by Ana Luiza Novis & Lúcia Helena Abdalla

It is a methodology that was developed from clinical experience with people with chronic diseases. In a light and playful way, it seeks to rescue the authorship of these people who, when facing situations of chronic adversity, be it an illness or a loss, feel hostage to the problem.

Contains six reflective moments that gradually promote new understandings, extend conversations and validate skills and resources of these people, who regain their freedom, no longer living based on the problem, but living with the situation in a new perspective.

The narrative methodology "The Pantry of Life" is organized into six reflective moments: "The Arrival of the Unexpected Visitor", "Giving a Name to this Visitor", “Dealing with the Visitor”, "Rummaging the Pantry of Life", "Talking to ‘Sebastiana Quebra-Galho’“ and “Building the Recipe Book".

The exercises invite the person who is sick and his family to establish a new way of dealing with this situation, as they imagine and describe the appearance of the pathology in their lives as an unexpected visitor who comes to your house unexpectedly, unannounced, uninvited, and not even speaking their language.

The choice of the metaphor of the "unexpected visitor" has proved to be very rich for being about a common experience, experienced by anyone, regardless of culture or family system, while also allowing the externalization of the pathology, which favors the beginning of a conversation with the problem.

The beliefs, the context and stories around the appearance of the "problem" as well as all the movements made in an attempt to solve or mitigate the invasion of this unexpected visit, are operated as "experiences" that the person and family group perform.

During the re-narration of the story all the customs, rituals, sympathies, feelings and beliefs belonging to the family system are explored, working with the dominant discourses of family and culture in which it is inserted. Through new conversations that are being established, a new space for understandings is enabled, fostering new perspectives, alternative histories that favor a new way for these people to relate to the pathology, thus salvaging their autonomy.

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