Jim Savage, LCDC

Substance abuse services:

* Counselor

* Author

* Speaker

* Treatment Consultant

Specializing in teens, young adults and parent support

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(214) 789-8456

COVID-19 UPDATE: All counseling sessions and support groups are currently being provided through telehealth services. This provides an effective option in light of current social restrictions. We realize that many families may be in the middle of facing a substance use crisis and that a substance use disorder doesn't take a break for the virus. If you feel uncertain about how to proceed at this time, please don't hesitate to call to discuss options.


“Once upon a time...” As the drumbeat carries listeners into the world of the Story, the archetypal energy of Heroes overcoming challenges and experiencing the reward of personal transformation is transmitted and inspires individuals to accomplish great things in their own lives.

Jim Savage has been entertaining groups with storytelling performances since the early 90‘s and has made this a big part of his work in substance abuse treatment. Following the concepts of Jungian psychology and inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell, Robert Bly, and Michael Meade, Jim has done groundbreaking work in using the Hero’s Journey model as a metaphor for the recovery process and the role cultural mythology plays in influencing attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.

The following audio samples are taken from The Hero's Journey: A Storytelling Adventure With Jim Savage. This 2-CD set includes a presentation of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale The Gnome, and a discussion that provides an interpretation of the story from the perspective of the Hero's Journey and the recovery process. (Hear the entire program HERE )

Click below for an excerpt from The Gnome, a fairy tale used to examine the recovery process.

Click below for an excerpt from a discussion of The Gnome from the perspective of The Hero's Journey.

Clinical Applications Of Storytelling

Motivational Enhancement

The connection between myth and psyche has been identified through study of the common literary motif known as the Hero’s Journey. Utilizing the Hero’s Journey as a metaphorical approach to addressing personal development goes to the heart of Motivational Enhancement Therapy and increases its effectiveness. As a model that portrays the process of overcoming challenges and achieving personal fulfillment, the Hero’s Journey becomes an archetypal source of motivation for change.

A story represents a collection of symbols to which the listener applies his or her own meaning. When used in a therapeutic setting, this reinforces the concept that the client “already knows the answer”. In identifying their own interpretations of the symbols contained within the story, treatment is enhanced as the ultimate goal of the therapist is to uncover this information from wherever it may lay buried within the client’s psyche and bring it to the surface.

Stages Of Change

Taking his work with storytelling further in the area of Motivational Enhancement, Jim Savage developed The Journey To Recovery Program, an entire treatment curriculum based on Stages Of Change Model. Just as The Gnome provides a spot-on metaphor for the recovery process in general, it is equally effective as a symbolic representation of the Stages Of Change and adds incredible potential to this model in helping clients to establish a solid foundation for recovery and recognize the importance of continuum of care.

"The Gnome" and the Stages of Change

Here are some examples of how "The Gnome" is used to study the Stages of Change Model:

* Loss of innocence (princesses). Is there a problem? Contemplation

* Going within to face our personal demons. The plan to recover our lost inncoence: Preparation

* Perseverence leads to uncovering our inner beauty and strength: Action

* Return to the kingdom. Personal transformation: Maintenance



Jim Savage conducts presentations on storytelling and the power of metaphor in a variety of formats, ranging from keynote presentations to intensive therapeutic workshops.

The Hero's Journey: A Storytelling Adventure with Jim Savage

This presentation includes a storytelling performance of The Gnome, followed by discussion that reveals the story to be a fascinating metaphor for the recovery process and the Stages of Change. Taking this a step further, the Hero's Journey is identified as a roadmap for psycho-spiritual development that corresponds with the transition from childhood to adulthood, finding purpose in our lives, and becoming whole.

The Hero's Journey

A Storytelling Adventure with Jim Savage

This 90-minute audio program includes both a storytelling performance and discussion on the Hero's Journey.