In February 2023, The Social Healing Project team held a Healing Design Jam — an interdisciplinary social healing process model we piloted and developed from best practices in science, design, and journalism/storytelling. Over the 2-day digital event, we brought together 21 participants from 7 countries — including filmmakers, storytellers, service designers, social workers, and therapists — to speak to healing and loss, from personal/lived experience & professional expertise. Our team chose to build and test a variation of one idea: an audio prototype. We designed and developed the Audio Storytelling Prototype over the spring, and tested it in June, with 16 participants from 5 countries.
The 2-week prototype pulled from science research on expressive writing (Pennebaker) and communal gathering/listening practices. Participants spent a week sharing their stories of loss and healing in a private audio journal, then were paired with a stranger to listen and engage with each other’s stories.
Analysis is ongoing, but our scientific data on the project, collected through methods including LIWC analyses and coding, indicates that as participants share stories with each other, they display higher indications of healing characteristics like integration, communion, self-compassion, agency, and orientation. This is encouraging and warrants additional prototyping.