1-day workshop

How to tell stories that heal

– master the art of therapeutic storytelling

Stories and metaphor are a powerful way to stimulate hope and by-pass resistance – they can also enhance problem solving and creativity, beneficially impact the mind/body system and much more…

Course Factfile

How to tell stories that heal in-person workshop

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  • Accredited CPD: 6 hours

  • Length 1 day (9.30am - 4.00pm)

  • Tutor: Dr Gareth Hughes

  • Price: £198 per person

Price includes lunch, refreshments and course notes


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Wonderful – inspiring, informative and empowering communication skills masterclass

Jeni Nelson, Psychotherapist / Hypnotherapist

NEXT DATE:  Thurs 2nd May, London – this popular, enjoyable course fills up fast, book online now or call our friendly team on 01323 811690 to avoid disappointment. Other dates and venues available

Why take this course

CPD Provider LogoStories can be incredibly powerful therapeutic tools. They help bypass rigid views about life, enhancing the listener’s flexibility of thought. And by suspending ordinary constraints, they help people reclaim optimism whilst fueling their imaginations with the energy necessary to attain goals. In the physically ill, they can also stimulate the immune system and speed recovery.

All successful psychotherapy and counselling involves storytelling and the use of pertinent metaphors, both of which tap into the natural way our brains work.

We can’t know what goes on in another person’s mind but, if you perceive the ‘pattern’ of a story and understand that it could be useful to them at a specific point in their life, that is reason enough to tell it. Their unconscious, creative imagination will seek and find the ‘meaning’ relevant to their situation. No explanation, no direct statement of a story’s meaning can substitute for the way it acts on the hearer’s mind.

Join us to discover more and learn how to source and tell such therapeutic tales yourself…

Gareth was fantastic, brought a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm as well as stories to the course...

Project Manager

Wonderful practical skills - I was entranced the whole day...


What will you learn

  • How and why our brains work through ‘pattern-matching’
  • How to use this profoundly useful tool for getting through to people stuck in the black-and-white thinking of emotional distress
  • A powerful way to stimulate optimism, hope and independence in
    distressed people
  • Increased ability to source and tell therapeutic stories yourself
  • Ways to enhance your own problem solving capacity, as well as being better able to help others with theirs
  • A new way to motivate and engage people
  • Insights into the mind/body communication system and how useful this tool can be for promoting healing and recovery
  • A great way to build rapport and bypass resistance
  • How to choose the appropriate stories and metaphors for different people, and when to use them
  • Practical ways in which therapists, teachers, GPs, managers, policy planners etc can apply this knowledge to their work
  • The ability to enhance flexibility of thought, creativity and confidence in your clients
  • How stories and metaphor can also help us diagnose where problems lie
  • A new love and deeper understanding of the value, resonances and resources within stories
  • Greater confidence in dealing with a wide range of people – and a solid understanding of, and practise in, the therapeutic precision of metaphor and more…

Dates & venues

So informative and relevant to my everyday work..

School Counsellor
Pat Williams, creator of this course, talks you through its benefits

Course Programme

The ‘How to tell stories that heal’ course starts at 9.30am and runs until 4.00pm.

Who is this course suitable for?

  • Anyone involved in psychotherapy, counselling or social work who needs to harness the therapeutic power of metaphor by being an effective storyteller
  • It is also valuable for the medical and nursing professions to know how to tell stories that lift depression and promote healing
  • Anyone interested in the age-old power of metaphor and storytelling for professional or personal reasons

CPD Provider LogoThis course has been independently accredited by the internationally recognised CPD Standards Office for 6 hours of CPD training.

On completion of this training you’ll receive CPD certificates from the College and the CPD Standards Office.

Reviews for this course

4.8/5 (81 Reviews)
  1. Lorraine Drinan, Nurse

    Fantastic day of learning, delivered by such a skilled tutor, Gareth. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I’d like thank both the human givens tutors and hotel for a lovely, calm experience.

  2. Project Manager

    Gareth was fantastic, brought a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm as well as stories to the course. The resources are excellent and the activities were inventive and immersive.

  3. Sarah Caughey, Project Worker

    Really wonderful and informative. It was captivating and engaging. Loved all of the stories that were told and also that the exercises were thought-provoking – and harder than initially expected. Lunch and breaks were great.

  4. Amanda Murray, Hypnotherapist & Sports Massage Therapist

    I loved hearing all the many stories on this course. It was interesting and challenging to break down story telling and also to learn how to build stories back up. Relaxing and powerful messages found in the stories.

  5. Theresa McNally, Mental Health Nurse/Creative Practitioner

    Beautiful mix of artistic and therapeutic. Great pace, good opportunities to share, try, progress, listen. Like the examples of real work as it helps consolidate and inspire!

  6. Craig Mountford, Charity Worker

    The course presenter did an excellent job of illuminating this course and involving the participants throughout. The initial natural hesitation to speak out was removed, so to use a metaphor, “it was like unscrewing a tight bottle top – some resistance at first and then progressively easier to remove the top and get to the drink within it”.

