This BBC Radio 4 series is worth listening to. Dr Sian Williams talks to people who have lived through 'extraordinary events that have reshaped their lives in the most unpredictable ways'. In the latest episode, she talks to Steven, who believes that sharing his story about his horrific attack may help him and others too. A life book can do something similar, and clients who have been through traumatic experiences often say writing their life story was cathartic or a way of making sense of what happened to them.

I have a commission for a unique and unusual project - writing the life story of a nurse working in Salonika during WW1. From audio recorded by the Imperial War Museum in 1976, I am listening to Mary's fascinating recollections about what it was like to nurse soldiers on a hospital ship off the coast of Turkey and in camp in Greece. What strikes me is Mary's ability to cope with the pain and suffering she is witnessing, and a total lack of concern for herself about the precarious and dangerous situation she is in. Amazing lady.