StoryExchange Workshops


“It is important that we share our experiences with other people.  Your story will heal you and it will heal someone else.  When you tell your story you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.”

– Iyanla Vanzant, Inspirational Speaker and Author


We have always known that stories have the power to build empathy, to enlighten, to empower and to rolex submariner m126619lb 0003 mens 40mm oyster bracelet silver tone create change, and, as individuals and as a company we are always on a journey to improve and expand our understanding and practice.

In late 2019 (just before the world changed) our creative director, Sean McGrath, travelled to the USA to participate in a facilitator training workshop with NYC based Narrative 4.  He got hooked and returned to the UK determined to get StoryExchanges into schools, colleges, universities and public and private organisations.  He sees them as a fantastic tool for both peace-making and peace-building.


“By ‘peace’ we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively – a never-ending process.”

– Johan Galtung, Sociologist and founder of the Peace Research Institute


Our StoryExchange workshop can be targeted at young people as well as adults and are a highly effective way to:-

  • Promote acceptance, empathy and unity
  • Help repair broken communities, reunite fractured communities, strengthen existing communities and be the catalyst for creating new communities
  • Provide a platform for people to have a voice and have their unique stories honoured and borne witness to
  • Provide a creative platform to reflect, connect and care
  • Provide the opportunity to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’.  To understand their feelings and perspectives and to use that understanding to inform one’s own thoughts and actions.



“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

– Carl Gustav Jung, Analytical Psychologist


What do we need?

All we need is a space to hold the 2.5 hour-long workshop, a minimum of 8 participants and maximum of around 20 (per 2 facilitators).  Each person will be briefed in advance to bring a story from their own lives that they are willing to share.  Nothing private, but something personal, meaningful and resonant to them!


We can work with you to target the story briefs in order to tackle any issues that need addressing within a certain group or community, or the story briefs can be very general.  An example general brief may be…


Bring a story, no more than 3 minutes long, about…

  • A time where you witnessed, or participated in, an act of compassion
  • The best elements of living within a community.  We live in many communities in our lives.  Pick one that is important to you and tell us why?
  • A game-changing moment in your life.   This may be anchored in joy, pain, humour, fear, embarrassment etc. – whatever you feel brave enough to share!
  • A story about when you felt invincible
  • A story about when you felt invisible
  • A story that you feel is emblematic of who you believe you are.  If it was dug up in 100 years time it would reveal the essence of who you are.


Throughout the course of the workshop the participants will be guided through the sharing of their stories with a partner.  They will then come back to the group and tell their partners’ story as if it were their own.  It’s really simple, yet really effective!


“The power of storytelling is exactly this: to bridge the gaps where everything else has crumbled.”

– Paulo Coelho, Novelist


Our StoryExchange workshops follow the model designed and advocated by Narrative4 and are run by AlterEgo’s creative directors Sean McGrath and Gemma Paget.

Gemma has a Masters Degree in Dramatherapy from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and is a fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.  Her area of interest lies in how role method and internal family systems can be used to inform the application of dramatherapy interventions with clients who have experienced trauma.  Before training as a dramatherapist Gemma trained as an actress at Manchester Metropolitan’s School of Theatre.

Sean trained as an actor at The Oxford School of Drama and accessed training as a director on The Young Vic’s Directors Programme.  He is currently continuing his professional development by undertaking an MSt in Writing for Performance at The University of Cambridge.  As well as being Creative Director for AlterEgo he is an associate director for The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, a creative practitioner at The Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, and a fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.  His area of interest lies in behavioural and cognitive psychology, narrative theory, trauma informed approaches, Jungian alchemy, and  how these can be used in the creative project development process, in the rehearsal process and in project delivery.

Both Gemma and Sean are experienced StoryExchange facilitators and believe wholeheartedly in the power of stories to create positive social change.


If you’d like to find out more about Narrative4, please click here.

Project Information

Running Time 2.5 hours

Facilitators 2 per 20 participants




  • Coming Soon