  7. David Longworth, GP

    An excellent and enjoyable presentation – highly informative. Lots of starting points to enable me to incorporate story-telling in a new way into my own practice.

  8. Rosaleen Robson, Trainee

    Effortless gathering of knowledge through stories and shared experience.

  9. Jeni Nelson, Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist

    Wonderful, inspiring, informative and empowering.

  10. Marta May

    Excellent atmosphere created by the tutor. I enjoyed every minute of the workshop. I learned a lot about therapeutic aspects of storytelling and how they can be used to help people.

  11. Mary Flynn

    Excellent. Got so much from today’s course. So many things fall into place for me. Thank you!

  12. Alfie

    Fun, funny and philosophical. Deepened my understanding of metaphors and their use in therapy.

  13. Claire Sale

    What a fantastic day from start to finish. I have learnt so much about storytelling and how to use it. I has given me confidence to tell stories and recognise metaphor.

  14. Stephen Carroll

    Has really put some focus on the importance of storytelling in therapy and provided some much needed references to further investigate

  15. Juliette

    Packed with useful, practical ideas about therapeutic storytelling. Very engaging presentation that kept me interested even though it was my third day of training! Thank you.

  16. Philippa Brewer

    Totally enlightening. Gareth is totally engaging.

  17. Zoe Tolman

    Really enjoyed the day. Very engaging, well presented and lots to take away.

  18. Fiona Hanlon

    Brilliant course – has inspired me to make more use of story and metaphor

  19. Karys Matthams

    Inspiring and emotional – creative and liberating.

  20. Robert Iannone

    Inspirational, well crafted, full of useful concrete info.

  21. Rachel Fowler

    Wonderful dive into stories – super useful and enjoyable

  22. Michael Ogunbiyi

    Fantastic teacher.

  23. Simon Bostock

    Gareth guided us through how stories can be used in therapy.

  24. Phil Mattews

    Really great.

  25. Nicola Brown

    Gareth is an amazing teacher. His method of teaching I find very straight to the point, but is also able to break down into bite-size for all to understand. Thanks Gareth

  26. Fleur Borrelli, Psycho-neuro-immunology clinician

    Beyond expectations – it was gripping and made me excited to go out and see each day as a story.

  27. Amanda Hagan, Complementary Therapist & Voice Practitioner

    This course was an excellent reminder that we have all the resourceful stories within us. We’ve just forgotten that we learnt them as a child, so need to tap into our imagination and rely on it.

  28. Rebecca Lagan, Investment consultant - stay at home mum

    I really enjoyed today’s course. Teaching was great as I have come to expect from previous courses.

  29. Sara=Jane Reilly, Soliticitor

    Gareth was a wonderful teacher who instantly put me at ease and captivated me with his stories. The activities were very revealing and stimulating. Very well paced.

  30. Iakovos Flaskis, Psychotherapist - Company Owner

    Practical information for every therapist
    Engaging material, informative content
    Things to use in your therapy room right away

  31. Dementia Care Practitioner

    Very insightful on how storytelling is used for the betterment of people.

  32. Daniel Cooper, Neuroscientist and Psychoeducator

    Good introduction to storytelling and recognising how this is used every day and therapeutically. Really enjoyed seeing this in action and how it fits into the wider HG schema.

  33. Ingrid Steele, Coach/Facilitator

    Very interesting, great demonstration and learning about storytelling.

  34. Sarah Houldsworth, Geologist, Ecotherapist

    A thoroughly enjoyable day explaining stories in the practice of HG.

  35. Katie Gilroth, Marketing

    Gareth, as always, captivating.

  36. Susan Lakhan, Optometrist

    Gareth is a fantastic storyteller – and is great at explaining. So easy to listen and learn.

  37. Lois Owen-Ward, Carer

    a wonderful introduction to the power of storytelling in a therapeutic setting.

  38. Counsellor

    Absolutely enjoyed every minute. No jargon, informative, engaging, essential to my practice/therapeutic approach. Gareth has a very calm, relating voice – very clear.

  39. Key Worker

    Really enjoyable course – useful skills and tips to be applied in daily life and super interesting to learn the power of storytelling and metaphors to draw upon clients’ own resources in helping them find solutions.

  40. Enabler and Facilitator

    Having attended previous human givens courses, I was confident of gaining much from coming today. My aim is now to have 2 notebooks to continually add to: one for metaphors, and one for stories

  41. Counsellor/Lecturer

    I found it really engaging and it has inspired me to integrate the learning into my therapy practice

  42. General Practitioner

    An excellent introduction to therapeutic storytelling with lots of real life working examples

  43. School Counsellor

    Fabulous story-telling day. So enjoyable!

  44. Business consultant/Writer/Trainee Psychotherapist

    Fantastic tutor, engaging content and very practical skills-based exercises

  45. Retired Teacher

    Superb day of learning. Featured all the elements necessary of therapeutic storytelling. Great tutor

  46. English Teacher

    A highly enjoyable and informative course. I particularly enjoyed the practical elements which strengthened the points covered and gave me a great understanding of the techniques discussed.

