Storytelling For Health Promotion
and Community Development
Allison Cox, a Storyteller for over 20 years, has a Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health. She is also trained in Ericksonian Hypnosis, Neurolinguistic Programming and Therapeutic Metaphors. Allison has worked with individuals, couples, families, groups and communities as a therapist, social worker, health educator and prevention specialist for over 15 years. Allison currently works as a prevention specialist for the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department in Washington state. In her work, she often uses storytelling as a medium to reach across the many cultures that comprise the port city of Tacoma, WA and chooses tales that promote health and build community.
Some examples of how Allison Cox
works with the community using storytelling
Mother Goose Parent-Child Groups: Training parent volunteers to teach other parents and care givers how to use stories, nursery rhymes and lullabies with babies and toddlers to enhance positive parenting skills and promote early language skills.
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Project: For 3 years, Allison taught a story curriculum to match 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade course work. These students learned to tell stories to their younger peers that carried messages of self esteem, dealing with difficult choices, respecting others and building resiliency. Activities were designed to process the stories through multiple medias that matched the learning styles of the students.
Teen Intervention: Allison has visited local middle schools through high schools and takes monthly trips to the juvenile detention center to bring stories relevant to the issues that address our teens today, such as; violence, substance abuse, sexuality and rites of passage in an uncertain world. She has worked with many local alternative schools, teen parent groups and teen psychiatric facilities.
Substance Abuse Recovery: Featured as a presenter and speaker at state, regional and national conferences regarding healing from and prevention of drugs and alcohol use. Allison has worked with varied recovery groups in her community on this subject.
Asthma and Allergy Prevention Project: Master Environmentalists are volunteers who assess the possible asthma and allergy triggers lurking in the home. Allison trains these volunteers to use stories as a method to teach without confrontation.
Women's Issues: Allison has collected a wide repertoire of stories for audiences regarding women's concerns such as domestic violence, breast and cervical cancer awareness, and women's changing roles in a changing world.
Ethnic Elder Health Promotion: Visiting elder meal sites and bringing stories to enhance inter-cultural understanding and to promote health education amongst our elder refugee community.
Community Assessment and Development: By encouraging the community to tell their own stories, Public Health can learn the strengths and needs of that community. Allison has coordinated oral history projects between students and immigrant seniors who have expressed fear of local teens. Once we have heard each others stories, community bonds are strengthened.
Allison specializes in designing story programs
tailored to each groups interest.