Clinician & Patient Resources for Whole Person Healthcare

  • Treating the whole person

  • The patient's other story

  • The meaning of illness

  • Symbolic illness

  • Person-centred healthcare

What is Whole Person Healthcare?

Whole Person Healthcare focuses on the whole person, especially by knowing the person’s story. It is integrated with ‘normal’ medical approaches such as diagnosis and drug treatments.

Listening to a person’s story opens up to important things that are not routinely included in modern healthcare such as personal life events, feelings and emotions, relationship issues, family history, culture, gender, trauma, spirituality and much more. Many ill people are not aware that their life experiences or stories are contributing to their illnesses (find out more in Illness Explorer).

Bringing an ill person’s story into focus can result in more opportunities for healing, better outcomes, less dependence on drugs and surgery, positive changes in an ill person’s life, and better relationships between patients and clinicians.

This website provides resources for both clinicians and patients to understand and use this approach, as well as access to Illness Explorer, a hands-on learning tool and self-help pathway that has been used by patients who want to know more about their own illnesses, and by experienced clinicians training in MindBody Healthcare in postgraduate courses at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Find out more about the courses here.

This site is a charitable project financially supported by the New Zealand MindBody Network and by a Give-A-Little Crowd-Funding Appeal (2016). It is steered by Dr Brian Broom who is a Consultant Physician (Clinical Immunology) and Psychotherapist in the Department of Immunology in Auckland City Hospital; and Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychotherapy, Auckland University of Technology.

Disclaimer: The Whole Person Healthcare site information is constructed by clinicians working in conventional health disciplines and who use ordinary everyday healthcare treatments. The information is provided to enable patients and other clinicians to include any ‘story’ and life experience factors involved in triggering and perpetuating illness along with normal medical and other healthcare. It is the responsibility of each reader to make sure they are seeking and making full and appropriate use of normal healthcare resources along with whatever they find helpful here.


Click here to use ILLNESS EXPLORER tool to work on your problem
Watch helpful videos


Click here for practical and theoretical whole person healthcare resources
Watch helpful videos

Illness Explorer

A guided journey for learning about Whole Person Healthcare. Free membership needed.

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March 6, 2020
The Person-Centred Upholsterer

I discovered him by internet search--someone purporting to customise chairs for people with back problems. This sounded promising. I had fractured a vertebra six months previously, and sitting, chairs and pain had become wrestling partners. So I called him up the next day during normal office hours. He clearly wasn’t ready for customers; his name […]

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It is difficult manoeuvering in the normative healthcare space, which, typically, is constructed and confined by questions and answers. It is difficult to find room for my whole person-oriented language, to find a whole person space for the patient and me to occupy, and into which the storied metaphors of our human suffering and complexity […]

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I figured my stories could interest him. Many years ago my family and I were lunching with Bob, a surgical colleague, and his family. The occasion was winding down, and he and I had subsided into a corner to share work perspectives. Both of us had unusual work histories. He was an altruistic and principled […]

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