Benefits of Life Story Interview

1. Clearer perspective on personal experiences and feelings is gained, which brings greater meaning to one’s life.

2. Greater self-knowledge, a stronger self-image and self-esteem are gained.

3. Cherished experiences and insights are shared with others.

4.  Joy, satisfaction, and inner peace are gained in sharing one’s story with others.

5. Sharing one’s story is a way of purging or releasing certain burdens, and validating personal experience – it is in fact central to the recovery process.

6. Sharing one’s story helps creating community, and may show that we have more in common with others than we thought.

7. Life story can help other people see their lives more clearly or differently and perhaps be an inspiration to help them change something in their life.

8. Others will get to know and understand us better, in a way that they hadn’t before.

9. A better sense of how we want our story to end, or how we could give it the “good” ending we want, might be gained. By understanding our past and present, we also gain a clearer perspective of our goals for the future.

(Robert Atkinson "The Life Story Interview as a Bridge in Narrative Inquiry" in Handbook of Narrative Inquiry, ed. Jean Clandinin, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2007)


For a sample article on a prominent Turkish feminist's life story and worldview, published in the journal of Canadian Woman Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme by Ozlem Ezer see Sirin Tekeli

Lifelines: Syrian Womanhoods in Transition | Ozlem Ezer | Berkeley CMES