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How 'The Healing Power of Storytelling' can change patients' lives10:50
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After receiving a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, Dr. Anne Brewster found that writing about her story put her back into control of her narrative and her healing. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
After receiving a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, Dr. Anne Brewster found that writing about her story put her back into control of her narrative and her healing. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Despite their best intentions, many doctors aren't equipped to deal with the trauma, confusion and fear that a difficult diagnosis brings.

Dr. Anne Brewster realized this, ironically, when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001. It also led to a healing journey that included writing about her story, editing it and re-writing it — an exercise that put her back into control of her narrative and her healing.

The new book she released with co-author Rachel Zimmerman gives patients the tools they need to "integrate traumatic health events into a new evolving identity" and the resilience to move forward.

Host Robin Young talks to Brewster about "The Healing Power of Storytelling," Brewster's own journey, and the Health Story Collaborative she created.

Book excerpt: 'The Healing Power of Storytelling'

By Anne Brewster and Rachel Zimmerman

From "The Healing Power of Storytelling: Using Personal Narrative to Navigate Illness, Trauma, and Loss" by Annie Brewster with Rachel Zimmerman, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2022. Reprinted by permission of publisher.

This segment aired on June 1, 2022.

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