the power of listening to ones story can allow someone to heal psychologically. Not only can sharing your story help someone else, but listening to someone else’s story can help them heal internally.

3 thoughts on “Voluntary Vulnerability”

  1. Great assessment of Hallward’s talk! We talked a lot about the LGBTQ community today in class, but, as you say above, the mental health community is also a great example of Hallward’s ideas.

    Food for thought as you blog: Try starting a new paragraph when moving to a new topic (ie Charon’s talk). Though blogs are informal, it’s a great place to practice your writing skills.

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