6 Word Stories

baby shoes

Ernest Hemingway was set a challenge, to write a story with minimal words. “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” was the story he wrote. A poignant event distilled into minimal words.

I’ve used this technique in therapy asking clients, either in session or for homework, to work on describing an event, current situation or develop a description of feelings around a diagnosis in 6 words. One can say a lot in 6 words.

6 words are also easier to play with in your head. They don’t necessarily require paper and pen and are easily remembered. There are times when clients have been able to identify prevalent feelings in complex situations using this technique. Some clients run with this and develop a series around an event, emotion or personal growth. Then I’ve used these stories further to develop lyrics with clients or thematic music.

What is your 6 word story?

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