Viewing: Brian Broom

“A rickety old shed in a haunted forest”

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 […] Read More

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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