Story Lab

Story Lab

Who am I? (Wie ben ik?)

“Who am I?” is a life story intervention that was tailored to the needs of persons with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric problems. The intervention builds on insights from narrative therapy and life review therapy. The products consist of a training for professionals, a manual for professionals, and a workbook for clients. A first evaluation has shown that the intervention is well accepted by clients and that their complaints reduce during the intervention.

Contact: Janny Beernink

Funding agency: GGNet.

Partner: VGGNet.

Further reading:

  • Westerhof, G. J., Beernink-Wassink, J., & Sools, A. M. (2016). Who am I?: A life story intervention for persons with intellectual disability and psychiatric problems. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 54, 173-186.

Precious Memories (Dierbare Herinneringen)

Precious memories is an intervention in autobiographical memory for older persons with depressive complaints. In five sessions, participants are trained in recalling specific positive memories. These are unique positive memories that happened on a specific day in te life of the participant. The training can be implemented in care and social work. A unique feature is that the intervention can also be carried out by trained volunteers. The products consist of an implementation manual for professionals, a training manual and protocol for volunteers and an e-learning environment for volunteers. The intervention is rated as evidence based.

Contact: Gerben Westerhof

Funding: De Posten, Zorggroep Sint Maarten, VITOK

Partners: De Posten, Zorggroep Sint Maarten.

Further reading:

  • Richters, K., Schoonen, C., Korte, J., Bohlmeijer, E., & Westerhof, G. J. (2015). Dierbare herinneringen: Interventiebeschrijving en draaiboek [Precious memories: Implementation manual]. Oldenzaal: Schrijverij.
  • Richters, K., Korte, J., Westerhof, G. J. & Bohlmeijer, E. (2015). Dierbare herinneringen: Informatie voor trainers [Precious memories: Training manual]. Oldenzaal: Schrijverij.

The stories we live by (Op Verhaal Komen)

The stories we live by is an intervention that combines life review with narrative therapy. The intervention addresses depressive symptoms as well as feelings of well-being in middle-aged and older people. The method was first developed as a face-to-face group intervention. Later, an online-guided self-help course was developed and tested that also showed effects on depressive symptoms and well-being. The most recent version is an internet version that includes either online guidance by a counselor or a group-based form where participants guide each other. The product consists of a training for professionals as well as a self-help book for clients. The intervention is rated as evidence based.

Funding: ZonMW

Partners: Fourteen Dutch mental health institutes

Contact: Gerben Westerhof

Further reading:

  • Bohlmeijer, E., & Westerhof, G. J. (2010). Op verhaal komen: Je autobiografie als bron van wijsheid [The stories we live by: Your autobiography as source of wisdom]. Amsterdam: Boom.
  • Korte, J., Bohlmeijer, E. T., Cappeliez, P., Smit, F., & Westerhof G. J. (2012). Life-review therapy for older adults with moderate depressive symptomatology: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 42 (6), 1163-1172.

FutureNowExperience workshop

In this workshop participants create future stories of a better personal and/or collective future. They engage in writing, sharing, reflecting and visualizing future stories using Letters from the Future and visual art. Stories from the future are considered important building blocks for community work, team identity formation, personal growth, and social transformation. By speaking out their own dreams, wishes, desires and concerns as well as listening to those of others, participants gain motivation, inspiration, hope, perspective, and knowledge in what is keeping them from realizing their values and goals. Depending on the experiences, background, and goals of the group, the workshop can be modified to make an optimal fit. Train-the-trainer workshops can be delivered upon request.

Contact: Anneke Sools

Further reading:

  • Sools, A., Mooren, J. H., & Tromp, T. (2013). Positieve gezondheid versterken via narratieve toekomstverbeelding. In E. Bohlmeijer, L. Bolier, G. Westerhof, & J. A. Walburg (Eds.), Handboek positieve psychologie. Theorie, onderzoek en toepassingen (pp. 91-103). Amsterdam: Boom. [Enhancing positive health through narrative future imagination].

FutureNowExperience Workshop at the Manchester Community Psychology Festival