Life Story 12-Credit Online Graduate Certificate
The Healing Art and Science of Life Story Practice and Research
The exploration and expression of past experiences through various Life Story approaches such as reminiscence, life review, narrative, or storytelling to name a few can be an incredibly instructive and cathartic act that teaches us much about ourselves and our families. And, in the right hands, it can be healing.
Life Story is a 12-credit online graduate certificate program offered by the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Nursing. Students work with national and international faculty who specialize in guided autobiography, personal history, memoir writing, and other life story methods. Courses are all taught in an online asynchronous format and focus on innovations, research, and practice experiences. Course can be accessed from anywhere in the world at anytime.
A key aim of UConn's Life Story online program is to offer a structured process for training various health professionals to practice life story techniques. The process of facilitating and listening to life stories requires rigorous and supervised training to ensure safe practice with positive health outcomes.
By applying life story methods effectively, a patient’s thinking can be dramatically retrained. It can improve their mental health and well-being, and serve as an intervention to improve mental health outcomes, especially in dementia patients, including depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, quality of life, and social isolation, to name a few. Some examples of life story counseling tools and activities include:
- Reminiscence (group and individual)
- Structured Life Review
- Personal History
- Oral History
- Guided Autobiography
- Legacy Letters
As an important added benefit, nurses and other healthcare professionals who take the time to learn the science underpinning reminiscence, while also developing the art of active listening, tend to be better at coping with the daily stress of caring for their patients.
The Life Story Practice and Research Graduate Certificate program only accepts students within the summer semester. Please submit materials no later than April 2 to begin the following summer semester.
Students in the Life Story Practice and Research Program will be able to:
- Evaluate life story interview techniques.
- Assess the appropriate life story technique for a given population, family, or group.
- Analyze the different theoretical perspectives that underpin life story methods.
- Examine the advantages and disadvantages of different life story methods.
- Evaluate the applicability of a particular life story method to their practice.
- Analyze various life story methods innovations and outcomes.
- Apply life story knowledge and skills to create a presentation reflecting the life story of an individual or group.
- Analyze the benefits and challenges of reminiscence and life review for facilitators and reminiscers.