Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

At the Feet of Storytellers: Implications for Practicing Early Relational Health Conversations

Charlot‐Swilley, D., Condon, M., Rahman, T. (2022) At the Feet of Storytellers: Implications for Practicing Early Relational Health Conversations. Infant Mental Health Journal, 43(3), 373–389.,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description

Review of two case studies.

core topic(s)

Early Relational Health

Population Characteristics

Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Disparity/Adversity , Implementation and Evaluation

additional materials


This paper presents the ERH-C model, and explains the paradigm shift it represents in practice. ERH-C may be a relevant and useful component of service delivery in other settings beyond PPC. This model may also have relevance for families and communities of diverse worldviews.


Early Relational Health Conversations (ERH-C).

outcomes evaluated

8 Components of ERH-C.


Two case studies are presented. Suggestions are offered for further investigation and application of ERH-C in diverse settings.

sample size

n=2 (case studies)


Measures of ERH-C: 8 Components

    1. Preparing and entering
    2. Accessing
    3. Pausing and co-creating space
    4. Storytelling
    5. Witnessing
    6. Mutual reflection
    7. Claiming
    8. Mutual insight


This model has eight components: preparing and entering the ERH-C space, accessing strength and knowledge in a healing-centered space, pausing and co-creating, storytelling, witnessing, mutual reflection, affirming, and claiming their relationship narrative, and mutual insight. It is a paradigm shift inworking with African American families and possibly other historically marginalized families who are also impacted by structural racism. The eight components are explained, and examples are given from the perspective of an Afrocentric worldview.


The importance of cultural humility, attuning to and honoring family culture is emphasized. Insights for implementation in primary care and other settings are provided. Healing-centered engagement practices embedded in ERH-C have the potential to move ERH work into the social justice arena. The ERH-C is a family reflection model. Ideas for future directions for ERH-C are discussed.


Not discussed.