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Folktales as Tools for Healing (HLOL #37)

by | May 11, 2010

Wendy Welch PhD is a folklorist and storyteller. She is on the faculty of the Healthy Appalachia Institute and teaches Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Wendy has served on the Board of Directors for the US National Storytelling Network and was on the National Storytelling Board in the UK.

Beyond these many professional achievements, Wendy co-owns a used bookstore, tours as storytelling performer and instructor, and is an accomplished craftswoman. In this podcast, she talks with Helen Osborne about using folktales, personal stories, fairy tales, and urban legends as tools for healing. Topics include:

  • Using folktales with people of all ages, abilities, and cultures.
  • Using folktales to motivate behavior change.
  • Using folktales in community based participatory research.
  • Using folktales in your practice and getting more involved with research.

More ways to learn:

  • Wendy Welch welcomes hearing your story about using folktales as tools for healing. You can email Wendy directly at wow6n@uvawise.edu
  • Healthy Appalachia Institute, http://www.uvawise.edu/health
  • National Storytelling Network, http://www.storynet.org
  • Osborne, H “In other words…Tools of change: Telling and listening to stories,” On Call magazine, October 16, 2008. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=8051
  • Pantheon and Dolch are publishing houses that do and did (respectively) collections of fairy tales and multicultural folktales. Welch advises that if you find collections from either publisher (at a second-hand bookstore, perhaps) then you can rest assured they will be good.

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 31.

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