WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall

The Storytelling Animal: How stories make us human by Jonathan Gottschall

This book explains how humans are natural storytellers – in fact, storytelling may be one of the essential things that makes us human! Gottschall draws on research in neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology to show how fundamental storytelling is in shaping our beliefs, behaviours and ethics. He shows how we are influenced by fiction, and how we tend to adopt certain kinds of narrative structures to find meaning in our complex and chaotic lives. Gottschall describes the pleasures and the dangers of our addiction to story. He cautions that we should learn to recognize when our “inner storyteller is locked in overdrive”, deluding ourselves about our experiences. If you are interested in the role that stories play in our lives, and if you are working with clients telling stories about their conflicts, this book is essential reading to understand the power of stories to help our hinder us.

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