January 26, 2010

What happens to the brain when you share a story?

I had another wonderful conversation last night with Aspen Baker, founder of Exhale. At one point, we explored the elements that are necessary for someone to share his or her story. At the very least, the sharer must feel comfortable and respected, and be in the presence of people whom they trust.

The listener, upon hearing the story, will process it alongside existing information and experiences. Most likely, memories will be sparked. The new story has been connected to the old story. Perhaps, new neural pathways have formed.

What about the sharer? In therapeutic terms, the sharer may experience release or validation or connection. What is happening inside the sharer's brain? Do we know? How might we know?

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