Narrative therapy rekindles ‘light of life’ for stroke patients

Yvonne Lee

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The findings of a research project undertaken by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) concerning psychological therapy for stroke patients were revealed on 11 May in the form of a presentation and an interactive drama.
The aim of the project has been to focus on patients’ emotions and mental health as well as the pressure and emotional distress experienced by family members, according to the supervisor of the project, Dr Esther Chow Oi-wah (first from left), Assistant Professor in CityU’s Department of Applied Social Studies. Her presentation was titled “All starts from a stroke: Rekindling the light of life”.
The treatment of stroke patients in the local medical sector tended to concentrate primarily on the recovery of bodily functions rather than on psychology, explained Dr Chow at the presentation, which was attended by more than 250 guests, including Professor Alfred Chan Cheung-ming (second from left), Chairman of the Elderly Commission of the HKSAR Government, Ms Imelda Chan (second from right), Executive Manager, Charities of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Professor Lo Tit-wing (first from right), Head of CityU’s Department of Applied Social Studies, representatives of co-organisers, and stroke patients and their families.
With sponsorship from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Dr Chow spent the last three and a half years offering narrative therapy to stroke patients and their family members at 21 local healthcare organisations, helping patients adopt a more positive attitude towards life by re-building their confidence.
After the presentation, 14 patients and their family members who had participated in the project recounted their experience of emotional trauma in the form of a drama, revealing how they had re-gained their confidence. They encouraged those in the audience who had experienced strokes to persevere by reflecting on the content of the drama.
At the end of the activity, colourful lights were turned on to symbolise the rekindling of the light of life through mutual support of patients and their families.


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