Narrative Interventions

GHC stories function like an inkblot test, allowing each participant to project their own experiences onto characters in the story

One of the primary ways that GHC engages with its target populations is through “Narrative Interventions”, or using stories to help people reflect on behavior change. At least as far back as Aesop, people have used stories to persuade and promote healthy behaviors This is because stories provide a rich backdrop onto which people can relate their own lives and experiences. In tying together personalities, feelings, cause-effect relationships, social norms, and so on, narratives capture the imagination and keep people interested in “what happens next.” At the same time, stories also create the natural psychological space individuals need to integrate an existing web of associations, relationships, and occurrences. As people imagine what could be or what might have been, stories are the form in which human beings think through everyday situations and apply prior knowledge and experience to current action.

GHC interventions start with carefully crafted stories that engage participants in ways that encourage new perspectives. Designed to dynamically recreate life as the target population experiences it, GHC stories are like inkblot tests, provoking different reactions from every person who engages with them. As opposed to stories that provide information or show model behaviors, GHC stories allow participants to perceive lives similar to their own from the outside, adding a degree of objectivity that helps people reevaluate their choices. GHC’s structured process for facilitating these stories then empowers participants to speak for themselves about real problems and real solutions. 

Find out more about the role of narrative in public health