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Stories for change
  1. Gillie Bolton
  1. 15c Bury Place, London WC1A 2JB, UK; www.gilliebolton.com

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    Writing narrative can offer a deeply questioning enquiry into clinicians’ actions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and identity in professional, cultural, and political contexts. It can enable the critiquing of forms, values, and ethics of institutional organisations and structures to create radical movements for change. Story writing can make the taken for granted of everyday practice into something else: a created object to be pulled and pushed to see what happens. It asks dynamically what?, why?, how?, when?, where?, who?

    There are in our existence spots of time/…whence…our mindsAre nourished and invisibly repaired;/…Such momentsAre scattered everywhere.1

    A man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others [a Cree hunter].2

    I’m not sure I can tell the truth…. I can only tell what I know.3

    A closely observed event, (Wordsworth’s “spot of time”), written about, reflected upon, discussed critically, and re-explored through further writings, stands metonymically for a professional’s whole practice.4

    Social, political, and professional systems that run smoothly, do so on the well oiled cogs of stories we construct, and connive in being constructed around us. Welcoming of diversity can be mere window dressing. Effective reflection and reflexivity through story writing are transgressive of stable and controlling orders; they lead cogs to …

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