September 20, 2023

When I first started as a student at MUIH (then called Tai Sophia), we all began with a 2-week "philosophy of healing" intensive.

One of the key things we learned was how to differentiate story versus phenomenon, and why this can be an important part of healing and being a healer.

  • Phenomenon: What objectively happened. Facts only.
  • Story: My interpretation of what happened. The story I tell myself about why it happened.

Example #1:

Phenomenon: My right knee hurts. The pain is sharp and stabbing and worse when I stand up. (In case you're worried, this is a hypothetical example - I'm fine!)

Story: I've hurt myself again and my knee may never be the same. OR: I shouldn't have climbed that tree. OR: My body always fails me. OR: My knee is telling me it's hurt so I can take steps to protect it.

Example #2:

Phenomenon: A client does not renew their monthly plan.

Story: The client didn't get value from our work together. OR: I did a terrible job. OR: The client will come back when and if the time is right.

Stories aren't right or wrong, but they do make a difference.

Sometimes healing involves changing the story rather than, or in addition to, the phenomenon.

Sometimes your ability to keep going as a practitioner will rely on you being able to differentiate story v. phenomenon when it comes to your work on and in your practice.

Like most worthwhile things, you don't get to the end of this process, you just get more used to doing it.

Take care,


About Camille Freeman, LDN, RH (she/her)

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and menstrual health. I run the Monday Mentoring community of practice and also offer continuing education programs for highly-trained herbalists and nutritionists (Check out this year's Deep Dive!). I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating.

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