Storying Sheffield

Chrissy Bonham


Chrissy Bonham has a passionate interest in how the power of narrative constructs our own identity; she is currently studying for an English Literature degree. After struggling with a mental health condition for fifteen years which eventually led to a breakdown, Chrissy began experimenting with re-storying and changing the narrative she had become accustomed to. This was hugely successful for her and she found the new narrative she created for herself was a great enabler to help her begin to move towards recovery.

Three years on Chrissy now does a lot of work for Community Recovery Services (formally SPACES) and has been heavily involved in developing the eight week Recovery Education Programme, a short term intervention which educates people who are grappling with mental health issues. One of the workshops on the course is a Storying workshop which Chrissy delivers with Kay Aitch; it has proven to be extremely popular and the concept of re-storying our lives has had a beneficial effect upon many people and has helped change the way they think about themselves and their stories.

Recently Chrissy and Kay developed a 6 week Narratives Masterclass for the University of Sheffield Medical School. They were working with year four psychiatry students and used Storying techniques to help the students look beyond a mental health diagnosis and see the person behind the label. The main outcome of the course was for the students to realise that without understanding the way stories affect and shape each individual’s life then it is pretty much impossible to be able to draw an accurate picture of that person and give them the correct treatment required.

Chrissy is passionate about writing and is hoping to have some work published soon. When she is not writing, reading or thinking about Storying, Chrissy enjoys walking her dog and listening to Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac whom she is very proud to have a reputation for being unhealthily obsessed with.