The Power of the Performing Arts in Healthcare

  • Bruce Kirkcaldy
  • Ahmed Hankir
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


The main aims of this contribution are to discuss and describe the role that the performing arts and storytelling play in the treatment of mental health problems and their utility as a teaching tool in undergraduate and postgraduate health education.

Biographical narratives offer a precious qualitative insight into the minds of people who have first-hand experience of psychological distress. It is argued that expressing oneself whilst under psychological distress through the mediums of narrative and the performing arts can be deeply therapeutic and even cathartic. The authors attempt to describe their personal experiences as mental healthcare providers by offering their candid narratives.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Kirkcaldy
    • 1
  • Ahmed Hankir
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre for the Study of Occupational and Mental HealthDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health Research in association with the University of Cambridge (BCMHR-CU)CambridgeUK

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