“Rivka Willick is a professional story coach and story teller who uses the healing art of spoken word stories to inspire, focus and guide people in many different ways. She has used stories at Camp CADI – a summer camp experience for girls who are survivors of sexual abuse and as a doula (labor coach) for women in labor. She has run workshops and worked one-on-one helping people find and create their own personal and transformational stories to deal with depression, addiction, abuse, and chronic illness. Her interactive programs have been presented at hospitals, support groups, conventions, and corporate enrichment programs.”
Email: Rivka@SimplyExtraordinaryTales.com | Phone: 862-268-4989 | Website: http://www.simplyextraordinarytales.com/Home.html |Blog: http://beststorycoach.wordpress.com | Practice Location: Passaic, NJ 07055
About Rivka Willick
Rivka Willick began spinning tales and telling stories as soon as she could string a few words together. Rivka has used her love of story and gift as a word smith to promote healing and make people laugh. Sometimes it is only through story that we can lower our defenses and hear the truth. Through her work, Rivka has brought the important healing power of story coaching into the lives of many people including youth, adults and elderly whether in one-on-one settings, group healing and support settings or in hospitals. She has established a national presence as a story telling having performed all over America and has worked nationally and internationally with artists and individuals. Rivka has performed workshops and/or appeared at the NSN Convention, Orlando and Capital Fringe Festival, Johnson & Johnson Awards Luncheon, NJ Transit Speakers Programs, Tejas Storytelling Festival, Northlands Storytelling Festival, NJ Storytelling Festival, Connecticut Storytelling Festival, Virginia Storytelling Gathering, Rutgers University, County College of Morris, Camp CADI-GA & NJ, major museums and historic sites, and over 100 other appearances.
I have been a professional storyteller for over 15 years. I create, perform, and help others find and own their stories using the oral tradition. This is one of our oldest and most dynamic art forms. Spoken word stories take on many forms and can inspire. About 10 years ago a woman asked to me create a transformation story for her about one aspect of her life. A transformational story uses traditional and non-traditional story images to retell stories and create new language. Once the story was completed she used the images to create a new, safe language so she could talk about the dating aspect of her life without triggering herself. As a story coach I work people to find their stories to create art, connect with family, promote ideas, and heal. Since that first transformational story 10 years ago, I’ve worked with many survivors to not only find ways to tell their difficult stories, but also to reclaim all their other stories so they can embrace their entire tapestry they weave throughout their lives.
I’ve also worked as the storyteller at Camp CADI (part of Safe Girls, Strong Girls) a camp experience for girls 8-18 who are survivors of sexual abuse. I’ve developed a wide range of stories including stories about mentors, traditional tales from varied cultures with strong female characters, stories of wilderness survival that teaches essential skills for all survivors, and original stories. I also work with the girls to help them find and develop their own stories. Many times they choose to create stories about things they presently struggle with (bullies, being pulled between families) stories reflecting their dreams and hopes, and personal stories about mentors and good times (often these are harder to tell than painful stories because they’ve never been asked to embrace them).
My Interest in Working with Survivors
Play, imagination, and art is often forgotten in healing. I’ve performed many original stories with themes of concurring addiction, breaking the silence, and rewriting our own personal scripts. After these performances I am often approached by survivors – some of them want copies of the stories, others have asked me to work with them to discover their own stories.
As a Story coach I can work one-on-one in person or via Skype. I can also do this with small groups. As a storytelling performer, I tell tales of hope and courage. This provides excellent entertainment for healing-focused groups and camps.
How Story Coaching and Storytelling Holistically Address the Impacts of Sexual Violence
Sexual violence (and other traumas) can dominate our thoughts, actions and personal history, however, we are all filled with thousands of other stories when we reclaim these forgotten stories. We can use the power of spoken word as an art form to reshape or change the language, which enhances our personal power and our inner beauty and strength is allowed to shine. Ancient and traditional stories tap into century old themes which can build a platform for exploration and healing. Spoken word stories can trigger thoughts and physical responses which can promote healing. When a person not only understands but believes in a healing or physical process, their bodies will often respond. The right healing story and setting can safely initiate and support this process.
Modifications for Survivors
Storytelling can be very playful so we usually begin by reclaiming our forgotten stories. The storyteller always leads and the story coach simply guides.
Additional Areas of Expertise
I have extensive experience working with youth groups, as well as children, adults and elderly individuals living with chronic/illness.
I am able to provide sliding-scale services.
You can listen to Rivka’s teleseminar “Weaving a Spoken Word Tapestry: The Power of Story-Telling for Healing” and learn more about her method of transforming trauma through stories.