Voices of Illness: Negotiating Meaning and Identity


This book is a scholarly collection of interdisciplinary perspectives and practices that examine the positive potential of attending to the voices and stories of those who live and work with illness in real world settings. Its international contributors offer case studies and research projects illustrating how illness can disrupt, highlight and transform themes in personal narratives, forcing the creation of new biographies. As exercises in narrative development and autonomy, the evolving content and expression of illness stories are crucial to our understanding of the lived experience of those confronting life changes. The international contributors to this volume demonstrate the importance of hearing, understanding and effectively liberating voices impacted by illness and change. Contributors include Tineke Abma, Peter Bray, Verusca Calabria, Agnes Elling, Deborah Freedman, Alexandra Fidyk, Justyna Jajszczok, Naomi Krüger, Annie McGregor, Pam Morrison, Miranda Quinney, Yomna Saber, Elena Sharratt, Victorria Simpson-Gervin, Hans T. Sternudd, Mirjam Stuij, Anja Tramper, Alison Ward and Jane Youell.

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Peter Bray (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Counsellor Education at the University of Auckland. Peter has recently edited a number of other interdisciplinary collections and articles, which reflect his developing interest in counselling practice and spirituality, and heroic identity and the transformational aspects of grief, loss and trauma.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Voices of Illness
Peter Bray

Part 1: The Story, Identity and the Voice

1 Narrative Medicine and Storytelling: An Alternative Method for Healing
Victorria Simpson-Gervin

Part 2: Group Voices and Group Identity

2 AIDS Awakens Ancient Stories
Deborah Freedman
3 Life Story Sharing: A Therapeutic Intervention in Palliative Care
Miranda Quinney, Alison Ward and Jane Youell
4 The Collective Production of a Shared Narrative Surrounding Sexual Violence Trauma
Elena Sharratt

Part 3: Irreconcilable Voices: Liminal, Empowered, and Authentic

5 Stories of Journeys Home: Reuniting Ancestors, Images, and the Underworld
Alexandra Fidyk
6 Making and Sharing Meaning out of Terminal Illness
Pam Morrison and Annie McGregor
7 Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters: Hearing the Silent Voice of Pain
Yomna Saber
8 Voices of Depression: An Analysis of a Collective Narrative
Hans T. Sternudd

Part 4: Ethical Stories: Voices in Research

9 A Shared Story of Professional Practice: Therapists Make Meaning of Spirituality
Peter Bray
10 Dementia Fiction: Giving Voice to an Experience beyond Language
Naomi Krüger
11 Developing a Relational Narrative about Diabetes: Towards a Polyphonic Story
Mirjam Stuij, Agnes Elling, Anja Tramper and Tineke Abma

Part 5: Challenges to the Institutional Illness Discourse

12 Self-Reflexivity in Oral History Research: The Role of Positionality and Emotions
Verusca Calabria
13 The Voiceless and the Vocal: Infection Literature and The Sign of the Four
Justyna Jajszczok

Name Index
Subject Index
Those interested in the social sciences, or are already engaged in professionals helping roles in health and educational settings as caseworkers, nurses, doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and counsellors.
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