Storytelling and the Art of Listening

Stories and metaphors that shape our lives


Date: 25 – 27 June 2021
Time: 10:00–17:30
Teacher: Dr. James Jim Feil (USA)
Language: English translated into German
Costs: CHF 750
Course location: Polarity Bildungszentrum Schweiz

Konradstrasse 18, 8005 Zürich

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Story telling is one of the highest and most common activities of human beings. Story telling creates and preserves meaning for us in all situations – whether we are talking to friends and family, making a case to business associates or to potential clients, or whether a client is telling their therapist about their issues and difficulties, or a therapist is talking to their colleagues or supervisor.

Stories lay the foundation for our actions and behavior, justify us in our choices and decisions, and for the results we achieve in life. They can be based on direct experience, on beliefs or ideals, or on what we wished were true, or on a combination of these. Stories construct a reality, selected out of a large set of possible scenarios, and reveal more about ourselves than about any objective truth.

Stories often concern our established, habitual existence or behavior. They can also be about what we want to change in order to organize new shapes and actions and possibilities. This is where the art of story listening enters the scene.

The listener sets up explicit and implicit conditions within which a story is told. How a listener listens, what he or she listens for, and how he or she responds to the ongoing story, can either help open up deeper layers and unconscious elements, or can limit or over-direct what the storyteller accesses in himself or herself.

The kind of relationship the listener encourages by his presence, understanding, comments and questions, by his receptiveness, his accurate empathy and rhythm/tempo, enables the unfolding and emergence of the story. A story is a blend of memory, images, desires and intentions with action and with metabolic activity, including elements such as intensities of arousal, excitement, feeling, impulse and instinct. It can be a trauma story, a story of hope, a love or hate story, a story of success or repetitive failure, and many more.

This seminar, through lecture, demonstration, small group and individual exercises and activities, will provide principles and practices of story listening based on a somatic and formative methodology. Attention to the enactment of the story, with a focus on gesture and movement, as well as story content and its emotional implications, will be an important part of the approach. The seminar will also provide opportunities for therapists, coaches, and others to examine their own personal style of listening.

Dr. James Jim Feil

Jim Feil, MA, DC, RPP, RCST has been in the field of complementary health care since 1970. He began his career in the healing arts by studying with Dr. Randolph Stone, founder of Polarity Therapy, from 1970 to 1973. He began practicing Polarity Therapy in California in 1973, and started teaching and training therapists in 1976. He was one of the founding directors of the American Polarity …


I herewith register for the aforestated training on the basis of the terms and conditions indicated below. Registration shall be binding. For cancellations up to a maximum of 21 days prior to the training, a service fee in the amount of CHF 100.00 shall be payable (events for which fees of less than CHF 100.00 apply excepted). Should you cancel your participation in the training later than 21 days before the training begins, the entire training fee shall be payable unless you provide us with a replacement before the start of the course. These terms shall also apply in the event of sickness. Any insurance cover that participants might consider to obtain shall be their own responsibility. Polarity Bildungszentrum AG/Zentrum für Innere Ökologie AG reserves the right to postpone trainings due to unforeseeable circumstances or for other reasons beyond the reasonable control of Polarity Bildungszentrum AG/Zentrum für Innere Ökologie AG. In such cases, the participants shall have the option to either accept the new date or to cancel their participation in the training on the new date. Should the number of registrations be insufficient, Polarity Bildungszentrum AG/Zentrum für Innere Ökologie AG reserves the right to cancel the training. Participants shall not be entitled to claim compensation or damages in either case, that is, if the training is cancelled or postponed. By signing the present agreement, the participant explicitly waives any right to claim damages for a cancelled or postponed training. Polarity Bildungszentrum AG /Zentrum für Innere Ökologie AG completely refuses to accept any responsibility for any third parties affected, where applicable.