‘The Good Story? Arabella Kurtz in conversation with Angela Woods:
Exploring a narrative approach to trauma’

Wolfson Gallery, Palace Green Library

17 November 2016, 5:30-7:30

Why do we feel the need to transform our experiences into a more or less coherent story? Is life inherently narrative or is narrative rather a means for exploring, interpreting and understanding life? What role does narrative imagination play in our beliefs, emotions and social interactions? Can a narrative approach to traumatic events or experiences of psychological distress help extricate meanings and plan better actions?

Dr. Arabella Kurtz is the author, with Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee, of The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and Psychotherapy (2015). In conversation with Angela Woods, she will address the benefits and stakes of a narrative approach to experience, both in everyday life and in her clinical practice as a psychotherapist, and reflect upon the importance of the interdisciplinary encounter between psychotherapy and literature around the narrative nature of life and mind.

Hearing the Voice warmly welcomes you to attend this open audience, places are free and attendance can be registered here

If you have any queries relating to the event then please do not hesitate to contact the Hearing the Voice Project Coordinators.

This event is supported by Durham University’s Department of English Studies. It is also part of the linked programme of events around Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday, a major exhibition on voice-hearing produced by Hearing the Voice and Palace Green Library.

About Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday

Hearing a voice in the absence of any speaker is one of the most unusual, complex, and mysterious aspects of human experience. Typically regarded, as a symptom of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, voice-hearing is increasingly recognized as an important part of many people’s lives and experience, as well as a phenomenon that has had profound significance, not only for individuals, but across communities, cultures, and history.

From the revelatory and inspirational voices of medieval mystics to those of imaginary friends in childhood, and from the inner voices of writers as they craft their characters to the stories of people from the international Hearing Voices Movement, this exhibition will explore the complexity and diversity of the experience and interpretation of voice-hearing.

This exhibition draws on the work of Hearing the Voice, a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing based at Durham University and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

A dedicated website

Hearing Voices: Suffering, Inspiration and the Everyday is supported by a dedicated website which contains images of the key displays, specially produced podcasts featuring interviews with Hearing the Voice researchers, and interactive presentations exploring voice-hearing and inner speech, the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying voices, and experiences of felt presence.

Hearing the Voice warmly invite people to share these resources and information about the exhibition on social media using the hashtag #HearingVoicesDU.

Visitor information

The exhibition will open at Palace Green Library on Saturday 5 November 2016 and run until 26 February 2017. It will be open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, and Monday 12noon-5pm.

Entry to the exhibition and all associated events is free of charge.


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