chapter  6
Communicated Narrative Sense-Making Theory
Linking Storytelling and Well-Being
ByJody Koenig Kellas
Pages 13

Telling and hearing significant family stories can have lasting effects on those involved, often in the form of values, impressions, fears, lessons, and/or beliefs. Research on the content and process of family storytelling suggests links to mental, physical, and relational health, which in turn suggests interventionist opportunities for increasing sense-making, cohesion, and well-being. The significance of family storytelling is contextualized in the current chapter on communicated narrative sense-making (CNSM) theory, designed to synthesize and systematize the influence of storytelling content, process, and translation on individuals, families, and health. The main goal of CNSM theory is to shed light on the communicated content, process, and functions of storytelling as they help to explain and are explained by individual and relational health and well-being. CNSM theory is guided by three heuristics: retrospective storytelling, interactional storytelling, and translational storytelling.