Social histories and life stories...
A typical social history is an interview process used by a social worker during an intake process, typically associated with medical services. It would detail where someone grew up, and who the immediate family is and how to contact them. It would talk about the person's educational background and their family and marital status. Work life would be a key part of a social history, and it may even include hobbies and interests. The social history may include any problems or concerns the person is facing....and look to the future to have the person describe their goals.

It's possible for a social history to also have very relevant data for a more complete life story. Life stories would certainly include biographical data, but also would go into greater depth to describe parents and grandparents, the childhood home, favorites as a child or teen, and the impact of some or many historical events on the person's life. As life stories progress, the details of jobs and careers, love and marriage, children and grandchildren are also described along with values, beliefs, and reflections on life lessons.

Social workers find reminiscence and life review work applies to their jobs in a real and meaningful way. It would be wise to consider expanding offerings to include reminiscence programming in health care environments because of the impact life stories have on all dimensions of wellness and in positive validation of someone's life experiences.