Call for Papers: Special Issue on Narrative Health Psychology for the Journal of Health Psychology
Guest editors: Michael Murray, Anneke Sools, and Gerben Westerhof

Although stories and storytelling have been an intrinsic part of psychology since the emergence of the discipline, a narrative approach became more prominently and explicitly articulated in the 1980s. This early period of narrative psychology is marked by the publication of seminal works such as Acts of Meaning and Actual Minds, Possible Worlds (Jerome Bruner), Narrative Psychology: the storied nature of human conduct (Theodore Sarbin), Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences (Donald Polkinghorne) and The Stories we live by (Dan McAdams). Narrative approaches have also been integrated and applied into the field of health sciences inspired by scholars like Arthur Frank (The Wounded Storyteller), Rita Charon (Narrative Medicine), or Michael White and David Epston (Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends).

Narrative health psychology emerged at the crossroads between narrative psychology and narrative health sciences. Narrative health psychology has grown into a burgeoning field of diverse and sometimes contrasting approaches in theory, research and applications. Narrative approaches nowadays span the total field of health psychology, ranging from health promotion and coping with chronic or terminal illness to intervention research, health care delivery, and health technology assessment. The goal of this special issue is to demonstrate the state of the art of narrative health psychology, and to highlight important discussions and tensions within the field.

One of the important promises of narrative health psychology is that it takes the patient perspective seriously by giving a contextualized voice to their experiences. Some scholars have been critical of approaches of mainstream nomothetic science, but others have shown the opportunities of working from within or with nomothetic science. In this special issue we take an inclusive stance by bringing the different branches together.

We invite articles which address narrative health psychology in its widest sense. Contributions could concern (but are not limited to):

·         Stories of health and illness (e.g. how patients give meaning to health, illness).
·         Narrative as a paradigm for patient-centered care/health 2.0
·         Functions of narrative: how stories work in health promotion, counseling, and psychotherapy
·         Methodological advancements and its relevance for health-related issues (e.g. multilevel analyses, mixed-method analysis, mixed modal analyses)
·         Narrative interventions in health care
·         Narrative evaluation and assessment of health interventions.

Manuscripts should be prepared using the guidelines of the Journal.  Generally papers should not exceed 6,000 words but may be up to 8,000 words after discussion with the editors.  Papers should be submitted on-line at You should indicate in your cover letter that you would like your paper to be considered for the Special Issue on Narrative Health Psychology.  The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2014.

For further information about this special issue or to discuss a possible submission please contact one of the Guest editors, Professor Michael Murray, Dr. Anneke Sools, Professor Gerben Westerhof

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Centre for Medical Humanities
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