The Lonely Ape that Told Himself Stories: The Necessity of Stories for Human Survival


Series: Psychology Research Progress
BISAC: PSY031000

The Lonely Ape that Told Himself Stories is a book that tries to explore the fact that humans are the only animals on this planet that tell stories. Its main argument is that people need to tell stories as a basic need and that without stories, we could not survive as a species. The author explores the origins dating back to the times of cavemen and, through myths, legends and fairytales, touches upon issues such as grief and bereavement, hope and pessimism, male and female dominance, and equality.

A significant part is dedicated to the use of stories and narratives in the healing of trauma, as well as how stories act as a modern treatment for PTSD. Lastly, the book explores the future of stories, the flourishing of social media, the issue of internet shaming, the movement towards e-books, and the need for meaning in the post-humanism era. Each chapter ends with experiential activities using stories, story making and other creative methods, including relaxation methods and a collection of stories. The author has been using these methods with clients for over three decades. These activities and processes can be used by an individual or by people in multiple professions to explore and reflect on the topics that are raised in these chapters.

The book is a combination of scientific research in psychology, archeology, arts, mythology, culture, neurology, neuroimaging and the modern media, and includes practical psychotherapeutic methods to work in many “impossible situations”. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. The Lonely Ape Encounters Darkness

Chapter 2. Do Stories Meet a Basic Need?

Chapter 3. Male and Female He Created Them

Chapter 4. Hope, or How to Manage a Sense of Continuity in Crisis

Chapter 5. Playfulness and Stress

Chapter 6. Fantasy, Dissociation, Daydreaming, and Fantastic Reality

Chapter 7. Transcending into Fantastic Reality: Story-Making with Adolescents in Crisis

Chapter 8. The Story You Need to Hear Now

Chapter 9. When Living Hurts: Fantastic Reality and Imagination in Bereavement

Chapter 10. Healing Stories: My Bag of Treasures



Author’s Contact Information


Audience: Psychologists: clinical and school psychologists, trauma expert psychologists.
Social works who work with groups or with traumatized individuals.
Arts Therapies working in a variety of settings and with all ages who work both individually and with groups.
Psychiatrists and other psychotherapists interested in storytelling storymaking trauma and narratives.
Teachers and school counsellors who face critical incidents and or crisis in school
Students of humanism, literature, mythology.
General public, interested in interdisciplinary writing in particular the field of myth, psychology anthropology and brain.

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