Stories are of course a difficult concept for a world that wants to know clear evidence, cause and effect. They are at a different end of a spectrum, one end of which reduces complexity to isolate the drivers of and evidence of change. The other end of the spectrum is the story which aims to bring complexity into some sort of order, a narrative, prioritising intelligibility and meaning above clarity over cause and effect. I suppose each of us starts with a bias and have to deal with the problems that arise from that. For me, I chose to study the arts, history; straight lines, cause and effect, they did not really interest me. For others, isolating cause and effect was the fascination and storytelling seemed a sentimentality for those without intellectual rigour. Wherever we start in helping work we have to deal with our weaknesses. I have had to bring the love of the story and its music into a more disciplined environment of evidence. Others will have to give up certainties to engage with a more uncertain and complex reality that makes up people’s lives if they are to develop in the helping professions.
Stories and Rigour