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Narrative Medicine


Narrative medicine invites patients and survivors to share stories of life and treatment through guided conversations and personal writing.

This process encourages healing and self-awareness while helping you express your concerns, identify sources of strength and hope, and clarify goals for the future.

Who can participate in a narrative medicine session?

Narrative medicine sessions are available for current and former Markey Cancer Center patients and their family members.

While we primarily work with cancer patients, we also work with other specialties at UK HealthCare including heart care patients and those in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

How can narrative medicine help me and my family?

You can gain new perspectives on your illness and treatment by putting your experiences into words.

Narrating these experiences may also help you discover connections between the journey of treatment and your own deepest beliefs.

You may come away from narrative work with a clearer sense of personal meaning and direction.

Facing illness and treatment can be a challenging journey for you and those close to you. Through the narrative medicine process, you may be better able to share the story of your treatment journey with family, friends and care providers, leading to a feeling of greater support from those who are most important in your life.

What can I expect during a narrative medicine session?

Narrative medicine sessions can take place in your hospital room or at a treatment or infusion center. Appointments may be scheduled in the Narrative Medicine office at the Markey Cancer Center.

During the session, a narrative medicine facilitator will ask a few simple questions to learn more about your story. You are always welcome to focus on a particular concern, issue or memory.

The length of the session may vary with your needs and interests. If additional time would be beneficial, a follow-up session may be scheduled.

Can I write about my narrative medicine session?

We welcome you to include a written component in your narrative medicine session – one you prepare ahead of time or create after the session is over.

Possibilities include a journal or diary with entries written during your days of treatment, or a statement that reviews your treatment or entire life experience, including a turning point or significant moment.

There are no rules for what you can or cannot write as part of the narrative medicine process; the goal is to help you put your thoughts into words and benefit from doing so.

For more information about narrative medicine or to schedule an appointment for a narrative medicine session, contact Robert Slocum, PhD, Narrative Medicine Facilitator at 859-324-0955 or