Lethan Robert Candlish is an author, inspirational storyteller, and brain injury survivor. After his severe brain injury, Lethan studied for a graduate degree in the Art of Storytelling from East Tennessee State University. As part of his graduate program, Lethan researched and composed the piece Who Am I, Again? A verbal collage of stories about TBI — this is a presentation that weaves together multiple perspectives on recovery after brain injury and highlights common emotional experiences. Since receiving his master’s degree, Lethan has focused on the benefits of using storytelling as a tool for rehabilitation after brain injury.
Since 2012, Lethan has lived overseas, but remains active in the brain injury community through blog articles, writing for Brain Injury Hope Magazine, and making occasional trips to the States. He also recently published the book Who Am I, Now? Using Storytelling to Accept and Appreciate Self-Identity after Brain Injury (2020) — available on the Amazon website. This book combines Lethan’s story, research about the experience of recovery, ideas in narrative therapy, and philosophical reasoning about self-identity to present new ideas why storytelling can and should be used in recovery. The book is written in an engaging manner that is thoughtful, unique, and masterfully shares difficult concepts in an understandable manner.
Having completed his book, Lethan is once again available for public speaking events in person or via zoom. Using storytelling as a tool for healing is an ancient idea that is overlooked in the modern era. Presentations and workshops offered by Lethan help survivors and caregivers understand this simple, powerful tool and encourage each participant to discover how it can assist his or her journey of recovery.
Please read below for details on the programs Lethas offers and a selected list of previous performances. You can contact Lethan at: TBIlethan@gmail.com, or, for samples of writing, please visit his blog at: http://whoaminowreflections.blogspot.com.
- Performance, Who Am I, Again? (50 minutes) — A verbal collage of stories demonstrating multiple perspectives on early recovery from brain injury. Lethan has combined portions of his personal story with stories collected from friends, family, and fellow survivors to present common events and emotional themes that arise in the experience of recovery. With Lethan’s performance, the piece manages to be revealing and informative while remaining entertaining and palatable by a general audience.
- Speech, From Survivor to Storyteller (50 minutes) — Lethan shares the journey of how he came to the ideas offered in his book and presents suggestions how the audience can take the first steps in using storytelling to assist the appreciation of self-identity. This speech acknowledges experiences in recovery that are often overlooked and encourages survivors find ways to share these experiences so that caregivers can better understand how to be supportive in recovery.
- Workshop, How to Tell your Story of Survival — Designed to encourage and instruct survivors on how to take the first steps in creating a story about recovery, these workshops combine Lethan’s professional expertise with his understanding of being a survivor to inspire participants as they recognize the beauty in their own story of survival. Workshops encourage an exploration of difficult, introspective questions in a safe and supportive environment. Length can be adjusted to fit the needs of the of the event — the minimal length is 2 hours, but can continue over 5 days for 4 hours a day.
**If your event requires a slightly different focus, Lethan will gladly consult with you to see if he will be able to create a program specifically tailored to your needs**
** Multiple programs can be combined at one large event for package discounts. **
Lethan has shared storytelling and inspirational speaking about TBI at locations throughout the United States — below are a few notable events and locations:
- The International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, TN (2009) — Graduate thesis presentation.
- Bloomsburg University Lab Theater, Bloomsburg, PA (2009)
- Brain Injury Association of Tennessee Annual Conference (2010)
- Brain Injury Alliance of Wisconsin annual conference (2011) — Lethan was the keynote presentation.
- Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2012) — Initiating project for tbivoices.com
- Theatro Zuccone, Duluth, MI (2014)
- Brain Injury Services Journey Conference (2020) — speech delivered online via Zoom