  47. Development Manager

    Great tutor, lots of food for thought, lots of practical exercises

  48. Safeguarding Manager at a School

    This was a good course, but I would have liked a bit more info and depth

  49. Counsellor

    Very easy to access, practical and applicable. A good mix of teaching styles – delivery excellent. Wanted more and will be back!

  50. Hypnotherapist

    It was empowering to feel how telling stories and using people’s own metaphors can shift perception and help to go deeper in the therapeutic and personal issues.

  51. Flood Risk/Environmental Planning

    I was enthralled from start to finish, it’s a fascinating subject delivered by an expert teacher. Could spend the whole week on this!

  52. George Bower, Management Consultant / Coach / HG Dip Student

    This was really a totally new area for me and I really enjoyed it. Denise presented & facilitated it with passion and professionalism and Fiona made sure the logistics of on-line live delivery were conquered. The content was good, the prospects are exciting, secrets of storytelling were shared, and participation is fairly high and indeed very enjoyable. We were broken out into work groups of 2 to 6 people for well-crafted exercises on a regular basis to ensure a good balance of listening and doing. It’s a great bridge between theory and practice and, as ever, HG roots the approach in neuro-science fact and not on fad. Really looking forward to more workshops in the near future.

  53. Patryk, Pedagogue/Assistant Manager

    How to start?! It was well organised and superbly presented. Denise was very professional and attentive answering all the question from the group. The way we have been involved in story telling, searching meaning in stories in different groups was excellent. Absolutely top notch way of doing online course. Well done, I have learned a lot, thank you.

  54. Counsellor / End of Life Doula

    If you already understand stories and metaphor then I think this could be a very interesting and useful course. Although some things were useful, due to my own blocks, personally I am not yet sure just how useful this course has been for me.

  55. Susannah Bolt

    Very informative and enjoyable.

  56. Aneta, Pedagogue / kitchen manager

    I love it because it was very interactive which make it more remarkable and remembered.

  57. Rehabilitation for prison leavers

    The day was really interesting with lots of opportunity to participate. I learnt a lot and as a beginner am now keen to do more research as many sources were identified and begin to weave into my practice.

  58. Sarah Penna, Coach

    I thoroughly enjoyed the day, it was so interesting and Denise explained the topics throughout the day really well. Thank you.

  59. Lois Owen-Ward, Carer

    A great introduction to the therapeutic use of story telling.

  60. Social Worker

    Exceptionally well delivered day, I was transported to another world!

  61. Speech Therapist / Psychotherapist

    Subtle but very powerful ways of giving hope to people. I can see this being incredibly helpful in my work.

  62. Mental Health Practitioner

    Very useful to use stories within brief therapy, especially with clients who may be ‘stuck’ – thank you

  63. Counsellor & Psychotherapist

    Fascinating use of using the creative side of the brain – and today has given me confidence to do this. Thank you so much for passing this skill/awareness on.

  64. HG Therapist

    Real insight – this will have a huge impact on the way I work.

  65. GP

    I’ve always loved reading/films but hadn’t appreciated how I can use these stories/experiences in day to day life and in the surgery in a therapeutic setting. Lots of ideas for helping patients during consultations.

  66. Nutrition & Functional Medicine Profession

    Wonderful, entertaining and mentally stretching.

  67. TV Director

    It was enlightening to see how much one can do with fragments of ideas – changes one’s perspective on how to communicate.

  68. Support Needs Development Officer

    The power of stories is amazing!

  69. Family Therapist

    Workshop was so rich and versatile being interactive – role plays made it a very good learning experience.

  70. Patient Support Worker

    A super day. It was over before I realised it had started. Very stimulating.

  71. Davis Dyslexia facilitator

    Excellent. Challenged my perceptions of the sub text of stories – and it’s good to be challenged!

  72. Psychology Student

    Really enjoyed the experience – powerful, an unforgettable day!

  73. Language School Director

    Just hits the nail on the head about life, love and humankind – I will use this approach more and more in my life and work.

  74. Educational Psychologist

    An excellent combination of theory and practical experience presented in a very rich way.

  75. Social Worker

    I work with people who have been institutionalised and a story with hope can be so valuable.

  76. Health Visitor

    The power of stories is fascinating. I particularly liked the idea of being able to use my creativity in a new way.

  77. Client Support Employment Project Worker

    This workshop has given me loads of confidence and understanding which was exactly what I’d hoped for!

  78. Occupational Therapist

    Brilliant! Lots of new insights into using storytelling as therapy and for self development.

  79. Business psychologist/career counselling

    Totally relevant and appropriate to my work in coaching and development – based on solid foundation.

  80. General Practitioner

    I can’t wait to use these new skills in my own GP practice.

  81. School Counsellor

    So informative and relevant to my everyday work.

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