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People with aphasia experience a loss of friendships and social networks and, with this, a loss of identity. Interventions targeting participation, social and emotional wellbeing for people with aphasia have received more attention in the research literature. Storytelling is a powerful vehicle for exploring and expressing our identity. This study describes the use of songwriting to explore identity in three people with aphasia. The researchers adapted an established songwriting protocol for use with people aphasia. Each participant co-created  three songs with a speech and language therapist about themselves before their aphasia and stroke, who they are now and their future self, over 12 sessions. After this, a semi-structured interview was done with each participant, and data was transcribed and interpretative phenomenological analysis used to determine themes and subthemes. ‘The process is a catalyst’ was identified as a main theme, with three subthemes: 1. relationship-centred experience, 2. engagement in meaningful activities and 3. identity exploration. The authors advocate that the positive psychological approach can promote wellbeing for people with aphasia.

“It’s not often that people want to hear me talk about my life”: Storytelling experiences of people with aphasia in an interdisciplinary songwriting project
Strong KH, Sather TW.
2023;1–13 [ePub ahead of print].
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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