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Restorying the Self, Restoring Place: Healing through Grief in Everyday Places

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
JournalEmotion, Space and Society
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Abstract

In this paper, I think with ecological memoirs about emotion and healing within places and in relationship to place. I argue that by staying with and exploring painful emotions, instead of palliating them, healing transformations become possible for individuals, societies and places. I engage in dialogue with two books: Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge and Linda Hogan's The Woman Who Watches Over the World. Similarly to processes advocated by narrative counsellors, in each of these memoirs the author works through her grief by restorying her self. In both books, the act of restorying the self is only made possible through a concurrent restorying of place. By focusing on the stories people tell about healing, this paper moves away from the dichotomization of therapeutic and non-therapeutic – or even anti-therapeutic – landscapes towards an understanding of how people and places can be healed. I suggest that academics can contribute to healing of and in place through empathically bearing witness to the stories people tell and by the circulating and amplifying alternative narratives of transformation.

    Research areas

  • Narrative ethics, Therapeutic landscapes, Emotion, Literature, United Stats of America, Colonialism, Silences

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