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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease
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Storytelling: Don’t Look Away

Using Storytelling to Give Voice, Find Connections & Change Perceptions

This research program offers individuals with memory loss and their care partners a unique and enriching experience through the art of storytelling. Families will meet once a week over the course of eight weeks for one-and-a-half hours and participate in a storytelling workshop. The workshop allows the couple to co-create their shared story through the use of reminiscence and a variety of in-class and out-of-class writing exercises.

There will be shared homework assignments each week to assist families in creating your shared story. Due to the nature of memory loss and cognitive impairment, care partners may complete the majority of the writing.

"It makes you focus on the fabric of your relationship that you never stopped to think about. It’s what really holds us together."

In the Media

New York Times

Dementia Patients Hold on to Love Through Shared Stories
Can you keep the love light shining after your partner’s brain has begun to dim? Just ask Denise Tompkins of Naperville, Ill., married 36 years to John, now 69, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

The Today Show

PBS Chicago Tonight


This Program Offers

  • A meaningful shared activity for families who are facing a diagnosis of dementia
  • An opportunity to share your story with others
  • An opportunity to reminisce about your lives together
  • An emotional support network with other families
  • An outlet for creative expression


  • No previous storytelling or writing experience is necessary.
  • At the time, no upcoming sessions are currently scheduled.

Prior registration and an interview are required to participate. Please contact Darby Morhardt at

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