This program will begin in the Fall 2019 trimester, pending approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Narrative Health prepares students with the skills and knowledge needed to understand the patient/client narrative as part of the healing process and to use writing and appreciative inquiry methodologies to achieve health and wellness. MUIH’s program is one of only three graduate programs in the U.S. and is the only one to be offered primarily online and with an integrative health approach. While practitioners may need to separate the phenomena of disease process from the patient/client’s story to treat disease, research now reveals that developing a coherent narrative is necessary for the patient to be able to develop the sense of wholeness that can lead to healing. This 12-credit program is offered primarily online with intensive on-campus weekends at the start and end of the program, and it can be completed in two trimesters (8 months).
This program is a valuable and practical complement for several health care, medical, social services, ministerial/pastoral, care giving, and education practitioners and their clients/patients. It provides such individuals with the skills, knowledge, and framework needed to incorporate narrative health in their primary practices. Narrative health approaches can complement other health care modalities such as health and wellness coaching, social work, health education, meditation and mindfulness, acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, yoga therapy, massage therapy, nursing, naturopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic, conventional medicine, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, among others. The program also supports individuals who serve populations that are renegotiating meaning and identity in life, after a death, divorce, job loss or other life-transitions.
The PBC in Narrative Health program prepares students with the skills and knowledge to use narrative health as a healing process, diagnostic tool, method to prevent burn-out, and a form of care in itself. It does so in a highly personalized manner within the context of a holistic and integrative approach to health and wellness. The course work emphasizes the use of narrative health to build empathy and mindfulness in communication, and support practitioners in authentic relationship-based care and the development of healing presence. Students gain an embodied experience of narrative health by applying theoretical approaches to their own personal narrative. The opening and closing weekend intensive meetings on the MUIH campus provide students with the opportunity to build community and collaborate, as well as gain a first-hand experience in honing their facilitation design and skills.
The program consists of 12 credits, composed of four required courses. Click here to view the courses and program schedule.
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Identify and apply the primary themes of narrative theory.
- Apply narrative health strategies to compose a meaningful personal narrative.
- Develop narrative health strategies for individual and group work.
- Facilitate individual and small group narrative health programs effectively.
Individuals with skills and knowledge in narrative health approaches will support the continued projected growth of healthcare occupations in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS, 1) projects healthcare occupations to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any other occupational groups in the U.S. This program supports the narrative competence professional standards of a wide range of licensed healthcare professions. Narrative health is also aligned with the growing trend toward integrative approaches and holism in health and wellness. The National Health Interview Survey indicates 59 million Americans spend $30.2 billion per year out-of-pocket for integrative health practices, and 33.2% of U.S. adults use integrative health practices (2, 3, 4, 5). Narrative health also supports the growing trend toward personalized medicine in conventional healthcare fields.
- Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook”, U.S. Department of Labor, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “More Adults and Children are Using Yoga and Meditation”, November, 2018, https://nccih.nih.gov/news/press/More-adults-and-children-are-using-yoga-and-meditation.
- R.L.Nahin, et al., “Expenditures on Complementary Health Approaches: United States, 2012,” National Health Statistics Report, June 22 (95):1-11, 2016.
- National Center for Health Statistics, “Use of Complementary Health Approaches in the US: 2012 National Health Interview Survey,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012.
- T.C. Clarke, et al., “Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002–2012,” National Health Statistics Report, Feb 10 (79): 1–16, 2015.