Storyteller gourd art

When Jeanette and I first saw the Storyteller Gourd while attending a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico we knew it was the perfect image to depict the vast internal family or parts that make up each and every human being. The following Blog Series will incorporate excerpts from our unpublished book entitled THE STORY TELLERWITHIN: with FASTFEET and LITTLE FINGERS .

In the last decade there is confirmation of a movement toward understanding and appreciating cultural and epistemological diversity. This movement and appreciation for diversity is increasing in our educational, health, and religious institutions. Ecologically we are becoming aware of the necessity to understand and protect bio/ecological diversity. Have we researchers, however, spent enough time reflecting on the diversity of the human being itself, psychically, intrapsychically and interpersonally? This diversity lends itself not only to a multiplicity of being and of relating, but also is a fertile source of creativity and insight.

There is a huge body of evidence from many different sources, among the behavioral and social scientists, and the great religious traditions, to indicate that we are multi-minds, multi-faceted, a complex and plural construction of parts whose sum is more than the whole of the parts. Throughout history many cultures have developed spiritual or religious systems with many gods/goddesses reflecting various aspects of the human experience in this world.

“In recovering our own autobiography, we discover that we are defined by interactions within a web of beings that extend backward and forward in time into infinity”. Sam Keen Hymns to an Unknown God. (Bantam Books, 1994). [P.41]

We are offering a model (inspired by Dr. Richard Schwartz,  Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) of looking at the human persona by which we hope to normalize and affirm this multifaceted, pluralistic, relational self.  For the purpose of this blog series, “spiritual journey” will be used as a metaphor for the never-ending process of discovering the enormous range of connections and relationships that form the nexus of the self.

Permission to use art work was graciously granted by Robert Rivera from his famous collection. See more of his beautiful work at: i n f o @ t o r r e s g a l l e r y . c o m

THE STORY TELLERWITHIN: with FASTFEET and LITTLE FINGERS Dawn DeLisa Novotny LCSW, MTS, CDP, CP©2007 Jeanette Rodriguez Ph.D, LMFT ©2007


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  1. Ron Kelley says:

    Ron Kelley says:
    August 26, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    In reference to epistemological diversity, as you say, “This movement and appreciation for diversity is increasing in our educational, health, and religious institutions.” I do believe, however (as do many others), that the movement itself has become the goal rather than a contributing mechanism to be combined with conventional methods of imparting knowledge. It becomes an excuse for changes and empowers beliefs that are not useful nor able to be taught other than in specified fields that become useful to no one.

    This “movement” has become fully accepted too often by those without the desire to contest traditional extents. In general, it is not teachable by the ordinary instructor, and may simply counter useful strategies.

    Just my thoughts, but of course, I may be way off base.


    • Hi Ron,

      Thank you for your comments. You are right of course. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond as I’ve been out of town. Be well, dawn

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