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“It is not possible for the clinicians supporting this site to provide specific clinical advice to individual patients. If you submit a question or comment we may (if appropriate) be able to respond in general terms within this blog. Any answer will be visible to all readers, who may also find it helpful. 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.”

Imagination and its companions

How is it possible to be whole person-oriented and still feel that our work is manageable? Surely, we can't be all things to all people? Biomedical diagnoses and treatments of the ‘mechanical’ (sic) body are largely grounded in recognizing typical clinical patterns, objectively measured and verifiable physical changes using reliable testing methods, and statistical evidence […] Read More

How this began with symbolic illnesses

How did the whole person approach develop? All histories go endlessly backwards (and forwards). But a major marker of change occurred in 1988 when, after several years away from my internal medicine (clinical immunology) practice, I re-ignited it and amalgamated it with my newly developed psychotherapy training. In short, I put together a highly conventional […] Read More

The two massifs

Modern healthcare (sometimes we call it biomedicine) is a massive and dominant enterprise in which the clinical gaze (1) is largely directed at the physico-material aspect of sick persons. In contrast, ‘whole person’ or person-centred approaches hold that people are complex multidimensional beings, in which physical, subjective, soul-ish, spiritual, creative, relational, genetic, family, cultural, and […] Read More

What we mean by the patient’s story

What is a ‘story’? I was asked this question recently by someone who had been associated with whole person healthcare for a long time.  ‘Story’ seems such a simple concept. Humans are storied beings. But suddenly it got complicated. There was too much at stake. As in a game of ‘snakes and ladders’, we had […] Read More

How to Listen

Generally speaking, clinicians do not listen to exactly what a patient says. When a patient speaks she is speaking from herself as a whole. When we listen very carefully to exactly what she says we have, potentially, a doorway into the whole. For instance, I asked a woman, a 43 year old office manager, ‘when […] Read More

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