More than a story: My life came back to life

Mary Lagerwey, Katie Strong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Social models of aphasia rehabilitation emphasize the importance of supporting identity renegotiation, which can be accomplished in part through personal narrative construction. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of persons who had engaged in a project to co-construct personal narratives about life with aphasia. Method: Qualitative interviews were conducted with three participants with aphasia who completed a 4-week personal narrative co-construction project which included pre-post administration of the Communication Confidence Rating Scale for Aphasia. Results were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Three themes were revealed. 1) More than a story: It changed my life validated the idea that the narrative co-construction process supported a positive view of identity. 2) A positive experience captured the participants’ enjoyment in co-constructing and sharing their story. 3) Hope engendered by the co-construction experience empowered participants with new levels of confidence not only in their communication skills but also in themselves. Conclusions: This study provided insight into the experience of co-constructing personal narratives using a structured protocol. Participants experienced the project as a positive, meaningful opportunity to actively contemplate their life and look forward. The study has implications for clinicians considering support of identity renegotiation in aphasia rehabilitation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-476
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


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