Perceived Impact of Storytelling on Substance Use Self-Stigma

Thursday, 24 November, 2022 - 13:20 to 14:50


Individuals diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD) are more likely to experience stigma than any other mental health condition (Corrigan, Kuwabara, & O’Shaughnessy, 2009). Research has shown that storytelling or narrative intervention can decrease self-stigma (Russinova et al., 2014). There were three aims of this study: 1.) understand if sharing one’s personal experience with substances decreased feelings of self-stigma, 2.) measure how the experience of sharing one’s story impacted the person overall, and 3.) determine if are there aspects of the storytelling process that particularly contribute to positive impacts on the teller.

We conducted in-depth interviews to generate responses about the impact of storytelling on self-stigma regarding those diagnosed with a SUD. Our participant pool consisted of 22 individuals. We utilized theming analysis within a modified grounded theory approach (Creswell, 2009).

Ninety five percent of participants stated sharing their story has greatly impacted them. When asked how sharing their story has positively impacted them, 91% (n=20) of participants said it has strengthened and increased their connections with others. In addition, 77% (n=17) of participants said that sharing their story improved their self confidence and self-esteem and decreased their feelings of shame and guilt. When participants were asked about their storytelling settings, 64% (n=14) said they prefer to share their story in person rather than online because it is easier to connect with individuals.

Narrative intervention should be considered when working with highly stigmatized communities to improve their self-efficacy.


Presentation files

24 108 1320 Glenn Sterner_v1.0.pdf1.51 MBDownload



Part of session